Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek First Nation is an Ojibwe First Nation in northwestern Ontario.
Official Name: Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek
Address: 204 Main Street, P.O. Box 120, Beardmore, Ontario P0T 1G0
Phone: (807) 875–2785 or Toll Free: 1-877-669-6606
Fax: (807) 875–2786
Official Website: https://www.aza.ca
Band No. 194
Traditional Name: Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek
Alternate Names: Lake Nipigon Ojibway First Nation
Aboriginal Status: Status Band
Tribal Affiliation: Anishinaabek (Ojibwe)
Governance: Nokiiwin Tribal Council
Political Organizations: Waaskiinaysay Ziibi Inc.
Name: Lake Nipigon Reserve
Communities: Greenstone includes the communities of Beardmore, Caramat, Geraldton, Jellicoe, Longlac, Macdiarmid, Nakina and Orient Bay.
Treaties: Robinson-Superior Treaty
Only one reserve (Gull Bay) was created for the “Lake Nipigon Band of Indians” following the signing of the Robinson-Superior Treaty in 1850. It was not until 1921 that our community was recognized by the government of Canada as “Lake Nipigon Various Places.”
Population: 417 members as of February 2017
The Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan First Nation people lived primarily in the Ombabika and Auden area on the north-east side of Lake Nipigon. At this time there was no elected Chief and Council, however the community was represented by a spokesperson named Frank Sasines.
It was during this period that the Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan people were engaged by Indian agents who changed their names and sent children to residential school.
In 1985, they elected their first Chief. Chief Joe Thompson’s first priority after being elected was to reorganize the dispersed membership in an effort to begin discussing the creation of a reserve.
The first tribal office was located in Joe’s house in Rocky Bay. It was at this time that the name was changed from “Lake Nipigon Various Places” to “Lake Nipigon Ojibway First Nation.”
In 1989, the administration established an office in Beardmore, Ontario. Newly elected Chief Bryon Brisard was joined throughout his term by councillors Maurice Fournier, Raymond Sasines, Aileen Malcolm, Debbie Kakagamic and Yvette Metansinine to begin what would be the first significant negotiation process for a reserve land base.
Community members began to meet regularly and in 1991 they entered into the land and larger land base (LLLB) process. Leadership focused their negotiations on establishing a reserve in Auden.
Canada and Ontario disagreed with the establishment of a new reserve in that area due to its remote location and negotiations stalled as a result.
In 1997 the community elected Chief Yvette Metansinine. They requested to resume the LLLB process and began seeking alternative locations to create a new reserve.
A forestry joint venture agreement was signed in 2001 and logging operations commenced. In 2001, their name was changed again from Lake Nipigon Ojibway First Nation to Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek and a new logo was created.
An elders committee wass established and the A.E.D.T. (economic trust) was formed. A new office complex was built in Beardmore, Ontario and opened in October 2001.
The Agreement in Principle for reserve lands located at Partridge Lake was signed in 2002.
In 2003 focus was on further development of services. A policy committee was established to review community policies and make recommendations to the membership. New staff was recruited to stabilize the delivery of programs.
The first annual Health Fair was held in 2002. They signed the final land agreement in 2005. The new reserve land base was created in May of 2008.
This community was employed primarily in forestry until companies relocated and families were forced to leave in order to find work.
Greenstone experiences a humid continental climate, with long, brutally cold winters and warm summers. The highest temperature ever recorded was 40.0 °C (104 °F) on July 11 & 12, 1936 at Longlac. The coldest temperature ever recorded was −50.2 °C (−58.4 °F) on 31 January 1996 at Geraldton Airport.
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