Matachewan First Nation is located approximately 30 kilometers southeast of the town of Matachewan and about 60 kilometers west of Kirkland Lake off of Highway 66 in Ontario.
Official Name: Matachewan First Nation
Address: P.O. Box 160, Matachewan, Ontario P0K 1M0
Phone: (705) 565-2230
Fax: (705) 565-2311
Official Website: https://www.matachewanfirstnation.com/
Tribal Affiliation: Ojibway and Cree
Location: In the province of Ontario, inland and north from Fort Matachewan beginning at the creek connecting a small lagoon with the northwest shore of Turtle Lake, thence south on the west shore of said lake.
Size: 16 square miles
Treaties: Treaty #9 – The James Bay Treaty
The Matachewan First Nation has a historic claim that has been accepted by Canada and Ontario for negotiations. The Treaty Land Entitlement (TLE) Claim concerns the size of the reserve and how big it ought to have been when Matachewan ancestors signed the James Bay Treaty (Treaty 9) in 1906.
The late Elder Laura Flood explained that her grandfather Michel Batise was the first recognized Chief of Matachewan First Nation. She noted that originally Chief Batise used the last name Batise-Twain and that at one point, Batise became the family name.
According to the initial Treaty #9 document which was created in 1905 and 1906, the Treaty Commissioners arrived in Matachewan First Nation on June 19, 1906 after travelling from signing the treaty with the Abitibi First Nation people.
They proceeded from Haileybury to Latchford using the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railway then north for four days by water craft on the Montreal River to Matachewan First Nation.
A crew from Temagami and several Native people from Matachewan Post including Michel Batise assisted the Treaty Commissioners on their river travel.
On June 20, 1906 a conference was held with the First Nation people of Matachewan and the treaty was signed by several community members and witnessed by the people and others.
Michel Batise, Round Eyes, Thomas Fox and Jimmy Pierce signed the treaty with a simple ‘x’ beside their names. It was also signed by Treaty Commissioners Duncan Campbell Scott, Samuel Stewart and Daniel George MacMartin and witnessed by Pelham Edgar, George Monteith and Alex George Meindi, M.D.
After the signing, payments were made the next day on June 21 to 79 First Nation members of the community. An election was also held in which Michel Batise was recognized as the first Chief under the new treaty.
A feast was later held for everyone and Chief Batise was presented with a flag and a copy of the treaty.
Matachewan First Nation is situated in the historic mining area of northeastern Ontario. The community has been affected by over a hundred years of development on its traditional lands.
Matachewan First Nation leadership is currently negotiating six major resource development agreements and ten smaller projects with exploration and junior mining companies.
They are also involved in forestry management issues with government organizations and with industry.
Matachewan First Nation has an Impact and Benefits Agreement (IBA) with AuRico Gold (formerly Northgate Minerals) concerning the Young Davidson mine. The partnership and IBA with AuRico Gold has allowed Matachewan FN to establish the community’s first major business venture in mining. This has resulted in the Ednysian Camp & Logistics, a mining camp accommodation service, in partnership with Morris Modular Space Ltd.
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