Mishkeegogamang First Nation
Mishkeegogamang First Nation is an Oji-Cree band government (First Nation) in the Canadian province of Ontario. Until 1993, the band was called the Osnaburgh First Nation, with various settlements at times being called New Osnaburgh, Osnaburgh House, or Osnaburgh (“Oz” for short).
It is located along Highway 599 in the Kenora District, approximately 20 km (12 mi) south of Pickle Lake. Its total registered population as of January 2018 is 1,920 (of which the on-reserve population was over 1,000 people as of the 2016 Census). At one time a member of the Windigo First Nations Council, Mishkeegogamang First Nation is not part of any regional tribal councils as of February 2015; however, they have retained their membership with the Nishnawbe Aski Nation.
The Mishkeegogamang First Nation’s landbase consists of two reserves, the smaller 5,018.6-hectare (12,401-acre) Osnaburgh Indian Reserve 63A and the larger 13,677.8-hectare (33,799-acre) Osnaburgh Indian Reserve 63B.
Oz is made up of separate and somewhat geographically disconnected communities. On their main reserve are the communities of Bottle Hill, Poplar Heights and Sandy Road. A community about 24 km (15 mi) south called is also associated with this First Nation. Additionally, some small communities called , , and a few others are also associated with Osnaburgh.
- Osnaburgh Indian Reserve 63A
- Ace Lake
- Eric Lake
- Ten Houses
- Osnaburgh Indian Reserve 63B
- Dog Hole Bay
- Sandy Road
- Bottle Hill
- Poplar Heights Main Reserve
- Trailer Park
The Mishkeegogamang are Ojibways whose tribe are believed to have originated in the Great Lakes region. The tribe might have moved north when European Hudson’s Bay Company traders started establishing interior posts and routes, or possibly beforehand. Their arrival pushed the previous Cree occupants farther northward.
Mishkeegogamang First Nation’s Junior Canadian Ranger (JCR) patrol has been named this year’s best Junior Ranger patrol in Ontario.
The announcement was made at Camp Loon 2019, making Mishkeegogamang the first JCR patrol to win the coveted trophy twice. Its earlier win was in 2014.
The patrol consists of JCRs from Mishkeegogamang and the nearby town of Sioux Lookout as well as from Ojibway Nation of Saugeen. A dedicated group of drivers transports the JCRs to meetings, training exercises, and events.
The Junior Canadian Rangers is a Canadian Army program for boys and girls aged 12 to 18 across Canada’s North. There are more than 1,000 JCRs in 27 First Nations across the Far North of Ontario. Camp Loon is an advanced training camp for JCRs held annually in the bush north of Geraldton
As the Hudson’s Bay Company sought to establish interior trading posts to compete with rival companies, it sent John Best along the Albany River to scout locations for such a post. He chose a spot near the northeast end of Lake St. Joseph and called the post Osnaburgh House ( ). The house itself survived for around 200 years, later giving its name to the settlement of Osnaburgh ( ) and postal code of P0V 2H0, which lay directly across the lake from the house. The house was abandoned in 1963, after which it fell into ruin. Since the 1980s, the site (which is not inside the boundaries of the first nation) has been the Old Post Lodge fishing camp.
In 1905, the Government of Canada sent commissioners to the area to attain the land for the Crown. Treaty 9 between them and the Mishkeegogamang (among other groups) set aside two pieces of land for reserves (Osnaburgh 63A and 63B) with the promise that the people would not necessarily have to live on the reserves and would have full use of all of their traditional lands. The tribe was formalised at this time with chosen as the first chief and a band and council system was instituted.
The completion of Highway 599 in 1954 from Savant Lake to an earlier mine road brought great social change to the Mishkeegogamang. The highway was several kilometres from Osnaburgh village (in Osnaburgh 63A), so the government encouraged people to move a new village, New Osnaburgh ( ), on Doghole Lake (Osnaburgh 63B) which today is the Main Reserve.
On 15 November 1993, the Band Council changed the name of the group from Osnaburgh First Nation to its current name.
Mishkeegogamang First Nation is governed by a Chief (David Masakeyash) and five councillors (Brenda Fox, Laureen Wassaykeesic, Michael Bottle, Maxine Skunk and Munzeroy Roundhead), who were all elected on August 8, 2017. The Council meets at the Council Building in . Mishkeegogamang is not affiliated with any tribal organization, but is associated with Nishnawbe Aski Nation lobby group.
The area is in the Kenora federal riding and the Kiiwetinoong provincial electoral district. Kiiwetinoong has a population of 32,987 and means “North” in Ojibwe. Kiiwetinoong is 68 percent indigenous.
- “History”. Mishkeegogamang First Nation. 2010. Retrieved 2004-02-15.
- “History”. Old Post Lodge. 2013. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
- “Mishkeegogamang and its People”. Mishkeegogamang First Nation. 2010. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
- “Administration”. Mishkeegogamang First Nation. 2010. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
- “Police”. Mishkeegogamang First Nation. 2010. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
- AANDC profile
- 052O01 Osnaburgh House Topographic Map
- Map of Osnaburgh First Nation
- Map of (old) Osnaburgh in 1959