Fort Albany First Nation

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Fort Albany 67
Fort Albany Indian Reserve No. 67
Fort Albany 67 is located in Ontario
Fort Albany 67
Fort Albany 67
Coordinates: 52°20′N 81°46′W / 52.333°N 81.767°W / 52.333; -81.767Coordinates: 52°20′N 81°46′W / 52.333°N 81.767°W / 52.333; -81.767
CountryCanada
ProvinceOntario
DistrictsCochrane, Kenora
First NationsFort Albany, Kashechewan
Area
 • Land362.93 km2 (140.13 sq mi)
Population
 (2011)[1][2]
 • Total2,031
 • Density5.6/km2 (15/sq mi)
Fort Albany, 1886

Fort Albany First Nation is a Cree First Nation reserve in Cochrane District in Northeastern Ontario, Canada. Situated on the southern shore of the Albany River, Fort Albany First Nation is accessible only by air, water, or by winter road.

The community is policed by the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service, an Aboriginal-based service. It shares the Fort Albany 67 Indian Reserve with the Kashechewan First Nation. Fort Albany First Nation controls the Fort Albany Indian Settlement on the south shore of the Albany River, and the Kashechewan First Nation controls the Kashechewan Indian Settlement directly across the river.

Fort Albany was established in the seventeenth century (sometime before 1682) as one of the oldest and most important of Hudson's Bay Company posts. It was also involved in Anglo-French tensions leading to the Battle of Fort Albany in 1688. The current community is not the site of the old post, which was re-located several times including on Anderson Island, Albany Island (c.1721) and a location just northeast of the current community. The last trading post was closed up around the 1950s. All the post sites have disappeared and naturalized, leaving no trace of their former use.

Accessibility[edit]

The community of Fort Albany is accessible by air, water, and the winter road. The winter road is used only during the months of early or late January to early or late March, depending on the weather conditions. Air Creebec provides Fort Albany with daily passenger flights, with connecting flights to Toronto, Montreal and/or other points of travel. These arrangements are done in Timmins on Air Creebec, Air Canada, Thunder Airlines, or Bearskin Airlines.

Fort Albany is also accessible via the waters of James Bay and the Albany River. Moosonee Transportation Limited provides barge service, carrying supplies at least once or twice each summer by traveling up and down the coast to each community. Freighter canoes can travel from Fort Albany to Calstock and return whenever the water levels are sufficient to make river travel possible.

During the summer months, the people use outboard motors and canoes for other activities, such as hunting, trapping, and fishing. During the winter months, skidoos are the main transportation around the community. There are pick-up trucks, vans, and all-terrain vehicles owed by both businesses and individuals.

The winter road was completed in the early spring of 1974. It is also used extensively during the winter months. This road is maintained by contractors. The road links all the surrounding communities, such as Attawapiskat, Moosonee, Moose Factory, and Kashechewan. Feasibility studies have recently been undertaken on construction of a permanent all-season road to the communities.[3] The project, if undertaken, will entail a "coastal road" connecting the four communities with each other, as well as a road to link the coastal road to the provincial highway system at Fraserdale, Kapuskasing or Hearst.[4]

Aviation[edit]

Air Creebec transports passengers and provides freight services through Fort Albany Airport. The present passenger rate is $921.90 for an adult return trip to Timmins. These rates increase on an annual basis. Seat sales are available, which are less expensive than the regular fare price. The seat sales have to be booked ten (10) days in advance. Air Creebec also provides charter flights when required.

Thunder Airlines transports mail and provides daily passenger service and freight services.

Air Creebec handles the Patient Transportation up the coastal communities on a daily basis, Mondays to Fridays. These flights are intended only for hospital patients requiring out of the community hospital care. Other private small airlines, like Thunder Air and Wabusk Air, also provide charter services, which sometimes are cheaper than a regular flight on Air Creebec.

Climate[edit]

Fort Albany has a subarctic climate (Köppen Climate Classification Dfc) with mild summers and severely cold winters.[5] This is characterised by a yearly mean temperature below the freezing point at −2 °C (28 °F). There are very short transitional periods. Fort Albany's climate becomes colder after the bay freezes over. During summer, temperatures reach an average high of 22 °C (71.6 °F). However, October temperatures are relatively mild, on average six degrees milder than April. The annual precipitation rate averages 569 millimetres (22.4 in), which is noticeably higher in summer than at other times of the year.[5]

Climate data for Fort Albany
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −15
(5)
−11
(12)
−4
(25)
2
(36)
11
(52)
18
(64)
22
(72)
20
(68)
14
(57)
7
(45)
−1
(30)
−10
(14)
4
(40)
Daily mean °C (°F) −22
(−8)
−19
(−2)
−12
(10)
−3
(27)
5
(41)
11
(52)
15
(59)
14
(57)
9
(48)
3
(37)
−5
(23)
−16
(3)
−2
(29)
Average low °C (°F) −28
(−18)
−27
(−17)
−19
(−2)
−9
(16)
−1
(30)
5
(41)
9
(48)
8
(46)
4
(39)
−1
(30)
−9
(16)
−21
(−6)
−7
(19)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 26
(1.0)
21
(0.8)
18
(0.7)
24
(0.9)
34
(1.3)
82
(3.2)
97
(3.8)
76
(3.0)
74
(2.9)
59
(2.3)
32
(1.3)
28
(1.1)
571
(22.3)
Source: [6]

