Category: Recent News

MFN Family Fun Fish Day – March 30! Register before March 28, 1 p.m.

Michipicoten First Nation is having a Family Fun Fish Derby on Friday, March 30th from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Pike Lake – Michipicoten First Nation

There are prizes!:

  • 1st Longest Fish
  • 2nd Longest Fish
  • 3rd Longest Fish
  • 1st Smallest Fish
  • 2nd Mystery Size Fish

You must register by March 28th, 2018 @ 1:00 p.m. * NO EXCEPTIONS* will be given to fish the day of the Derby if you don’t register by March 28th, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. For more information or to register, call either Nancy (705-856-1993 ext. 226) or Wendy (705-856-1993 ext. 219). If no answer please leave a message!

The registration prize of a Power Ice Auger will be drawn March 30th at 4 p.m. and you MUST be present and fishing to win. Random prizes will be drawn throughout the Derby. Top Prizes announced or drawn at 4:15 p.m.

Meet at Pike Lake by 12:30 p.m. Remember to Dress Warm!  Bring your bait/tackle! Fishing will begin at 1:00 pm and finish at 4:00 pm! Hot dogs, chili, water, coffee, tea and hot chocolate will be available

  • Holes will be pre-drilled and numbered
  • No personal ice augers to be used
  • No one shall drill their own holes
  • One hole per participant
  • If there are no fish caught, prizes will be drawn randomly

Happy Fishing Everyone!!!!

March Break at MFN

Monday, March 12

9 – 10 a.m. Breakfast at the Band Hall

10 – 12 a.m. – Scavenger Hunt at the Band Hall

11 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Soup and Share / Exercise at Complex

1 – 3 p.m. – Fun Activity Centre & Complex (games, colouring, bouncy house)

Tuesday, March 13

10 – 12 a.m. – Obstacle Course Fun at the Medical Centre

1 – 3 p.m. – Youth Prize Bingo at the MFN Library

6 – 9 p.m. – Movie Night at the MFN Library

6 – 9 p.m. – Cribbage Tournament at Complex

Wednesday, March 14

9 – 10 a.m. – Breakfast at MFN Band Hall

10 – 2 p.m. – Dore River Hike with Leo. Meet at the MFN Band Hall

2:30 – 3 p.m. – Chili & Bannock runch at the MFN Band Hall

3 – 3:30 p.m. – Moose Calling Contest at the MFN Band Hall. There will be prizes for 1st Place Best Call in each category, Child, Youth and Adult. Good Luck!

Thursday, March 15

11 – 1 p.m. – Poker Walk. $5 per hand, prizes for lowest and highest hands! Sign up at the MFN Medical Centre

1 – 3 p.m. – Making Slime at the MFN Library

Friday, March 16

10 – 1 p.m. – Playstation 4 Game Day at the MFN Library

Feathers of Hope: Health and Wellbeing Youth Forum (POSTPONED)

May 16, 2018 @ 12:58


Mar 12, 2018 @ 12:58

Hello! Boozhoo! Waacheay!

The Feathers of Hope Team and the Ontario Child Advocate would like to extend an invitation to Northern Ontario First Nations young people to attend the Feathers of Hope: Health and Wellbeing youth forum being held at the Best Western Nor’Wester Hotel and Conference Centre in Thunder Bay, Ontario on May 28 – June 1, 2018.

Feathers of Hope speaks to the power and importance of hope. It is an initiative led by First Nations young people that has evolved into a continually growing collective voice for First Nations youth in Ontario. The forum will have representation from Northern Ontario’s First Nations communities, particularly, Grand Council Treaty #3, Nishnawbe Aski Nation, Robinson-Superior, and Independent First Nations.

The forum is designed to help young people participate in an open dialogue about how they want to sustain and improve their health and wellbeing. The forum was created in response to a recommendation in Feathers of Hope: A First Nations Youth Action Plan that was written by young people. Young people have said at previous Feathers of Hope forums that their physical, emotional, spiritual and mental wellbeing is important and needs to be supported by their families, community leadership and all levels of government. They want to be actively involved in creating positive change to improve the health and well-being of their peers and their communities. Toward meeting this goal, a key objective of the forum is to bring together youth and elders in the spirit of sharing and learning.

