Sagkeeng First Nation

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The Sagkeeng First Nation is an Anishinaabe First Nation which holds territory east of Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada. Sagkeeng, which was once called Fort Alexander, has an on-reserve population of approximately 3,300 people. Ojibwe is the name of the tribe that lives in Sagkeeng. The name "Sagkeeng" is derived from the Ojibwe word zaagiing meaning "at the outlet". The reserve lies adjacent to the northern border of the Rural Municipality of Alexander, and also borders the Town of Powerview-Pine Falls.

There is a long history of the aboriginal people and white explorers/traders in the area. The La Vérendrye's built two forts named Fort Maurepas. The first was north of Selkirk, Manitoba and the second, and more permanent one, on the north side of the Winnipeg River near Lake Winnipeg. Later, on the southside, there was a North West Company fort sometimes called Fort Bas de la Rivière. In 1807 the North West Company built a new fort which became known as Fort Alexander.

Recently of note is dance group Sagkeeng's Finest, winners of the first season of Canada's Got Talent.[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.

Community Elders speak about "five original families" at the signing of the treaty. Other families were mixed-blood Metis (French and Anishinaabe) 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). Today the churches have less influence in the community, the former rivalries between the full-blooded and mixed families have mostly been forgotten, and the community has embraced their Anishinaabe heritage.

Virginia Fontaine Addictions Foundation Scandal[edit]

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 centre, the Sagkeeng Mino Pimatiziwin Family Treatment Centre. The program has been successfully running for a few years.


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