Garden Hill First Nation

Garden Hill First Nation used to belong to the Island Lake Band, which consisted of four bands: Garden Hill, Wasagamack, St. Theresa Pt., and Red Sucker Lake. The First Nation is signatory to the 1909 adhesion Treaty No.5. The main dialect spoken is Oji-Cree. Considering the remoteness, English is now part of everyday life due to the fact that tourist frequently visit the lodges in Island Lake. Also, the many contractors that reside in the First Nation until project completion, plays a major role. The location of Garden Hill is 610 kilometers Northeast of Winnipeg and has no year-round road accessibility. As a result, it experiences a higher cost of transportation.


The Garden Hill Band Office is located in the central area of the community. Council consists of one Chief and eight Council members and a two-year term under Band custom is adhered to. Political affiliations are with the Island Lake Tribal Council (ILTC), Manitoba Keewatinohk Okimahkanak (MKO), Assembly Of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC), and Indian & Northern Affairs Canada (INAC).


The religion in Garden Hill consists of Traditional and fundamental Christian beliefs. Churches like the Roman Catholic and Pentecostal are present in the community. Traditional beliefs are still in place today. Traditional Christian beliefs/practices are observed within the community, as well as other neighboring communities.

Health Services:

Garden Hill is equipped with a nursing station that is funded and operated by Health and Welfare Canada under the Medical Services Branch. There are three people working under Community Health Representatives to provide prevention and promotional education to the public. There are two local nurses on staff at the Nursing Station. The Nursing Station has one Medical driver and one relief driver to provide transportation to the community.

Hours: 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M

Emergencies are allowed in after hours.

Health Professionals & Availability

Doctor – Three times a week

Dentist – Twice a month

Optometrist – Twice a year

Pediatrician – Quarterly

Psychologist – Once a month

Obstetrician – Once a month

Alcohol and Drug Counseling (NADP):

There are four counselors on staff working on Substance Abuse, Mental health Care, Suicide Prevention, Marriage Counseling, Court Order Supervisions, and Alcohol & Drugs. NDAP is located in the Garden Hill First Nation Office.

Island Lake Family Services:

Island Lake Family Services was mandated in 1997 and serves four First Nations: Wasagamack, St Theresa Pt., Red Sucker Lake, and Garden Hill. The head-office is located in Garden Hill.

Social Assistance:

The Social Assistance program provides assistance and emerging special needs funding to the unemployed members of the community. The staff includes on Director, one Assistant Director, and two Social Assistance Clerks. The number of people who require the program is approximately 85-90% of the whole population.


Garden Hill Education Authority oversees the School that offers Nursery to grade twelve. There are over eight hundred students enrolled. There are two separate buildings: Nursery – to grade six (elementary), and grade seven – twelve.

Daycare Center:

There is a daycare center that is available to the community members who require the facility. It was mandated in the summer 1997. The staff includes one coordinator, and an assistant coordinator, daycare workers, and one receptionist.



The community obtains water directly from Island Lake, which is chlorinated by a treatment plant and distributed via standpipe system. Water pumps are available throughout the community.


As part of the North Central, Garden Hill is linked to the provincial power system that was hooked up in the summer of July 1999. The electrification project that supplies 200-amp services will replace the 15-amp service previously supplied by diesel generator. The electrification system is funded by the Federal and Provincial governments and is managed by Manitoba Hydro.

Fire fighting

Fire fighting is available by local volunteers from the community. If necessary, Natural Resources provide forest fire watch and fire fighting


Policing is done locally from and RCMP detachment located in the community. The Band also employs constables from the community.


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 service is provided for the local Post Office that is operated by Canada Post. Mail is delivered in and out of the community five times a week, weather permitting.

The Winnipeg Sun, Winnipeg Free Press, Weetahmah, and The First Perspective, and Grassroots are available at local stores or administration buildings.

Telephone service is maintained by MTS and provides local long distance calling, as well as facsimile lines. In the Island Lake Region, from community to community, calls are local, including to God’s Lake Narrows, and God’s River.

Garden Hill owns and operates a television station and a radio station that is located in the Band Office and provides free public announcements and opens 9:00 A.M to curfew hours daily.


There are a number of businesses in the community: There is a Northern Store located on Stevenson Island that is owned by the North West Company. There is also F-N Chicken restaurant that is owned and maintained by the Birch family.

Treaty: Adhesion to Treaty No. 5

Registered Population: 3,553

Band No. 297

Area: Approx.: 18,180 Acres

Recreation: Hockey, Baseball, Volleyball, Fishing, Snow-Mobiling, Bingo, Annual Winter Carnival

Facilities: Airport, Fire Hall, Indoor Hockey Rink, Radio Station, Police Station, and Television Station.

Buddy Beardy

Band Office:
(204) 456-2085 Fax: (204) 456-9315

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