Wahgoshig First Nation

Wahgoshig First Nation

Wahgoshig First Nation, formerly known as Abitibi-Ontario Band of Abitibi Indians or simply as Abitibi, is an Anishinaabe (Algonquin and Ojibwa) and Cree First Nation located near Matheson in Cochrane District in northeastern Ontario, Canada. They have reserved for themselves the convert|7770.1|ha|acre|1 Abitibi 70 Indian Reserve on the south end of Lake Abitibi. In January, 2008, the First Nation had 270 people registered with the nation, of which their on-reserve population was 121.


The first recorded reference to the native people about Lake Abitibi was in the House of Commons debates in 1897 when the treaty status was discussed. For centuries prior to that, however, they were a nomadic group of hunter-gatherers, whose traditional territory straddled a large segment of what is now northeastern Ontario and northwestern Quebec.

For the peoples about Lake Abitibi, the hunting and trapping grounds extended and still extend east and northeast of Long Sault to Pierre, Harris, and Montreuil Lakes in Ontario, and on a parallel line into Quebec and as far east as Amos. The southernmost limit of the territory was a little south of Kirkland Lake in Ontario and Rouyn In Quebec. Cochrane, Ontario is the approximately western boundary.

The Abitibi 70 Indian Reserve was created when the James Bay Treaty (Treaty 9) was signed at the Hudson's Bay Company post on Lake Abitibi in Quebec on June 7, 1906. It encompasses convert|19239|acre|ha, or convert|30|mi2|km2. However, the treaty commissioners revealed that they were only authorized to negotiate with the Anishinaabe whose hunting grounds were in Ontario. The Abitibi Indians who were part of the same group, but whose hunting territory lay within Quebec, were told that negotiations for a reserve for them would occur later, but the Quebec government stalled that process for a considerable time after a treaty was signed with the Ontario band.

Two years after the signing of the James Bay Treaty the Canadian federal government still had not been able to get Quebec to set aside a reserve for the Quebec Indians. It then arranged with the Quebec government to bring them under Treaty 9, which meant that they would receive annuities and would share in the revenues allocated to Abitibi 70, and income from this reserve was, and still is, divided on a per capita basis. This is the origin of much of the economic disparity that Wahgoshig First Nation contends with today; due to the way disbursements are set up through the federal government's intervention into their affairs, the Wahgoshig people receive only a minor share of any revenue that they may generate from natural resources on Wahgoshig Reserve. This has proved to be a disincentive towards developing the on-reserve natural resources.

Until 1972, the Department of Indian Affairs in Quebec administered the affairs of both the Abitibi-Dominion Band of Abitibi Indians (located in Quebec) and the Abitibi-Ontario Band of Abitibi Indians. From 1972 onward, Indian Affairs in Sudbury, Ontario, took over the affairs of the Abitibi-Ontario band. In 1979, the Abitibi-Dominion Band changed its name to Abitibiwinni First Nation, and the Abitibi-Ontario Band became Wahgoshig First Nation.


The Wahgoshig First Nation have a Custom Electoral system of government. Elected officials have 3-year term. The current elected officials consists of Chief David Babin and five Councillors: Sky Chokomolin-Widdifiel, Joseph Chookomoolin, Joseph Mathews, Paul McKenzie and Noe Ruperthouse-Diamond. Their term began on November 21, 2005.

As a signatory to Treaty 9, the First Nation is a member of the Wabun Tribal Council, a Regional Chief's Council who is a member of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, a Tribal Political Organization representing majority of First Nations in northern Ontario. However, the Wahgoshig First Nation is a political member of the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council since November 2000, together with other nations which Wahgoshig First Nation maintained strong historical ties.

There is an on-reserve village that occupies about 25 ha of the 70 ha flat land. West of the village, the land becomes undulating and it contains many wet swampy areas - ideal moose habitat. Moose, bears, grouse and other game are quite abundant in the area.

