Our History

Asubpeeschoseewagong First Nation also known as Grassy Narrows First Nation is an Ojibwa First Nation located 80 km north of Kenora, ON. We have a registered population of approx. 1,511 members of which the on-reserve population was is about 951 members.

Although the Asubpeeschoseewagong people have always lived along the Wabigoon-English River northeast of Lake of the Woods, historians believe that the ancestors of the Northern Ojibway were first encountered by Europeans near what is now Sault Ste. Marie, ON and thus were given the name Saulteaux. Their territory was on the northern shore of the Great Lakes from the Michipicoten Bay of Lake Superior to the Georgian Bay of Lake Huron.

Treaty 3

In 1873 Grassy Narrows First Nation, together with other Ojibway tribes, made a treaty with the Canadian government, The Crown, in the person of Queen Victoria, giving up aboriginal title to a large tract of land in northwestern Ontario and eastern Manitoba, Treaty 3 between Her Majesty the Queen and the Saulteaux Tribe of the Ojibway Indians at the Northwest Angle on the Lake of the Woods with Adhesion’s. In exchange a spacious tract of land, as much as a square mile of land for each family, in a favorable location on the Wabigoon-English River system was reserved for the use of the tribe. Tribal members were allowed to hunt, fish, and trap on unused portions of their former domain; the government undertook to establish schools; and to give ammunition for hunting, twine to make nets, agricultural implements and supplies, and a small amount of money to the tribe. Alcoholic beverages were strictly forbidden.

On the lands they selected under Treaty 3, the old reserve, the cycle of seasonal activities and traditional cultural practices of the Ojibway were followed. The people continued to live in their customary way, each clan living in log cabins in small clearings; often it was half a mile to the nearest neighbor. Each parcel was selected for access to fishing and hunting grounds and for suitability for gardening. The winters were spent trapping for the Hudson’s Bay Company, the summer gardening and harvesting wild blueberries which together with skins were sold for supplies. Potatoes were grown on a community plot. In the Fall, wild rice was harvested from the margins of the rivers and finished for storage. Muskrat were plentiful and trapped for pelts and food. There were deer and moose on the reserve which were hunted for meat and supplemented by fish. Work was available as hunting and fishing guides and cleaning tourist lodges. Whites seldom entered the reserve except for the treaty agent who visited once a year. The only access to the reserve was by canoe or plane. From 1876 to 1969 schooling was at McIntosh Indian Residential School, a residential school in McIntosh, ON.

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