Couchiching First Nation

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Administration building of the Couchiching First Nation

The Couchiching First Nation is a Saulteaux First Nation band government in the Canadian province of Ontario, who live on the Couchiching 16A and Agency 1 reserves in the Rainy River District near Fort Frances.


Ancestors of the Couchiching First Nation were collectively known as Gojijiwininiwag (Couchiching-men) or as Rainy Lake and River Bands of Saulteaux—"couchiching" (gojijiing) being the Ojibwe word meaning "At the Inlet", referring to Rainy Lake known in Ojibwe as Gojiji-zaaga'igan (Inlet Lake).

Originally, members of the Couchiching First Nation resided further west and others were voyageurs from the east until they moved to the Fort Frances area in the late 19th century to avoid the Louis Riel Rebellion. The Department of Indian Affairs then allocated them a tract of land north of the town but this was considered too far from the trading post by the band members. Eventually, they ended up on Little Eagle land and changed it to Couchiching.[citation needed]

The current band chief is Brian Perrault, elected after defeating incumbent Sara Mainville on February 25, 2016. A council of six band members governs the band, but the 2016 election saw Chief Brian Perrault voted in both as the Chief and as a Council member. The council members elect currently sit at five (March 2016 – 2018 terms): David Bruyere, Bill Perrault, Lucille Morrisseau, Patrick Morrisseau, and Dean Bruyere. (Brian Perrault was voted into a Council position, but vacated his Council seat and accepted his election to Chief instead.)[1]


Couchiching First Nations administers over a dozen programs within the reserve.

Wasaw Companies[edit]

Couchiching First Nation had early residences in the Wasaw area north of Frog Creek/Frog Lake and this area was highly regarded in the busy forestry and wild rice harvests in the nineteenth century. After 1909, flooding impacts and expropriation of land for the railway and highway forced the community to move south of Frog Creek and along Sand Bay (south of Highway 11 east of Fort Frances). The Wasaw companies include Wasaw Business Enterprises, Wasaw Project Inc., Wasaw Construction Ltd., Wasaw Developments, and Wasaw Food Services, Inc. These companies are meant to create own source revenue for the community in order to build an economic base for the community.

Wasaw (waasa) in the Ojibwe, the language of Couchiching, means "Far".[2]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°40′55″N 93°24′40″W / 48.68194°N 93.41111°W / 48.68194; -93.41111