Sagkeeng First Nation

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The Sagkeeng First Nation is an Anishinabe First Nation which holds territory east of Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada 120 kilometers north of Winnipeg coordinates: 50°36′32″N 96°17′44″W. The Sagkeeng Ojibway people are direct descendants of the Anishinabe tribes that migrated from one of the oldest settlements in North America in the Ontario Sault Ste. Marie area during the 1700s. Sagkeeng, which was once called Fort Alexander, has a total population of approximately 7,600 registered band members with more than 1/2 of members living off reserve. The name "Sagkeeng" is derived from the Ojibwe word Zaagiing meaning "at the outlet". The Reserve is located on both North and South shores "at the outlet" of the Winnipeg River and lies adjacent to the northern border of the Rural Municipality of Alexander, which also borders the Town of Power view-Pine Falls. The territory of Sagkeeng/Fort Alexander Reserve #3 originally, was to have commenced one mile upstream from the Fort Alexander trading post occupied by the Hudson’s Bay Company. INAC files indicate the Chief and Council requested it be moved to its present location. Had the boundaries not been moved the eastern boundary would have taken in all of Power-view and St. George. The Manitoba Hydro Generating Station would also have been within this boundary.

There is few hundred-year history trading of the Anishinabe Peoples and European immigrant explorer/traders in the area. In 1732 during the fur trading era La Vérendrye's built a trading post on the north side of Winnipeg river, calling it Fort Maurepas north of Selkirk, Manitoba. Later in 1792, the North West Company built a post on the south side of the River near Lake Winnipeg sometimes called Fort Bas de la Rivière. In 1807, the Hudson Bay Company built Fort Alexander to further facilitate trade with the natives in the area. The Fort was named after Alexander McKay a Northwest Company partner. This then became the site of Fort Alexander when the North West Company and the Hudson Bay Company merged.

Sagkeeng has the distinction OF having THE MOST MISSING AND MURDERED indigenous Women in CANADA!

Recently of note is dance group Sagkeeng's Finest who are Vincent O’Laney 17 yo, and brothers Dallas Courchene 16 yo, and Brandon Courchene 18 yo, beat a total of 244 other acts and won the 2012 1st and only season of Canada's Got Talent. The trio started with traditional jigging, a 1st Nations tradition, then fused more modern dance styles, like tap dancing, into their act. Because of this new style of dancing the PPL of Canada took to their phones and voted three members of Sagkeeng's 1st Nation winners of the $100,000 first prize, a $105,000 Nissan GT-R sports car, an opportunity to perform during City TV's New Year's Eve special, and the possibility of performing at a venue in Las Vegas. Rogers Media’s Scott Moore said the win for Sagkeeng’s Finest underlined the generosity of Canadians for an underdog that's not supposed to come out on top. “It shows the diversity and the acceptance of Canada,” he insisted.[1][2][3]


Kakakepenaise (Gekeki-binesi, "Hawk-bird", a.k.a. William Mann I) signed Treaty 1 on behalf of the Sagkeeng people in 1871.[4] Although Sagkeeng is a Treaty 1 nation, it is a member of the Grand Council of Treaty 3 which means it belongs to two treaty territories. Grand Council of Treaty 3 (GCT3) is a political organization representing 24 First Nation communities across Treaty 3 areas of northern Ontario and southeastern Manitoba, Canada, and additional 4 First Nations in specific regards to their Treaty rights.

Community Elders speak about "five original families" at the signing of the treaty. Other families were mixed-blood Metis (French and Anishinabe) who became part of the Treaty three years after the original signing. For several decades, the competing Catholic and Anglican churches caused division between the mixed families (Catholic) and the original Treaty families (Anglican). The residential school system left a lasting (to this day) legacy of pain and suffering among the Anishinabe people. Today the churches have less influence in the community, the former rivalries between the full-blooded and mixed-blooded families have mostly been forgotten, the community has embraced their Anishinabe heritage and are continuing to heal from the legacy of the residential school system. OF which the legacy has negatively affected the community for decades after the fact! The Canadian Government owned up to the wrongdoings of the residential schools systems which amounted to cultural GENOCIDE and paid monies to the Anishinabe peoples who were forced to attend these so called schools. The Child and Family Services (CFS) has the SAME effect TODAY as the residential schools of the past. As they work to break up families rather than work with them to keep them together. CFS gives more money to foster parents than is given to the actual parents of the kids taken away. But now Sagkeengs OWN people are working for CFS and doing the harm the schools once did. Thus perpetuating the cycle that began with the residential schools system.

Virginia Fontaine Addictions Foundation Scandal[edit]

Rather than report on how the Virginia Fontaine Addictions Foundation SAVED tax payers millions of dollars and devised a plan on how to run addictions foundations on various reserves through out Canada. On October 18, 2000, Canadian Press organization reported that the Director of the Foundation, Perry Fontaine and 74 other persons attended a cruise to the Caribbean that was termed a "Staff Retreat". The cost of this trip was reported later to be over 135,000 dollars. Health Canada eventually investigated the financial books of the Center and found massive fraud and kickback schemes.

Sagkeeng First Nation now hosts a family treatment center, the Sagkeeng Mino Pimatiziwin Family Treatment Center. The program has been successfully running for a few years. They work with entire families to learn how to work through problems and keep families together.


External links[edit]

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Coordinates: 50°36′23″N 96°17′38″W / 50.60639°N 96.29389°W / 50.60639; -96.29389