Sandy Lake First Nation

Sachigo Lake First Nation

As late as 1897, "Big" Sandy Lake was considered "as inaccessible as the North Pole". It was an area distant from main trade routes, the closest Hudson Bay posts were located at Island Lake to the west and at Big Trout Lake to the east. This vast expanse of lakes and forests were the hunting grounds of the Little Suckers (referring to a type of fish) and Crane Clans, the ancestors of most of the Sandy Lake and Deer Lake people.In the last decades of the 1800's, the leading man of the Little Suckers was the famous Jake Fiddler, or 'South Wind'.


Jake Fiddler was a great medicine man, conjurer and healer of the people. It is known he visited the May-May-quay-shi-wok in the rock cliffs. He cured the whitefish in South Trout of worms and once he brought back the sturgeon to Cobham Falls. The leading man of the Cranes was Papmekeesikquap at this time.When Jake Fiddler died in 1907, his son Robert Fiddler became Ogemakan (Chief) and in 1910 he signed an adhesion to Treaty Number Five for his people at Deer Lake. The Little Suckers remained at Deer Lake until 1926 when Robert Fiddler decided to establish the reserve for his people at the mouth of Finger Lake at "Big" Sandy Lake. The Sandy Lake people traditionally used the clan system. The Oji-Cree translation is "dodem". Clans are animals which families associate themselves with. If a member of the sucker clan meets another member of the same clan, even for the first time, they greet each other as brothers and sisters. It is custom that all children inherit the father's clan symbol. The five main clans and their respective surnames in Sandy Lake are the Suckers (Fiddler, Goodman, Harper), the Pelicans (Meekis), the Cranes (Kakegamic, Kakepetum), the Caribou (Linklater, Rae), and the Sturgeon (Mamakeesic)When Robert Fiddler and the Little Suckers arrived at Sandy Lake they joined the Cranes, the Harper, Kakegamic, Kakepetum and Linklater families who have been settled on "Big" Sandy Lake since treaty.When Robert Fiddler passed away in 1939, Thomas Fiddler became Chief until his retirement in 1968.

Administration / Band Office
Health Department
Nursing Station

This is our Nursing Station, the Health Authority have nuromious programs like Medical Travel Clerk, Mental Health, Arco, N.N.A.D.A.P, CHR, Dental Assistant, Diabetes Project, Diabetes Research, Diabetes Survalence, Crisis Program, Brighter Futures, Healthy Babies/Children, FAS/FAE, Prenatal Nutrition, Home Care, Nishtum Headstart, Child Wellness, Maternal Child Health, Lab Assistant, Medication Clerk and saved the best for last Telemedicine.


During Thomas Fiddler's years as Chief, children started going out to residential school at MacIntosh and Sioux Lookout. Then in 1957, a day school was built at Sandy Lake and a Nursing Station in 1962. The Thomas Fiddler Memorial High School was build in 1990.

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