Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation is located in Northwestern Ontario and is 40 kilometres(kms) east of Fort Frances. The community is situated 300 kms west of Thunder Bay, 300 kms east of Winnipeg and approximately 500 kms or 290 Miles north of Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is relatively isolated physically and economically from mainstream Canada. While isolated from Canada in this capacity, the area is rich culturally in the vast history of the Ojibwe people in the area.
The First Nation has approximately 130 members living on a territory of 4,800 hectares.
|06245||Rainy Lake No. 26A||South shore of Red Guut Bay, on Northeast Rainy Lake||1909.7|
|06246||Rainy Lake No. 26B||South shore of Red Gut Bay, on Northeast Rainy Lake||1068.4|
|06247||Rainy Lake No. 26C||South shore of Red Gut Bay, on Northeast Rainy Lake||1107.6|
|06336||Acency No. 1||South/Southwest of Rainy Lake||6422.5|
The community has its own voluntary organizations, including a volunteer fire department, Recreation, Education, Housing and Economic Development committees. The Band Administration services the community in the areas of community health, education, social services, policing, housing and economic development. The community lives reasonably within their means. The traditional fishing economy has become weakened due to over fishing and tourism. The community has recently built a new gymnasium, a four seasons recreational outdoor facility and a daycare centre.
The children are bused 20 kilometres east to Mine Centre School in Mine Centre, Ontario for elementary school. The Youth commute to Fort Frances for education services, including secondary and limited post-secondary services (through Confederation College, Lakehead University and Seven Generations Education Institute). On-line post-secondary education opportunities were not available because of lack adequate bandwidth needed to complete courses. It is anticipated that increased bandwidth will be made available pending approval of the Pwi-Di-Goo-Zing Ne-Yaa-Zhing Advisory Services business plan to Industry Canada.
The Chief & Council govern the community affairs, with respect given to the Elders and Youth in the decision-making process. There are three Councillors and one Chief within the government, Councillors Clayton Windigo, Garry Windigo and Sue Boshey share duties of developing a governance model for the community along with the Chief Will Windigo. The Chief of Nigigoonsimikaaning First Nation is also active in political activities on behalf of the community through the Fort France Chief’s Secretariat, Grand Council Treaty #3, Chief’s of Ontario and Assembly of First Nations.
“Teachings and activities that go with the times and way of life in a traditional setting”
For thousands of years, the Anishinaabeg have passed on their knowledge and culture orally through the Ojibwe language. Only recently in the language’s history, have people begun to write it.
In the community of Nigigoonsiminikaaning, we are trying to revitalize the language through practical means and application. This incorporates a complete understanding of the customs and cultural practices of the Ojibwe in the Grand Council Treaty #3 area, and extends to our neighbors in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Manitoba.
The Community of Nigigoonsiminikaaning is very fortunate to have members who are in the educational field of teaching the Ojibway Language and Culture. Dennis Jones is an educational instructor at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Dennis operates the Language Camp. Jason Jones is an educational teacher at a local elementary school in Fort Frances, Jason specializes in the grammer of the Ojibway Language.
Both Dennis and Jason are very much dedicated in helping the Community revitalize the Native Language and Culture to our communities.
The First Nation has also made arrangements with the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis to setup seasonal language camps at the mouth of the Ottertail River. Highlights of the activities at the Language Camp include trapping camps, wild rice harvesting, fasting and Ojibwe ceremonies.