Getting to know the First Nation community of Bearskin Lake, NW Ontario

Getting to know the First Nation community of Bearskin Lake, NW Ontario

Not to be confused with Bear Lake WI or Bear Lake MN or Great Bear Lake NW Territories

Link to the “communities” page

Familial ties with Muskrat Dam

bearskin lake emblem

map of bearskin lake250px-Bearskin_Lake

arial view of bearskin lake

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Aerial view of Bearskin Lake First Nation on Michikan Lake

Bearskin Lake First Nation is an Oji-Cree First Nation in the Canadian province of Ontario, located in the Kenora District 425 kilometres north of Sioux Lookout. Bearskin First Nation’s total registered population in September, 2007, was 831, of which their on-reserve population was 423.

Three settlements make up the Bearskin Lake First Nation. Originally located on Bearskin Lake, their main community moved to its present site on Michikan (Fish Trap) Lake in the 1930s. Their main settlement, located on Michikan Lake is accessible only by air or winter road. The main village is situated on the west shore of the lake and all three communities are tied to one another by all weather gravel roads. The First Nation still retains the 12,626.3 ha

Prior to achieving full Band and reserve status in 1975, Bearskin was a satellite community of the Big Trout Lake First Nation. Today, Bearskin Lake First Nation is a member of the Windigo First Nations Council, a regional tribal council that is a member of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation.

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

Bearskin lake population studies

Info about Bearskin Lake NW Ontario (2008)


Bearskin Lake First Nation P. O. Box 25 BEARSKIN LAKE, Ontario POV 1E0

Utilities Bearskin Lake

Water – separate water pressure system for the school, The Bay store and the nursing station; also four community wells

Sewage – separate septic systems for the school and the nursing station

other waste – landfill site on reserve

energy/electricity – three diesel generators operated by Ontario Hydro serve the entire community

 Community Services and Facilities Bearskin Lake

Some firefighting equipment available on reserve one Anglican, one Mennonite and one United church library, outdoor skating rink, baseball field, community hall

Nursing station with two nurses and two Community Health Representatives. Access to Sioux Lookout Zone Hospital. Child and Family Services worker provided through Tikinagan Child and Family Services in Sioux Lookout. Ontario First Nations Policing Arrangements — one full-time and one part time constable.

Educational Facilities Bearskin Lake


Michikan Day School, K-8 (First Nation Operated)


students board in Sioux Lookout and other communities

WAHSA Distance Education Program (secondary education from Sioux Lookout via Wawatay radio)

Industries Bearskin Lake

Trapping, fishing and forestry are principal occupations. Local industries include: co-op store, The Bay store, corner store, pool hall, trucking business, t-shirt business, craft shop, carpentry shop, garage, coffee shop / restaurant, and stores and financial institutions in Sioux Lookout.

Historical Notes Bearskin Lake

The Bearskin Lake reserve is within the boundaries of the territory described by the James Bay Treaty of 1905 — Treaty No. 9. Originally located on Bearskin Lake, the community moved to its present site on Michikan (Fish Trap) Lake in the 1930’s. Prior to achieving full Band and reserve status in 1975, Bearskin was a satellite community of the Big Trout Lake Band.

Bearskin Lake a city compared to Summer Beaver

Well thought you might want an update on wazzup. Not a whole lot yet, took me two weeks to settle into Summer Beaver so I don’t expect too much at this point. Staff here are great. This is a three nurse station, Summer Beaver was a two nurse station. The station itself is much newer than the last one and as you can see from the pics of the room I am staying….. a step up. The clinic again was slow but guess that is the way it goes up here feast or famine.

It was OK today as I am just trying to find things anyway. Took a walk into town and I can notice an immediate difference. It is certainly more updated. They have two large stores, both carry groceries and one carries many other supplies including electronics. The prices are still high but gas is only 1.49 per litre. There are many more cars and trucks on the road here. The houses are newer, still run down but really much better than Summer Beaver. I really did not go to far tonight as I had some other things to do but have lots of time to explore a bit. Not sure I will ever find a piece of property like the one in Summer Beaver. My first patient today is a 23 year old who has an addiction to Oxycontin. He is trying to quit and was here for some additional support. The nurse in charge at the station told me that alcohol is not a problem on this reserve it is drugs. I am sure I will learn more about the people here but I am told every reserve is different. Our station is sitting very close to the lake and there is a path to the lake so I think I will take a walk tomorrow night and scout it out. I wish Elijah was here I am sure we would test our luck with the fish.

You may be wondering why I took the pics of the food above. Just wanted you to see how expensive things are and most stuff does not look fresh as from the rotting oranges. The grapes cost 12.61 and the corn on the cob was 1.25 per ear. But more food in this store that is for sure. Well have to scoot homework tonight and may get to bed at a decent time. Talk soon.

Videos of Bearskin Lake First Nations

Bearskin movie 2008  (8 min) National Aboriginal Addictions Awareness Week. interviewing some young people and Reggie Leach, hockey player, spoke.


Praise Fest 2014 (1:29 min) Band singing a praise songs.

 James and Deborah McDonald singing Gospel (2011 Camp meeting)

Bernard and Samantha Mekanak singing gospel (2011 camp meeting)

Community life

Kids swinging in the woods (2010) 10 minutes.  The are having some great fun.

Community Square Dance 2011. (3:42 min)


Mickigan ladies hockey (4 min) in the community arena 2010

Wrestling (10 min) 2015


Bearskin lake, exploring; hunting; hiking with a Go-pro. 2014 (6 min)

 Music concerts

239 Band (5 min) Singing on stage. 2014.

wolf claw areal map 2 of bearskin lake areal map 3 of bearskin lake areal map of beaskin lake boat launch cemetery church cooking in teepee dog by truck feast fire house fish at culvert food boiling house inside a teepee Map-of-Bearskin-Lake-First-Nation-300x225 police badge power generators puppy school snow on shore sunset teepees


blue map

nuring station in bearkskin lake


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