Rocky Boy Tribe
Chippewa Indians of

Wabaseemoong First Nation

This band of Ojibway Indians live in far western northwestern Ontario, some 9 miles east of Manitoba. Their tribal history involves chief Yellowquill. Most people who know about chief Yellowquill, think he originally lived at the Swan Lake Reserve in extreme southern Manitoba. That's incorrect. It's known that chief Yellowquill's sub-chiefs were from northwestern Ontario. That means chief Yellowquill was also possibly from northwestern Ontario. Wa-ba-sem supposedly means White dog in Ojibway. It could mean White Sun. In Ojibway, Pi-sim is the correct word for sun. It's not Gi-sis. Why? There is a diminutive which is "sis." So White Sun is possibly the coorect meaning. On the south of this Ojibway community is Swan Lake. The lake is very large. It extends 12.5 miles or 20.1 kilometers, north to Albany River. Though Albany River no longer extends all the way to Lake Winnipeg, it used to. At this coordination "516'3.27"N 92 2'41.81"W" Albany River had no obstacles in old times. Today is does. Back in the old days, Ojibway People considered Albany River to flow from James Bay to Lake Winnipeg. Wa-ba-seem-oong is an Ojibway Treaty 1 community. It's located along an arm in the mid section of Swan Lake. There's also another much smaller community located at Swan Lakes extreme southern shores. This location was vital to the Ojibway Military during the wars against the English and their Eskimo allies. Adjacent to Albany River and close to Lake Winnipeg. It allowed Ojibway Soldiers to guard Lake Winnipeg and Albany River.

Albany River is the southern boundary of the Northern Ojibway's. Hayes River at these coordinations "572'30.29"N 9211'42.98"W" and "5342'44.38"N 9752'2.87"W" is the northern boundary of the Northern Ojibways. That was understood by Ojibway leaders and white leaders in the 19th century. Chief Yellowquill was possibly the highest ranking Ojibway leader from James Bay to the Quill Lakes in Saskatchewan. He sent Ojibway Soldiers to Portage La Prairie, Manitoba in 1868-1869 to prevent Eskimos, mixed bloods and whites from expanding west until a treaty that was acceptable to the Ojibway Nation, was signed between the Ojibway Nation and Canada. Treaty 1 was signed on August 3, 1871 which ceded southern Manitoba to Canada and liberated Red River Colony from Ojibway rule. Chief Yellow Quill was the principle Ojibway leader. It's obvious because it's written in the August 3, 1871 Treaty, that all chiefs who signed the treaty received a buggy except chief Yellow Quill, and for the braves and councillors of each chief except chief Yellow Quill, a buggy was received. That's the white side of Treaty 1. Ojibway leaders knew exactly what the agreements were except those who were bought. Albany River was the southern boundary. Swan Lake in northwestern Ontario was the focal point of the agreements. As mentioned, it extends 12.5 miles or 20.1 kilometers, north to Albany River. Then there's the other Swan Lake in Manitoba which is 290 miles or 466.7 kilometers northwest of White Dog or Wabasim. Chief Yellow Quill was in charge of that location as well. In fact, all land north of Saskatchewan River, from York Factory at Hudson Bay to the Alberta/Saskatchewan border, was set aside for chief Yellow Quill's subjects. All other numbered Treaties were adhesions to Treaty 1.

Three Districts make up this vast Ojibway Reserve. First one is located from Albany River's mouth to Lake Winnipeg, north to Hudson Bay and Hayes River. Land north of Hayes River to Baker Lake in Nunavut, to Hudson Bay to it's east and Aberdeen Lake to it's west, to this coordination "6412'15.56"N 102 8'53.03"W" at Thelon River, then follwing the Northwest Territories/Nunavut border southeast, then directly south to the Manitoba/Saskatchewan/Northwest Territories/Nunavut border, then to the Treaty 10 adhesion and to Treaty 5 adhesion, is District 2. From Tobin Lake, Saskatchewan to Grand Rapids, Manitoba, following Saskatchewan River, land south to Peguis then west to Lake Manitoba, then south to Skownan (Dog Creek or Ma-i-gan Sip-pi) then west to Alonsa, then directly north to Pine Creek, then south to this coordination "5142'36.75"N 100 2'15.78"W," then west to this coordination "5142'40.11"N 10034'52.52"W," then south to this coordination "5121'45.98"N 10034'50.30"W," then west to this coordination "5121'43.41"N 10041'49.28"W," then south to this coordination "5116'48.21"N 10041'40.25"W," then west to this coordination "5116'41.66"N 10047'9.79"W," then south to this coordination "5115'29.79"N 10047'19.24"W," then west to Valley River Reserve or Tootinaowaziibeeng, then west, then north, then to the Cote, Keeseekoose and The Key, then northeast to Swan Lake, Manitoba, then west, then southwest, then west, then north to Yellowquill, then east, north and west, then north to Tobin Lake, is District 3. In 1885, Canada broke treaty and the 1885 Northwest Rebellion followed. Whites, mixed bloods and Eskimos commenced to break treaty and invaded land north of Saskatchewan River, between Tobin Lake and the Alberta/ Saskatchewan border. Canada agreed to set aside the entire land area as described because they knew the land was wetlands, had incredible numbers of large and small lakes and some mountainous terrain.

Wabaseemoong means On or At White Sun. Correct name of this Ojibway Treaty 1 community is Wa-ba-si-mig Ga-mi which means White Sun Lake. There is no need for the "oong" locative. Zagaigan means Reservoir in Ojibway. Anything created by humans has "gan" as a present tense in Ojibway. This community is not located along White Dog Lakes shores. It's located along Swan Lakes shores. This community should be named Swan Lake or, in Ojibway, Wa-bi-zig Ga-mi. Ojibway word for Swan is Wa-bi-zi. You noticed a peculiar difference between White Sun Lake or Wa-ba-si-mig Ga-mi and Swan Lake or Wa-bi-zig Ga-mi. It deals with Ojibway vowels. If the Ojibway word ends with a consonant, a vowel is used to pronounce the word easier and on occasion, vice versa. Not always though. You can pronounce it as this or Ga-mi Wa-ba-sim or Lake White Sun or Ga-mi Wa-bi-zi or Lake Swan. To designate it being a large lake, you would include "chi" in it's name. So, Wa-bi-zig Ga-mi'chi is it's correct name. It means Big Swan Lake. According to the 2011 census, the population of Wa-ba-sim'in or Wabaseemoong is 832. That's on-Reserve population.

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