The reserve is served by Highway 101, which provides access to the 5.8 km long reserve road, approximately 50 km east of Matheson, Ontario, within a few miles of the western Quebec border. The north end of the reserve meets the south shore of Lake Abitibi, which separates the two provinces.

:::N/A = Data Not Available.


For the Abitibi village of about 25 ha, the First Nation provides the following services:
* band office
* health clinic
* warehouse / fire hall
* public works garage
* community hall

Wahgoshig is policed by the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service, an Aboriginal based service.

Official Address

Wahgoshig First Nation
PO Box 629 (Rural Route 3)
Matheson, ON P0K 1N0
:Phone: 1-705-273-2055:Fax: 1-705-273-2900

External links

* [http://sdiprod2.inac.gc.ca/fnprofiles/FNProfiles_DETAILS.asp?BAND_NUMBER=233 INAC profile]
* [http://www.blackriver-matheson.com/index.php?module=pagemaster&PAGE_user_op=view_page&PAGE_id=12&MMN_position=13:3 Information from Township of Black River-Matheson]
* [http://www.anishinabenation.ca/eng/comm_wahgoshig_en.htm Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council profile]
* [http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census06/data/popdwell/Table.cfm?T=301&SR=10&S=1&O=A&RPP=100&SRCH=1 Abitibi 70 Population Data]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wahgoshig First Nation — Abitibi 70 Reservat Die Wahgoshig First Nation, früher Abitibi Ontario Band of Abitibi Indians oder Abitibi genannt, ist eine der in Kanada lebenden ethnischen Gruppen. Die First Nation gehört zu den Anishinabe, doch gehören auch Cree zur… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Neskantaga First Nation — Coordinates: 52°11′29″N 88°02′11″W / 52.191402°N 88.03638°W / 52.191402; 88.03638 Lansdowne House, Ontario redirec …   Wikipedia

  • Mishkeegogamang First Nation — Mishkeegogamang First Nation, also known as New Osnaburgh, Osnaburgh House, Osnaburgh or Oz for short, is an Ojibwa First Nation in the Canadian province of Ontario. It is located on Highway 599 in the Kenora District, approximately 20 kilometres …   Wikipedia

  • Nibinamik First Nation — (Oji Cree language: ᓃᐱᓇᒥᐦᐠ (Niibinamik, Summerbeaver ); unpointed: ᓂᐱᓇᒥᐠ), also known as Summer Beaver Band, is a small Oji Cree First Nation in Northern Ontario, located on the Summer Beaver Settlement that is connected to the rest of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Mattagami First Nation — Mattagami reserve The Mattagami First Nation is an Anishnaabe First Nation in the Canadian province of Ontario. The First Nation members of the community primarily live on the Mattagami 71 reserve in the Sudbury District near Gogama. The on… …   Wikipedia

  • Abitibiwinni First Nation — Die Abitibiwinni First Nation beziehungsweise Première Nation de Abitibiwinni, kurz Abitibiwinni oder auch Abitibi genannt, sind ein Volk nordamerikanischer Ureinwohner, die der indigenen Algonkin Sprachfamilie angehören und zu den First Nations… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Marten Falls First Nation — …   Wikipedia

  • Constance Lake First Nation — Constance Lake Community Building …   Wikipedia

  • North Caribou Lake First Nation — or Weagamow First Nation, sometimes also known as Round Lake First Nation, is an Oji Cree First Nation located in Kenora District in northern Ontario, Canada. It is approximately 320 km or 202 air miles north of Sioux Lookout, Ontario. As of… …   Wikipedia

  • McDowell Lake First Nation — (Oji Cree: Misi zhaaga iganiing) is a small Oji Cree First Nation located in Northern Ontario, located approximately 155 km northeast of Red Lake, Ontario, Canada, on the central western shore of McDowell Lake. As of December, 2007, their total… …   Wikipedia