We are looking for youth aged 15 to 29 who have an interest in contributing their thoughts and ideas about creating positive change at the Feathers of Hope: Health and Wellbeing forum. We would like to ask if you could promote the forum with young people in your community and encourage them to register before Friday, April 13th, 2018. To ensure there is representation from as many communities as possible, up to two youth per community can participate in the forum. Youth can be living on/off reserve. Interested youth must complete the online Youth Registration Form. Preference will be given to young people who have not attended previous Feathers of Hope forums.

Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis.


Youth under the age of 18 will require a chaperone who will be responsible for them for the duration of the forum. If two youth under 18 are attending from one community, only one chaperone is required. Chaperones must complete and submit the online Chaperone Request Form, by Friday, April 13th, 2018. 


The most economical transportation and accommodation costs for youth and their chaperone will be covered by the Ontario Child Advocate. Meals will be provided for youth and chaperone attendees during the forum. Meals during travel days are the responsibility of the young person/chaperone. Please note that May 28 and June 1 are travel days.


To support forum attendees, first aid services, mental health and wellness supports will be provided for the length of the forum.

For further information, please call the Youth Amplifiers at the Ontario Child Advocate at (807) 624-1450 or email

Please follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @fohtbay

We thank you for your interest in Feathers of Hope.


The Feathers of Hope Team

Elton Beardy, Karla Kakegamic, Edward Narcisse & Desiree Towedo Youth Amplifiers – Feathers of Hope Ontario Child Advocate


7 Grandfather Teachings & Growth after Trauma – April 10-12

Dr. Julie Woit is coming to Michipicoten First Nation!

She will be presenting a 4-Day Experiential Art-Based Program focusing on recovery from trauma from April 10-12th. Participants must attend all three days.

Dr. Julie will be available on the 13th for one-on-one follow-up sessions.

To sign up, call Theresa or Helga at 705-856-0129. Please register for supply, limited space available.


November/December – Lake Superior Woodland Caribou

Photo of MFN women outside the Hudson’s Bay post on the Michipicoten River, c. 1884. Woodland caribou antlers can be seen above the door in the background.


Since the end of the last ice age, woodland caribou have roamed the coast of Lake Superior. In fact, their range extended across the land and as far south as the French River. At the time of the opening of the Helen Mine in Wawa, there was a population living in the jackpine at what is now called Tremblay Flats. That population was hunted off by hungry miners during a cold winter. Similarly, miners and fishermen hunted the last of the Michipicoten Island population by 1880. In 1981, a single bull was spotted by the lighthouse keeper. The MNR transported additional animals to the island as part of their efforts to protect the by then greatly diminished coastal population.

The population on Michipicoten Island flourished, reaching an estimated 680 animals by 2011. In the winter of 2014/2015 an ice bridge formed and four wolves crossed to the island. The MNRF captured and collared the wolves, and then released them with the intention of studying the results. There was no calf recruitment in the year of 2015 and the wolves quickly began eating the adult population. There are now somewhere between 15-20 wolves on the island, and the most recent caribou estimate was 116.

Acting in accordance with Chief Tangie’s belief that “we have a duty and responsibility to protect [these caribou] as they protected us for generations,” we have been working on several fronts to get the MNRF to stop their study and do something to prevent the elimination of the caribou, which now represent almost the entire Lake Superior population. The Minister’s office is currently reviewing our proposal to move caribou to ensure their survival through the winter while longer term solutions are put in place. As well as protecting the ecological integrity of the area, survival of the caribou would provide MFN with potential cultural and eco-tourism opportunities.

