Getting To Know The Community of Fort Hope, Ontario. (Eabametoong First Nation)

Getting To Know The Community of Fort Hope, NW Ontario. (Eabametoong First Nation)

the flag of fort hope

arial view of fort hope

Link to the communities main page 

Link to video and article links about Fort Hope

Pictures of Eabametoong First Nation. (Fort Hope)

The Churches of Eabametoong First Nation

The History of Eabametoong First Nation

street grid in Fort Hope streets and stop sign good map simple

Eabametoong, also known as Fort Hope, is an Ojibway First Nation in Kenora DistrictOntarioCanada. Located on the shore of Eabamet Lake in the Albany River system, the community is located approximately 300 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay and is accessible only byairplane to Fort Hope Airport or water, or by winter/ice roads, which connect the community to the Northern Ontario Resource Trail.

Eabametoong is policed by the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service, an Aboriginal based service.

The Indian reserve is completely surrounded by territory of the Unorganized Kenora District.

The following information is paraphrased from the Eabametoong First Nation web site:

Eabametoong came to be during the fur trade era when the Hudson’s Bay Company set up a trading post by Eabamet lake in 1890. Canoe was used as the main source of transportation so the post had to be near water. The Fort Hope Band came into existence in 1905 when the treaty was signed by 500 people. The new community of Eabametoong started in 1982 with the official name of Eabametoong First Nation being adopted in 1985.

The name Eabametoong has a significant meaning in the Anishinaabe language; the name means, “the reversing of the waterplace.” The water flow from Eabamet lake into the Albany River reverses each year, resulting from runoff water, such that water flows into Eabamet lake from the Albany River for a short period of time. The main draw for the people of Eabametoong before the fur trade was the multitudes of various fish including: sturgeon, walleye and whitefish which still inhabit the waters today.

On October 23, 2010, Chief Lewis Nate declared a state of emergency because of excessive community violence and crime, including the attempted arson of the reserve’s only school. Since January, 2010, there had been three confirmed homicides and approximately 50 incidents of arson in the community.As of mid-2012 there have been no further arsons. Speculation from the local police force suggested prescription drug abuse amongst the youth was fueling the violence.

About Eabametoong First Nation

Our spectacular scenery and natural resources in our territory have sustained our people and way of life for centuries through fishing, hunting and gathering food. We are proud of our heritage and community values. We thrive on a communal lifestyle that respects the wisdom of our elders.

Through the might of our First Nation we continue to evolve in the planning and development of our rich natural resources that will benefit our people and enable the kind of capacity-building that will help to build a strong and self-sufficient Eabametoong First Nation.

Reserve Population

As of 2007 the total membership of the Eabametoong First Nation is 2190 Indian registry. Approximately 1300 members live on-reserve and 890 members live off-reserve. Total population living on reserve does not include non-band members (i.e. teachers, nurses, and people from other reserves).


The Ojibway language (spoken and written) is the working language used by the mature population while English (spoken and written) is predominant as the working language with the younger generation.


Tribal Council: Matawa First Nations Management

Provincial Territorial Organization: Nishnawbe-Aski Nation


Eabametoong First Nation Reserve (Fort Hope) is located 350 miles north of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Eabametoong is located on the north shore of Eabamet Lake, which is part of the Albany River drainage basin. The community is situated at 51’N32′ latitude and 87’W55′ longitude.Our community is accessible only by air or water in the summertime. During the winter months (when the lakes freeze) a temporary winter road can be used, which can be treacherous at best.
Eabametoong (Fort Hope)
Eabametoong is the traditional name of Fort Hope which means “Where the flow of the river reverses”. Each year due to water runoff, the water at Eabamet narrows which flows into the Albany River, reverses the flow back into Eabamet Lake for a short period of time. Before the fur trade, the people of Eabametoong lived at Eabamet Lake in seasonal locations because of the abundance of fish such as sturgeon, walleye, and whitefish. When the fur trading post and the missions were built, more people were drawn to take up residence close to the “Fort Hope” site. In 1905, when the treaty was signed at Fort Hope, the Fort Hope Band and the Fort Hope Indian Reserve came into existence. At the time of the treaty signing, 500 people signed on. The new community of Eabametoong was started in 1982. The official name, “Eabametoong First Nation” and flag were adopted in 1985.
Fort Hope (Eabametoong)
The name Fort Hope comes from long ago when the fur trade was booming in northern Ontario. The Hudson Bay Company built a trading post by the lake because the main form of transport was by canoe. This was back in the year 1890. The trading post was abandoned in the 1960’s but later, a new store was built on reserve overlooking the lake. Regrettably, nothing remains of the old trading post. Two churches were built at the old bay site, the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England. The original churches are still standing and the cemetery is still used today. The site referred to as “Old Bay” or “Old Fort Hope” is 6 km southwest of the reserve across Eabamet lake. For more on Eabametoong (Fort Hope) visit their web site here.


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