Red Sucker Lake First Nation
Until 1969 Island Lake Band was a single band that consisted of four bands: Red Sucker Lake, St. Theresa Point, Wasagamack, and Garden Hill. Red Sucker Lake has no outstanding land entitlements. The band is signatory to the 1909 adhesion to Treaty No.5. Local residents mention that the late Mr. Elijah McDougall was the first settler and founder of Red Sucker Lake Band. Red Sucker Lake First Nation recently celebrated it’s bi-centennial. The main dialect spoken in the Island Lake region is Oji-Cree.
The location of Red Sucker Lake is approximately 709 kilometers Northeast of Winnipeg, MB. Red Sucker Lake First Nation has no year-round road access to a service center and as of a result; it experiences a higher cost of transportation. Distance, measured directly, to the nearest service center is greater than 480 kilometers.
The Red Sucker Lake Band Office is located in the center of the community. The administration consists of one Chief and five Council members. The Chief and Council have two-year terms, which are elected by the people through Band custom. Political affiliations are with the Island Lake Tribal Council (ILTC), Manitoba Keewtinohk Okimahkanak (MKO), Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC), and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC).
The religion in Red Sucker Lake First Nation consists of Traditional and Christian beliefs. There are two denominations: The Full Gospel Church and the United Church. Native Traditional beliefs are still in place today. Traditional Christian beliefs and/or practices are observed within the community, as well as, other neighboring First Nation Communities.
Red Sucker Lake First Nation is equipped with a nursing station that is administered by the Red Sucker Lake Health Authority and the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch fund it. There are two nurses on hand to provide promotional and preventive education to the public. The table that follows include the part-time care provided to the people from other Health professionals at various times. All other Health professionals needed, including Mental Health Services are referred to Winnipeg, Thompson, or Selkirk, MB.
Hours: 8:30 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.
Monday to Friday
Emergencies are allowed after hours, and there is Medi-Vac available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, weather permitting .
Health Professionals & Availability
Doctor - Once a week
Dentist - Once a month
Optometrist - Once a year
Pediatrician - Two or three times a year
Psychologist - Twice a month
Most of the houses in the community are Band owned. The newer houses that have been constructed within the past few years are built with the same design. They have three bedrooms, a living room, a washroom, and a storage room. The houses have running water; indoor plumbing, electrical heating, and some of these houses have wood-burning stoves at the cost of the occupant. All other houses have no running water and indoor plumbing, including the Red Sucker Lake Band Office. The older houses are heated by wood-burning stoves and the heating has to be maintained during the winter nights, otherwise, the houses can and do drop to freezing temperatures.
Child and 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 service resources for family conciliation, and child development initiatives.
The welfare program provides financial assistance and emergency special needs funding to the unemployed members of the community. Two employees administer the program. The amount of people who require the services of the program in the community is approximately 80-90% of the population.
The Red Sucker Lake Education Board administers the school that offers grades Kindergarten to grade twelve to approximately 200-250 students. The Education Board consists of one Education Director and five board members.
The Red Sucker Lake Health Authority provides Substance Abuse Counselling, Mental Health Care, Suicide Prevention, and Marriage Counselling.
The community obtains water directly from Red Sucker Lake; it is then treated in two water plants. One treatment plant that was constructed in 1995 services the new school and the teacherages; it provides water to over 30 CMHC(Canadian Manitoba Housing Corporation) houses via water truck delivery. The other treatment plant is located at the Band Office (Old School) and services adjacent buildings, such as the Health Authority, and the Red Sucker Lake Hotel.
As part of the Northern Central Hydro Project, Red Sucker Lake is now linked up to the Provincial Power System, which was completed in July of 1999. The electrification system is funded by the Federal and Provincial Governments and is now managed by Manitoba Hydro.
Fire fighting in the community consists of volunteers. If necessary, Natural Resources provides forest fire watch and fire fighting.
Most residents utilize pit privies. A new sequencing batch reactor sewage plant, constructed in 1995, services the new school and the teacherages and provides sewage disposal to over 30 CMHC houses. The other sewage plant, located at the old school site, was renovated in 1995 and service the Band Office and adjacent buildings mentioned before. Another sewage plant has been recently constructed in 1999. There are two houses currently connected directly to the plant and there are more houses awaiting connection.
The community has one landfill site North of the airstrip and there is no garbage pick-up system in place. Community members are advised to utilize the landfill site by their own means.
Policing is done by three Band Constables and are aided by five security staff.
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 that is operated by Canada Post and is located off reserve.
Telephone service is maintained by MTS. MTS provides local and long distance calling, as well as, facsimile lines. In the Island Region, from community to community, calls are local, including God’s Lake Narrows and God’s River.
A community owned Radio Station and Television Station provides free public announcements. Hours of operations vary on circumstances.
Red Sucker Lake Gas Bar
Moses Harper’s Store
Andy Little’s Store
Northern Store (off reserve)
At the Local Television Station, a Flea Market is open to the residents on Saturdays. Items vary from food to clothing.
Treaty: Adhesion to Treaty No. 5
Registered Population: 814
Band No. 300
Area: Approx. 624 Acres
Recreation: Hockey, Baseball, Volleyball, Fishing, Snow-Mobiling, Bingo, Annual Winter Carnival.
Facilities: Airport, Fire Hall, Water Treatment Plants, Sewage Treatment Plants, Radio Station, and the Television Station.
Les Lee Harper
(204) 469-5041 Fax: (204) 469-5966