Leo Lepiano, Lands and Resources Consultation Coordinator

January/February – Lake Superior Woodland Caribou Update


In the last newsletter, I mentioned the attempts being made by MFN to conserve the caribou of Michipicoten Island and Lake Superior. There has been a significant amount of press about this since then, so I want to use this column to provide some answers to questions that are commonly heard.

Why are there caribou on Michipicoten Island? 

Woodland caribou used to live all around Lake Superior as well as inland to areas like White River, and Chapleau. Over the last one hundred and fifty years changes brought on by industrial activity have driven caribou from most of that area, leaving only a few animals along the Northern and – until about seven years ago – the Eastern shores of Superior.

In the 19th century there were caribou on Michipicoten Island, but they were all killed off by the miners and fishermen living on the island. In 1981 a single bull was found on the island, and caribou were brought from the Slate Islands to see if Michipicoten Island would prove to be a good habitat for them. By 2011 there were an estimated 680 caribou on Michipicoten Island. Our modeling suggests that by 2014, when the wolves arrived, the numbers would have been around 950.

Why interfere if the wolves got out there on their own? 

The Endangered Species Act provides the mandate to manage species at risk for persistence on the landscape. With the decline of the mainland population, the two island populations (Slate Islands and Michipicoten Island) were the last holdouts of the Lake Superior range.

After the wolves reached the island, the MNRF caught the wolves, and decided to engage in a study (they also did this on the Slate Islands). This was done without any consultation. Leaving the wolves to kill off the caribou on both the Slate Islands and Michipicoten Island not only results in the loss of a unique population that has lived on Lake Superior since the last ice age, but also the loss of economic and cultural opportunities that exist for MFN if caribou persist. It will also likely result in the death of the wolves.

How many caribou are left now? 

The whole Lake Superior range is likely under 40 animals now, down from over 1100 just a few years ago.

When did MFN get involved? 

The file was given to me by former Chief Joe Buckell in February of 2017. Chief Pat Tangie wrote her first letter to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry in April of 2017. Things began to get very busy in October, and Chief Tangie’s forceful phone calls and emails to the Minister in late November and early December proved very influential.

Why didn’t we just kill the wolves? 

Because the number of wolves on the island could be as high as 20, killing them all is not an easy task. No hunters or trappers who we spoke to felt that they would be able to bring the population low enough to ensure the caribou would survive this winter.

What other options were considered? 

The first option we considered was removing the wolves from the island, because the end goal was to have caribou on Michipicoten Island, and for MFN to become involved in the management of the island, taking advantage of some cultural and economic opportunities that would come with that. We thought there could be a possibility to move the wolves to Isle Royale, a large island on the U.S. side of Lake Superior where they have been considering reintroducing wolves. Chief Tangie was in touch with the leadership of the Chippewa of Grand Portage Tribe in an attempt to come to an agreement on the project.

Though we had the tacit support of many of the groups involved, it would have taken too long to make the move happen.

As mentioned above we considered a cull, both independently and with MNRF support.

Eventually, we settled on translocating caribou off of the island. If this job was to be done right, we argued, it was important to move caribou to more than just one other location, since we found out on December 1st that the Slate Islands caribou were down to 2-4 males, and no longer a viable sub-population. The MNRF refused to heed our advice – including that provided by experts who were working for MFN – and successfully moved 9 caribou to the Slate Islands in the middle of January.

What happens now? 

Unfortunately, caribou will almost certainly be gone from Michipicoten Island by the end of this winter. Much will depend on whether the animals moved to the Slate Islands are able to grow into a suitable population to eventually reseed Michipicoten Island, however, this will take several years.

MFN is working to establish agreements with the MNRF that would allow for MFN to be involved in all future monitoring efforts for the caribou, and to be involved in the management of the range going forward.

MFN has also been working to have the last few animals moved to a second island, Caribou Island, which is much closer than the Slates and more secure from wolves. As of the time of the writing of this document those efforts are underway. We are also looking for funding that would allow us to acquire a boat that could be used for multiple purposes, including future management of the caribou.

Leo Lepiano, Lands and Resources Consultation Coordinator