North Spirit Lake First Nation

North Spirit Lake First Nation

Memekweseo Sakahekan also known as North Spirit Lake First Nation is a small community which is located on North Spirit Lake. Our community was established as a gathering place for the Crane Clan long before the newcomers landed in North America. North Spirit Lake is historically one of the favourite destinations for our people in the surrounding communities in sync with the nomadic lifestyle and with the original habitants of this community. Historically, North Spirit Lake was a trapline for the late James Linklater and his family, along with a non native trapper named Allen Mcdonald. Allen later opened a trading post and conducted a fur trade with the people. On June 9, 1910, and adhesion to Treaty #5 was signed and North Spirit Lake people were amongst the treaty signatories and we became part of the Deer Lake Band. Prior to the treaty signing Memekweseo Sakahekan was known as Cliff Dweller Lake. A Cliff Dweller was a being "that had no nose, a hairy face and they are said to paddle stone canoes".The name "cliff dweller" came from the strong Shamanic spirituality that the Anishinabe people believed in. All the elements of life had a special significance for the people at North Spirit Lake. The cliff dweller was a being that was respected by the Anishinabe.

North Spirit Lake First Nation is a remote community situated on North Spirit Lake, approximately 175 kilometres north of Red Lake in Northwestern Ontario. The reserve is just over 1,815 hectares. The community is part of Keewaytinook Okimakanak First Nations Council and Nishnawbe-Aski Nation. It is accessible by air and seasonally by ice road. At 2009, North Spirit Lake had 461 people registered as band members with Indian Affairs and approximately 417 live on reserve. The community was originally part of Deer Lake Band until June 12, 1985, when North Spirit Lake obtained reserve status. The first Chief was Stanley Rae, of a community speaking Ojicree. Today the community provides services such as a school, nursing station, airport, and a grocery store. The main airlines that travel into North Spirit Lake are Wasaya (Red Lake) and Northway (Winnipeg). Some people still maintain some cultural activities such as hunting and fishing. Most people have become accustomed to living in the community and its services, which are lacking in many areas.


Chief – Rita Thompson Deputy Chief – Cameron Rae Councilor – Jimmy Rae Councilor – Jake Kakekagumick Councilor – Margaret Kakegamic

Administration / Band Office
Health Department
Nursing Station
Economic Development Corporation
Community Events
Other Past Times
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