Slate Falls Nation

Slate Falls Nation #259 is an Ojibway First Nation in Treaty 9, with the federal government officially recognizing its reserve status in 2018 however, the founding members of the community established themselves in the area since 1930.  Slate Falls Nation is located on North Bamaji Lake approximately 122 kilometers north of Sioux Lookout and is accessible by float plane in the summer months, ski plane in the winter months and wheel aircraft all seasons.  Slate Falls Nation is also accessible by one all-weather road.

The approximate population on reserve is 185, and total band membership is approximately 289.

A Brief History

  • By 1930, Members of Slate Falls Nation establish themselves in the area.

  • 1930-1985, The members of Slate Falls Nation are members of Mishkeegogamang First Nation.

  • 1970s, Fishing lodges and a camp were started by a local person from Sioux Lookout.  He had a good relationship with the community.  Since the lake he used belonged to Slate Falls, an agreement was struck between them.

  • 1985, Slate Falls Nation was one of six new First Nations established under "Six Nishnawbe Aski Bands Agreement" between the Government of Ontario and the six Northwestern Ontario Bands.  Slate Falls is established as a Nation along with its membership.  The federal government did not, however, recognize the reserve.

  • 1987-1988, The Band gains control of the First Nation education (previously the school was part of a provincial school board).

  • September 1997, Opening of the Bimaychikamah School.

  • 2000, Slate Falls Nation got full ownership of the lodge and charter service, which services Slate Falls Nation, the fishing camps and other locations.

  • 2003, Funding and construction of the all-weather road is announced.

  • 2012-2013, The land claim settlement tied to the flooding of Lake St.Joe in the 1930s is concluded with Hydro Ontario, the government of Ontario and the Government of Canada.

  • 2015, Construction of the community Arena is completed.

  • 2017, The new water treatment plant opens.

  • 2018, After years of advocacy and negotiations, the federal government officially recognizes the reserve status of Slate Falls Nation.

Life in the community consists of sports such as broomball, hockey and baseball throughout the year. Many of the youth play minor organized sports in Sioux Lookout and their parents drive them to games and practices.  Our mission is a big part of the community, hosting ladies nights, children's activities, bible study and church service at the Mennonite Church.  Furthermore, the Health Department is active in holding community events such as fishing derbies and square dancing, sports and crafting opportunities throughout the year for all members.  Lastly, Slate Falls Nation is enriched in its traditions, and many members in the community actively hunt, fish, and trap all year.