Economy[edit]

The basic economy of the area is a subsistence allowance. There are seasonal jobs that involve construction work for the major capital projects like the dyke, the new school, and the Mid Canada Line. There are the traditional economic activities like trapping, fishing and hunting. There are a small number of employment opportunities including the Fort Albany First Nation Administration office, Mundo Peetabeck Education authority, Peetabeck Health Services. Fort Albany Power Authority, James Bay General Hospital, Northern Store, Air Creebec, and other small private owned businesses.

The new De Beers Diamond mine in James Bay may also provide many new opportunities.

Services[edit]

Health care in Fort Albany is provided by a 17-bed Fort Albany Hospital staff 24/7 by nursing staff with consultation by doctors with Weeneebayko Area Health Authority as well as transfers to Timmins and Kingston.

In January 2021, the 311-kilometre James Bay Winter Ice Road was under construction, to connect Attawapiskat, Kashechewan, Fort Albany and Moosonee.[7] It opened some time in winter 2021 and was said to accept loads up to 50,000 kilograms in weight. The road is operated by Kimesskanemenow LP, "a limited partnership between the four communities it connects".[8]

Language[edit]

The majority of the population speaks Mushkegowuk Cree. Many men and women, younger and to the age of fifty, are bilingual in Cree and English. Children are taught in Cree and English at an early age. The community consists of quite a mixture of linguistics, with English, French, Cree, Ojibway, and Oji-Cree spoken.

Religion[edit]

The two main forms of spirituality practised in Fort Albany are Christianity (Roman Catholicism) and Cree spirituality.

History[edit]

Hudson's Bay Company Post[edit]

The area was explored by Charles Bayly, the first overseas governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, around 1675, and the original Fort Albany was established in 1679. It was one of the three original Hudson's Bay Company posts on James Bay, the others being Moose Factory on the south shore and Rupert House on the east. The east-flowing Albany River drew furs from as far west as Lake St. Joseph. From there a portage ran west to Lac Seul, the English River, the Winnipeg River and beyond. A north-flowing branch, the Kenogami River led upstream toward Lake Superior at Wawa, Ontario and another branch, the Ogoki River led toward Lake Nipigon.[citation needed]

The original fort was built inland from the mouth of the Albany River, partly for defense, and moved several times. Ships from England had to lay at the river mouth at Albany Roads. In 1683, Henry Sergeant was directed to make it the "chief post" of the Hudson's Bay Company. In 1684 a Monsieur Péré reached the fort from French Canada. He was arrested and his two companions sent to Charlton Island. In 1685, the French built Fort des Français at the juncture of the Albany and Kenogami Rivers to block the indigenous people from coming north to trade with the HBC.[citation needed]

In 1686, all three posts on James Bay (Moose Factory, Rupert House, and Fort Albany) were captured by an overland expedition from Quebec. In 1688 the English sent ships to reestablish their posts but were defeated by French ships that had come to re-supply the forts. In 1693 the English retook the fort and held it thereafter. By the Treaty of Ryswick (1697) Albany was to be returned to the French, but nothing was done until war resumed in 1702. In 1709 the French tried and failed to capture the fort. In 1713 the Treaty of Utrecht gave Hudson and James Bays to the English. Sloops from Albany traded along the east coast until a new post was built on the Eastmain River in 1723-24 and Moose Factory was reestablished in 1730.[citation needed]

In 1743 Henley House was built 160 miles up the Albany. In 1777, Gloucester House was built 243 miles upriver from Henley House and in 1786, Osnaburgh House was built at the outflow of Lake St. Joseph. This westward expansion significantly increased the trade of Fort Albany. In 1793 the Governor of Albany Fort established posts on the Rainy River and Winnipeg River. Posts supplied from the HBC-run Fort Albany competed with North West Company men from Lake Superior and even HBC posts supplied from York Factory, until the union of the two companies in 1821.[9][verification needed]

Fort Albany, 1898

Split with Kashechewan[edit]

Old Fort Albany, which was on an island between the modern day communities of Fort Albany and Kashechewan First Nations, became separated into Anglican and Roman Catholic sections. Subsequently, the Roman Catholic mission and the Roman Catholic portion of the community moved to the current site of modern-day Fort Albany, on the southern shore of the river. The Anglican portion of the community some years later moved to the current site of Kashechewan, on the north shore. Up until the 1970s Fort Albany and Kashechewan shared the same chief and council. In the 1977 they came to have separate Band Councils. Fort Albany and Kashechewan are treated as separate bands, and function as separate bands today. New Fort Albany is mostly a Roman Catholic community, while Kashechewan is mainly Anglican.

Government history[edit]

Chief Factors of Fort Albany[edit]

The Hudson's Bay Company trading post of Fort Albany was run by a Chief Factor, who oversaw the business of the fort. Some of the chief factors are listed below, along with the year of their appointment.

