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Fishing Lake First Nation

Get to Know Us

Fishing Lake First Nation is an Anishnabe Nation in the Treaty 4 territory.  

Pre Contact

The Saulteaux Peoples are a branch of the Ojibway Nations (Nahkawininwak).  Saulteaux comes from the French word saulteurs or "people of the rapids."  This refers to their original territories around Sault Saint Marie where French fur traders and the Ojibway met to trade in the late 17th century.  

Ojibway peoples refer to themselves as Anishnabe which translates to "original people."  Literally it means "from whenc he was lowered", suggesting that the Anishnabe peoples were placed on Mother Earth by the Creator as an original people.  

Signing The Treaties

It was Chief Yellow Quill who took action during the 1860s, when the colonizers forced their way to what is now Manitoba. That happened after the 1862 Minnesota Indian War in which Ojibwa soldiers attacked that part of Red River Colony, located in what is now Minnesota and North Dakota. Chief Yellow Quill stationed many Ojibwa soldiers at Portage la Prairie to prevent any colonizers, Inuit, and metis, from expanding west. He did so to prepare for a fair Treaty. Those Treaty negotiations were conducted during the late 1860s. It became formal on August 3, 1871 and August 21, 1871, when Treaties 1 and 2 became official. Treaty 2 was an adhesion

to Treaty 1. All numbered treaties are adhesions to Treaty 1. In 1875, Treaty adhesions were signed in response to white lies. That treaty is known as Treaty 4.

Fishing Lake First Nation is Established

Chief Yellow Quill was an important Ojibway leader during those times. He along with his sub-chiefs including chief Kinistin, acted on behalf of the Saulteaux Ojibwa. Chief Kinistin led many Ojibwa north to the caribou lands of the Chipewyan. Chief Yellow Quill may have been from northwestern Ontario or where the Ojibway Wa-ba-seem-ong First Nation is located. Their main community is located along Swan Lakes' shores.


In the early and mid-1870s, the Plains Ojibwa’s of southern Manitoba were not getting along which agitated Ojibway leaders. Among them were chief O-zah-wah-sko-gwan-na-be and his councilor (headman) chief Kinistin. They commenced an exodus into the Qu' Appelle Valley of Saskatchewan. The colonizers did not like it. They had to negotiate with chief O-zah-wah-sko-gwan-na-be once again. Chief Yellow Quill signed an adhesion to treaty 4 which established the Fishing Lake and Nut Lake First Nations of Saskatchewan. However, chief O-zah-wah-sko-gwan-na-be was very aware of the discontent many of the Plains Ojibwa’s of Manitoba and Saskatchewan were feeling and instructed Chief Kinistin to commence yet another Ojibway exodus to the north and the west.  In 1885, chief Kinistin commenced the Ojibway exodus north into the caribou country of the Dene. That is well north of present-day Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, and Flin Flon, Manitoba.

© 2024 Fishing Lake First Nation

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