Wasagamack First Nation
Wasagamack First Nation used to belong to the Island Lake Band, which consisted of four communities: Garden Hill, Wasagamack, St. Theresa Point and Red Sucker Lake. Wasagamack is a signatory to the 1909 adhesion Treaty No. 5. The main dialect is Oji-Cree, however English has also become part of the everyday language.
Wasagamack is located 610 kilometers Northeast of Winnipeg. The community is accessible by plane and boat in the summer and by winter road in the winter.
The Wasagamack First Nation office is in the north end of the community. Council consists of one Chief and three Councilors, elected according to Band custom. Political affiliations are with the Island Lake Tribal Council (ILTC), Manitoba Keewatinohk Okimahkanak (MKO), Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) and Indian and Northern Affairs (INAC).
The Wasagamack First Nation administers the following programs: social assistance, housing, capital projects, operations and maintenance, water and sewage services, sanitation services, television and radio broadcasting, the community outreach program, justice, policing, recreation, airport project, aboriginal healing foundation, economic development and youth services.
Health Services are administered by the Wasagamack Health Authority Incorporated and funded by Health Canada. The Health Authority provides the following services: a fully staffed nursing station, a native alcohol and drug abuse program, mental health services, and teen pregnancy counseling.
The nursing station has three to four nurses on staff, two community health representatives, two medical drivers, a maintenance worker, and clerical staff. Other professionals, such as doctors, dentists, and pediatricians, visit according to a schedule. The following is a breakdown of that schedule.
Hours: 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M
Emergencies are allowed in after hours
Health Professionals & Availability
Doctor - Once a week (1day)
Dentist - Once a month
Optometrist - Once a year
Pediatrician - Quarterly
Psychologist - Every 2 weeks
Both traditional religious practices and Christianity are observed in the community. There are three churches in the community: the Roman Catholic Church, the United Church and the Full Gospel/Pentecostal Church.
Island Lake Family Services:
The Island Lake First Nation Child and Family Services was mandated in April of 1997 and serves the four First Nations. The agency falls under the Child and Family Services Act and it provides child protection services, resources for family conciliation, and child development initiatives.
Educational services are administered by the Wasagamack Education Authority. The education authority oversees the everyday operation of the local school and manages other programs such as the BUNTEP program, adult education program and other post-secondary funding services.
George Knott School offers nursery to grade twelve. There are over three hundred students. There is one main building and several portable classrooms. Teachers at George Knott School can rent fully furnished suites and homes, complete with plumbing, electricity and heat.
A daycare center, administered by the Island Lake Tribal Council, is available to community members. The daycare provides care for infant and pre-school children.
The community obtains water directly from Wasagamack Bay, which is treated in the local water plant. One water pump is available to the community. Water delivery services are provided to the few houses equipped with indoor plumbing. The school has its own treatment plant that provides water to the school building and teacherages.
As part of the North Central Project, Wasagamack is linked to the provincial power system. The system was hooked up in July 1999 and replaces the 15-amp service previously supplied by diesel generator.
The First Nation employs two special constables to police the community. As well, the community utilizes the RCMP detachment in Island Lake.
The Band owns and operates a van that transports people to and from the nursing station on a 24-hours basis, if needed. Various people provide taxi services in the community. There is a ferry that services the community by taking vehicles across the river. Semi-trucks from Winnipeg, and Thompson drive in on the winter road to bring in freight and fuel. The winter road season opens from February until March. Air transportation is available at the local airstrip that is maintained by Highways and Transportation. Several airlines fly in from Winnipeg, and Thompson daily and each of the companies provide at least one flight a day. Chartering flights is also an option for the people. Also, these companies provide emergency medi-vac services when needed. Docking facilities are available for floatplanes throughout the community’s shoreline.
Postal Services are provided by the local post office, operated by Canada Post. Mail is delivered in and out of the community five times a week, weather permitting.
Telephone services are maintained by MTS. MTS provides local and long distance calling, facsimile lines and Internet services. In the Island Lake region, calls are local. Internet services use long distance lines.
The community owned television and radio station provides public announcements and cable subscriptions.
Treaty: Adhesion to Treaty No. 5
Registered Population: 1,423
Band No. 299
Area: Approx.: 18,400 Acres
Hockey, Floor Hockey, Fishing, Camping, Treaty Days Celebration, Boating
Indoor Arena, Radio Station, T.V Station, Police Station, Nursing Station and a School.