Year of appointment Chief Factor Notes Ref
1728 William Bevan
1730 Joseph Adams
1734 Thomas Bird
1743 Joseph Isbister
1768 Humphrey Martin
1800 John Hodgson [10]
1810 Thomas Vincent [11]

Albany Band Council composition (1909-1977)[edit]

A band council was established for the Fort Albany First Nation, following the Indian Act.

Date of selection Chief Councillors Notes Ref
1909 Andrew Wesley [12]
July 1920 Moses Wesley
  • S. Ruben
  • J. N. Scott
  • J. Spence
  • D. Wesley
[12]
July 1923
  • Patrick Steven[sic]
  • Xavier Spence
  • David Solomon
[12]
July 26, 1926
  • Patrick Stephen[sic]
  • Xavier Spence
  • Xavier Chookomoolin
  • David Solomon
[12]
July 16, 1929 Isiah Nashootaway (Sutherland)
  • Xavier Scott
  • James Sutherland
  • Alex Lazarus
[12]
1933 Moses Wesley [12]
1938 Walter Stephen [12]
July 1947 Simeon Scott
  • James Sutherland
  • James Wesley
  • Willie Stephens
[12]
July 30, 1951
  • Joel Linklater
  • James Sutherland
  • Fred Lazarus
[12]
July 29, 1957 James Wesley
  • Gaius Wesley
  • Simon Koosees
  • Alex Lazarus
[12]
June 17, 1960
  • Simon Koosees
  • Gaius Wesley
  • Alex Lazarus
  • James Sutherland
  • Simeon Metatawbin
  • Louis Nakochee
  • Xavier Sutherland
[12]
August 12, 1964 Abraham Metat[sic]
  • Willie Stephen
  • Gaius Wesley
  • Willie Wesley Sr.
  • Raphael Wheesk
  • Moses Nakogee
  • John Wheesk
  • Xavier Sutherland
[12]
July 28, 1967 James Wesley
  • Simon[sic] Friday
  • Evadney Friday
  • Fred Lazarus
  • Labius Reuben
  • Mary Solomon
  • Willie Stephen
  • David Wynne Jr.
  • Hosea Wynne
  • Joshua Wynne
[12]
August 27, 1969 William Stephen
  • Silas Wesley
  • John A. Wesley
  • Xavier Sutherland
  • Sinclair Wynne
  • Clifford Wesley
  • Alex Goodwin
  • Claudius Hughie
  • James Solomon
  • Lawrence Mark
  • Philip Tookata
  • Abraham Metatawabin[sic]
  • John Nakochee
[12]
June 15, 1971 William Wesley Sr.
  • Silas Wesley
  • John A. Wesley
  • Alex Wesley
  • Philip Hughie
  • Mathias Wynne
  • Fred Lazarus Sr.
  • George Wesley
  • Simon Friday
  • Lawrence Mark
  • Philip Tookata
  • Moses Nakogee
  • Gilbert Solomon
Lawrence Mark resigned January 17, 1972. Moses Nakogee resigned May 16, 1972. [12]
June 15, 1973 John Nakogee
  • Simeon Friday
  • James Wesley
  • Evadney Friday
  • Josephine Wesley
  • Sinclair Wynne
  • Bertie Wynne
  • Fred Lazarus Sr.
  • Sinclair Williams
  • Abraham Wynne
  • Abraham Metat[sic]
  • Peter Sutherland
  • Edmund Metat
[12]
June 24, 1975 Silas Wesley
  • Simeon Friday
  • Alex Goodwin
  • John Wesley
  • George Wesley
  • Bartholomew Sutherland
  • Sinclair Wynne
  • Peter Sackanay
  • Daisy Sackanay
  • Abraham Metatawabin[sic]
  • John Kataquabit
  • Joseph Kataquabit
  • Lawrence Mark
This was the last band council before the official split between the Fort Albany and Kaschechewan First Nations, from 1977 onwards, each community had its own band council. [12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Fort Albany (Part) 67 census profile". 2011 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. 8 February 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Fort Albany (Part) 67 census profile". 2011 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. 8 February 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Ontario's far north one step closer to building all-season road". CBC Sudbury, September 17, 2017.
  4. ^ "All Season Road". Mushkegowuk Council.
  5. ^ a b "Albany, Ontario Kppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)".
  6. ^ "Albany, Ontario". Weatherbase. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  7. ^ "Construction of the James Bay Winter Road underway". Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  8. ^ "THE JAMES BAY WINTER ROAD IS OPEN TO HEAVY LOADS UP TO 50 000 KGS". Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  9. ^ Arthur S Morton,"A History of the Canadian West"
  10. ^ http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/hodgson_john_6E.html, http://www.redriverancestry.ca/HODGSON-JOHN-1763.php, http://southpeacearchives.org/2013/10/17/davis-hodgson/
  11. ^ "John Hodgson (1763-1826)".
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Chiefs and Councillors - Ontario Region" (PDF). Government of Canada Publications: 3–5. November 11, 1993.

External links[edit]