Treaty No. 5 – 1910 Adhesion – Koocheching

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 Koocheching, 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 of Koocheching began rebuilding the community in its original site.

When the governments of Ontario and Canada finally agreed to set aside reserve lands for six communities, including the community of Keewaywin, the members of Koocheching were placed on the Keewaywin Band’s paylist. The Koocheching First Nation was not included in the newly recognized bands, although they had always maintained their desire for separate status and a reserve on their homelands.