Ontario P0V 1B0
(807) 537-2315 phone
(807) 537-2336 fax
Chief & Council
Chief Norman Brown
The sun coming up in the horizon at dawn, the river flowing ever so gently, the trees standing tall and grass from Mother Earth. Once can hear the words of the Treaty Commissioner promising that the Queen will forever take care of here children. "As long as the sun shines, as long as the river flows and as long as the grass grows." These words ring out as the ancestors of Wapekeka people gather to sign the Treaty No. 9.
The two standing trees are symbolic of the two reserves that make up Wapekeka First Nation. The river and the lake are the life line for the very existence of the Wapekeka people. The land on both sides of the river is the traditional land that is used for the survival of the people.
The sun is the most important symbol, as it is a reminder of the relationship between the people and the Creator. The lines from the sun stretches out to the four direction, which represent the North, East, West and South. It is also a life giving force.
Wapekeka First Nation
Wapekeka First Nation consists of two Reserves with two Addendums in 1996 and 1997. Wapekeka First Nation Reserves is located 26 km (16 miles) Northwest of Big Trout Lake and 451 km ( 282 Miles) Northeast of Sioux Lookout. The latitude and longitude of the reserve is 53 N49' and 89 W22'.The reserve size is 5,566 hectares or 23 square miles with an additional 44 hectares added in 1996 and 1997 and Claim of additional 20 square miles. The community is accessible year round since The Ministry of Transportation constructed a 1070 x 30 m airstrip in 1991. Bearskin Airlines and Wasaya Airlines makes regular scheduled flights into the community at least 3 times a day, Monday to Friday and once on Saturdays. No scheduled flights on Sunday.
Wapekeka community year-round population is 363 and the breakdown is as follows.
(i) 341 Registered as of April, 1999.
(ii) 22 Non-First Nation Members. 363 Community Members * Note: There are Thirty - five (35) registered Wapekeka members who reside off-reserve.
The main language spoken in Wapekeka represents a mixture of Cree and Ojibway (Oji-Cree). As in most northen communities, the younger people along with a portion of the older residents speak English comfortably as a Second Language.
The major means of local transportation are motorized vehicles such as trucks, cars, and four wheelers as there are developed roads connecting between the airport, medical clinic, school and other facilities. Primarily, the transportation is on foot during summer and by snowmobiles during winter.
Wapekeka has the following communication services:
1. Wawaytay Radio System, as well as one local F.M. Radio System operated by a Station Manager and community voluntees,
2. Bell Canada Telephone System linked by Satellite provides community telephone service which operates within the Big Trout Lake exchange.
The community has a Cable Television System which transmits 16 channels for the homes. TV Ontario has a satellite in the community which can be used for Wawatay T.V. transmissions. Radio: Sakakwa Radio Station receives radio transmissions from Wawatay Native Communications Society which transmits in different programs from Alberta Northwest Territories and own W.N.C.S. programs. Sakawa Radio Station operates on irregular basis and is operated by a Manager & Board of Directors. Bell Canada provide a Telephone Communication Linkage to the community through the switching station in Big Trout Lake. Wasaya Airways provides a weekly mail service for the community as part of an Agreement between the Canada Post Corporation and Wapekeka First Nation. This is usually done on Wednesdays. The community operates the Post Office which employs one First Nation member on a part time basis. The Post Office provides any services that are usually equipped as those in urban centre.
Ontario Hydro supplies electricity in Wapekeka. The system was completed in 1991. Therefore, most homes have electricity. Major source of heating comes from wood burning stoves, Band Office, School, Nursing Station, Community Centre, M.T.O. Building, teacherages, Educational Offices and Hostel are equipped with fuel oil burning furnaces.The community has a complete water and sewer system. The system provides treated water to the School, Teacherages, Nursing Station and Nurse's residence, and most of the community. Water and sewage system was completed in December of 1999.
Wapekeka has experienced and qualified fire fighters, who have to be recertified every year by the Ministry of Natural Resources.
The Wapekeka First Nation employs two First Nations Constables through the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service who oversees the police protection of the community. They also enforce the First Nation By-Laws and Provincial Statutes that are applicable in the community. Provincial Court is held in the community every six months and the Justice of the Peace comes in every three months.
Please refer to Health Services of First Nation employees. Wapekeka Health Centre was built in 1991 and it consists of 3 Treatment/examination rooms, holding room, waiting room, N.N.A.D.A.P. Office, Mental Health Office, Child and Family Services Office, Health Director Office, Resource Team Coordinator Office, Nurses Office, Public Health room, two bedrooms, kitchen/dining room, and storage/janitorial rooms. Presently there are two registered Nurses and they reside at the Nurses Residence. The Health Centre is operated by the Health Council. The Health Council is a committee consisting of community members who provide direction, support, guidelines and procedures. The Council is accountable to the First Nation Council.
The Reverend Eleazar Winter Memorial School was constructed in 1990. It consists of four classrooms, a multi-purpose room, a library/resource room, a principals office, staff room. The school is operated by the Wapekeka First Nation under the Wapekeka Education Authority. The Wapekeka Education Authority is a Committee consisting of Community members who provide guidelines, rules and procedures for the school. This committee is accountable to the First Nation Council. Education is provided from Jr. Kindergarten to Eight and Grade Nine is offered to students who are not ready to leave the community. Distance Education is also provide through N.N.E.C.'s Wahsa Program. The school and the community are connected to the internet through the SchoolNet program.
Students have to leave the community in order to attend Secondary School. Post Secondary: There is no Post Secondary program.Students have to leave the community in order to advance their education to Sioux Lookout, Thunder Bay, etc.
Wapekeka has and Anglican Church (St.Paul's), in the summer of 1985 the residents completed a construction of a new church. Church services are held every Sunday and sometimes during weekdays. There is also a Parish Hall where the Senior Citizen Complex residents usually go for Church services. Priest(s): The Ven. Ananias Winter is an ordained Minister under the Anglican Church of Canada. Full Gospel Youth Ministry Church was completed last summer. They provide church services and hold tent meetings. Wapekeka Assembly Church was completed 3 years ago. The Pastors are Nellie Nothing, Moses Nothing, Rodney Winter, Mary Anderson, Edward Anderson and Henry Roundsky. They provide church services 3 times a week. They also hold annual tent meetings.
There is a Community Store which stocks mainly canned food, dry goods, hardware, major appliances and other merchandise that can be specially ordered for a customer.
One of the Wapekeka Resident's is currently operating a convenience store which sells confectioneries, groceries and smaller merchandise but sometimes there are individual orders.
Wapekeka Band has a hostel for persons who want to stay for a period of time under similar hotel rates. In the Small Business Centre there will be a hotel, restaurant, laundromat, post office and the community store.