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Whitewater Lake First Nation


Located northwest of Lake Nipigon, is Whitewater Lake First Nation. They are non status or their ancestors honored treaty agreements Canada broke. They are trying to gain status recognition. Their community or communities, are very small with a population of around 20 or so citizens. They claim to have 150 total citizens. There could be 3 Whitewater Communities. However, they could be fishing resorts. I don't know. There is also another photo of Wabakimi Provincial Park which may be the original Reserve set aside in 1850. More about that is below. There are as many as 30 housing units at Whitewater Lake. They are related to Lake Nipigon Ojibway's. Lake Nipigon is 35 miles or 57.5 kilometers, southeast of Whitewater Lake. The lake and not the community. Their community is an isolated one. There is no road access. Only float planes reach their small community or communities.



Whitewater Lake is a member of Windigo First Nations Council. They are also members of Nishnawbe Aski Nation. They are signatories to 1850's Robinson-Superior Treaty (not Treaty 9 - Robinson Superior Treaty dealt with land south of Albany River) which set aside three Reserves. One was located in the Lake Nipigon region for chief Mishi Muck-qua or Great Bear or Big Bear. His name should be written like this: Chi Mac-wa (Big Bear). Great Bear is pronounced as "Kit-chi Mak-wa." In Ojibway, their use of "mi-shi and also mis-si" is to indicate "all," "everthing," "prolific," "supreme," and so on. An example: Her/His power is great is pronounced using "mi-shi or mis-si" meaning prolific or supreme. He was from the Ojibway No-ka Totem or Military and Police Totem of the Ojibway Nation. He may have been the same chief Big Bear who lived in Alberta and Montana and participated in the 1885 Northwest Rebellion. He would have been near 30 years old at the time or 1850. However, he lived in southeast Idaho according to his son. They supposedly agreed to cede land in exchange for a Reserve 4 square miles by 4 square miles or 16 square miles or 41.4 square kilometers. However, during those times, Ojibway leaders considered 1 mile to be 1 league or 3 miles. Lake Nipigon Reserve or Gull River Reserve, is really 144 sq. mi. or 373.0 sq. km.



Before 1850, a very large Ojibway population lived around Lake Nipigon. When Robinson-Superior Treaty was signed, it included all Ojibway People who lived around Lake Nipigon. Mishi Muck-qua or Mis-si Mac-wa, signed that treaty for all them. That indicates a large Reserve was set aside. Much larger than the 144 sq. mi. or 373.0 sq. km. Reserve. Ojibway People from Lake Nipigon could easily reach Whitewater Lake, by sailing from Lake Nipigon to what is now Ogoki Reservoir (Ogoki River) then west to Whitewater Lake. There was much contact between the two locations so when English negotiators reached Lake Nipigon in 1850, all Lake Nipigon Ojibway Represenatives participated. That includes those Ojibway People who lived south of Lake Nipigon along Lake Superior's north shores. They used Nipigon River to sail to Lake Nipigon then to Whitewater Lake then to Albany River by way of Ogoki River. Wabakimi Provincial Park may be that Reserve promised to chief Big Bear in 1850. Preordain 19th century Ojibway Traditionalists, to gather their people around Lake Nipigon including Whitewater Lake, to migrate north and northwest, to avoid what happened. Canada refused to honor treaty.



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