Treaty No. 5 – 1910 Adhesion – Keewaywin

In 1910, First Nations people from around the Sandy Lake region and the Government of Canada entered into Treaty No. 5 Adhesion. This resulted in the establishment of one “band”, despite the fact that there had been numerous First Nation communities around Sandy Lake, including Koocheching, in the east end of Sandy Lake. Upon acquiring band status, Deer Lake band (today known as Sandy Lake First Nation) was given reserve land at the west end of Sandy Lake and was finally surveyed in 1938.

In 1965, the Elders of Keewaywin, who were still residing in Sandy Lake, began working to reestablish a community back in their traditional territory at the east end of Sandy Lake. In recognition of the Elders’ direction, the members began establishing a new site.

In the 1990s, the governments of Ontario and Canada recognized six new First Nations and the need for reserve lands. In 1991, the “Six Bands Agreement” (“the Agreement”) was entered into by both provincial and federal governments, and six First Nations, including Keewaywin. The Agreement acknowledged that reserve lands had not been set apart for the First Nations and the members of First Nations were currently in need of assistance to improve their living conditions. In 1990, the Niska site was officially selected as the site for the new Keewaywin First Nation.