Peguis First Nation, Manitoba Canada

Discovering Peguis First Nation, Manitoba: A Rich Tapestry of History and Culture

Peguis First Nation, formerly known as St. Peter's Band, is the largest First Nations community in Manitoba, Canada. With a population of approximately 11,438 people, the members of Peguis are of Saulteaux (Ojibway) and Maškēkowak (Swampy Cree) descent. The main reserve, Peguis 1B, is located approximately 196 kilometres north of Winnipeg.

The Historical Journey of Peguis First Nation, Manitoba

The First Nation is named after Peguis, the chief who led a band of Saulteaux people from present-day Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, area to a Cree settlement at Netley Creek, Manitoba, and to present-day East Selkirk, Manitoba. Chief Peguis and his Band settled in an area north of present-day Selkirk in the late 1700s. Their history is documented in journals of the Hudson's Bay Company, the Lord Selkirk settlers, and the Church Missionary Society.

Peguis and other chiefs signed the Selkirk Treaty in 1817. The treaty allocated land along the Red and Assiniboine Rivers to Lord Selkirk and his settlers for an annual rent of tobacco. On 3 August 1871, Peguis' son Mis-Koo-Kinew (or Henry Prince) signed Treaty 1 on behalf of the St. Peter's Band, the name of the Peguis First Nation at the time. Treaty 1 specified that Peguis would be given 160 acres (0.65 km2) of land for each family of five people. In 2008, Peguis First Nation announced the finalization of a land claims settlement with the federal Government of Canada. The claim is for land which was surrendered near Selkirk in 1907.

The Leadership of Peguis First Nation, Manitoba

The leadership of Peguis First Nation has been marked by a series of chiefs who have guided the community through its history. The head chiefs from 1810 to 1864 were Peguis (Peehquaais "Little Chip") and from 1864 to 1871, Henry Prince (chief) (Miskokenew "Red Eagle").

The chiefs of St. Peter's Reserve (Treaty 1, 1871), known as Peguis Reserve after 1909, included several notable leaders such as Henry Prince, William Prince, William Asham, and John H. Prince. The current chief, as of 2023, is Stan Bird.

Exploring the Reserves of Peguis First Nation, Manitoba

Peguis First Nation consists of ten reserves: 1075 Portage Ave - Winnipeg, Peguis 1B, Peguis 1C, Peguis 1D, Peguis 1E, Peguis 1F, Pegius 1G, Peguis 1H, Peguis 1I and St. Peters Fishing Station 1A. The reserves of Peguis total 30657.2 hectares (75755.6 acres) in area. The largest settlement, which lies on the main reserve (1B), is also named Peguis, Manitoba.

Overcoming Challenges: Floods in Peguis First Nation, Manitoba

Peguis First Nation has faced several challenges, including floods in 2009, 2010, and 2011. The 2009 flood resulted in the evacuation of 3,000 people and cost CAD 40,000,000. The 2010 flood caused damage to approximately 300 homes on-reserve and led to the evacuation of 250 residents. By February 2011, Peguis First Nation were meeting with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development officials about controlling mould in the 75 homes damaged by flooding.

In 2013, AANDC invested more than CAD$4 million to Peguis First Nation for long-term flood proofing as part of a 2010 commitment to protect 75 homes. Despite these challenges, the community of Peguis First Nation continues to thrive and preserve its rich cultural heritage.