Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation

Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation
Band No. 122
Cape Croker logo.jpg
Chippewas of Nawash First Nation logo
Main reserveNeyaashiinigmiing 27
Other reserve(s)
Land area71.83 km2
On reserve724
Off reserve1958
Total population2714
ChiefChief Greg Nadjiwon
Council size9

Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation (Ojibwe: Neyaashiinigmiing Anishinaabek) is an Anishinaabek First Nation from the Bruce Peninsula region in Ontario, Canada. Along with the Saugeen First Nation, they form the Saugeen Ojibway Nation. The Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation currently has a registered membership of 2758 individuals,[1] as of December, 2020. Approximately 700 members live on the main reserve, Neyaashiinigmiing 27 (formerly known as Cape Croker). The First Nation has 3 reserves, Neyaashiinigmiing 27, Cape Croker Hunting Ground 60B and Saugeen and Cape Croker Fishing Islands 1. The size of all reserves is 8083.70 hectares[2] (31.21 sq. mi.).


Current Band Council

Leaders of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation are elected every two years by the population registered on the band list. The next election date has not yet been set however it will be held around the same time in 2021.

The current Chief and Council are:[3]

  • Chief Greg Nadjiwon
  • Carolynn Wright
  • Bernard Keeshig
  • Anthony Chegahno
  • Arlene Chegahno
  • Martha Pedoniquotte
  • Sydney Nadjiwon
  • Geewadin Elliott
  • Nick Saunders
  • Solomon King


Neyaashiinigmiing has always been the home of the Chippewas of Nawash. Their traditional lands included the entire Bruce Peninsula and roughly 2 million acres south of it. In 1993, the First Nation won a court battle giving them the right to fish for trade and commerce in their traditional waters surrounding the Bruce Peninsula.[4]

Points of interest

Cape Croker lighthouse
Cape Croker park sign
Cape Croker Bruce Trail

Cape Croker lighthouse

Cape Croker lighthouse is located on the south-east corner of Neyaashiinigmiing. It was first built in 1898, but was replaced in 1902 with the current lighthouse. The lighthouse was the first of its type and was the first to have an electrically ran light and foghorn. The lighthouse is an octagonal lighthouse, with a height of 18 meters/53 feet. The original lighthouse was a wooden lighthouse. The lighthouse has a fresnel light and its range is 24 km.[5][6]

Cape Croker park

Cape Croker park is a 520-acre park located in Neyaashiinigmiing. Surrounding Sydney Bay. It offers camping and host the Cape Croker tradition pow-wow every year.[7]

The Bruce Trail

The Bruce Trail goes through Neyaashiinigmiing and on some of the bluffs on Neyaashiinigmiing.[4]


The reserve Neyaashiinigmiing is also home to two bluffs the Jones Bluff and the Sydney Bay Bluff, the Bruce trail goes on both of the bluffs.


The name Chippewas of Nawash is from Chief Nawash who fought with Tecumseh during the war of 1812[8]

The name Neyaashiinigmiing loosely translated from Ojibwe as point of land surrounded on 3 sides by water. Which describes the location of Neyaashiinigmiing 27.[4]


[Interactive fullscreen map]
Map of the reserves of Chippewa of Newash First Nation

Chippewas of Nawash have three reserves in perpetuity, amassing to 71.83 km2 (27.73 sq. mi.). Of these three, the 63.81 km2 (24.64 sq. mi.) Neyaashiinigmiing 27 is considered the main reserve and Saugeen & Cape Croker Fishing Island 1 is shared with Saugeen First Nation.

Neyaashiinigmiing 27

Formerly known as Cape Croker 27, this reserve is located within Bruce County, Ontario. It is 63.81 km2 (24.64 sq mi) big. It is the largest reserve of the three.

Cape Croker Hunting Ground 60B

The reserve is surrounded by Bruce Peninsula National Park and Saugeen Hunting Grounds 60A.

Saugeen and Cape Croker Fishing Islands

The reserve consist of 89 island shared with Saugeen First Nation.



FM Radio Station

  • 100.1 - CHFN - The Chippewas of Nawash operate a low power FM station that plays an eclectic mix of Rock, country, gospel, and pow wow.


Local newspaper:

  • Community Newsletter Eziwehbak (what's happening)
  • Winter Count: Neyaashiinigmiing's History Newsletter
  • Dibaudjimoh (no longer publishing)


The Chippewas of Nawash hold a Traditional Pow Wow every year. Chippewas of Nawash is also the home of musician Ira Nadjiwon, Marc Merilainen (Nadjiwon), Jacques Pigeon, Kevin (The Hooch) Lavalley, and Bryden "Gwiss" Kiwenzie who grew up on Nawash. They are also home to an award-winning powwow singers group called "Chippewa Travellers".

Land claims

In 1994, the Nawash and the Saugeen First Nations filed a lawsuit against the Government of Canada; the claims for land, and payment of rent on lands, discussed in early treaties are significant. "The two First Nations are claiming aboriginal title to the lands under the water covering an area of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay from south of Goderich, west to the international border and north to the mid-point between the tip of the Bruce Peninsula and Manitoulin Island; then east to the mid-point of Georgian Bay and south to the southernmost point of Nottawasaga Bay." This suit has yet to be resolved.[9]

The Official Plan for the Town of Saugeen Shores (2014) includes the following comment about this issue: "The Chippewas of the Saugeen First Nation and the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation have filed a Native Land Claim for the islands in the Saugeen River, the lands that border the north side of the Saugeen River and the shoreline from the mouth of the Saugeen River northerly around the Bruce Peninsula."[10]

Notable members

  • Mary Louise McLeod Canada's Silver Cross Mother for 1972. The first Native woman to be so recognized.
  • Basil H. Johnston (1929-2015), writer and educator, residential school survivor
  • Verna Patronella Johnston author of "Tales of Nokomis", subject of "I Am Nokomis, Too", by Rosamond M. Vanderburgh, and the Native Women's Association of Canada 1976 Woman of the Year.
  • John Borrows (b. 1963), Professor Borrows, B.A., M.A., J.D., LL.M. (Toronto), Ph.D. (Osgoode Hall Law School), LL.D. (Hons.)(Dalhousie) F.R.S.C., is Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law at the University of Victoria Law School.[11]
  • Lenore Keeshig-Tobias, author (Emma and the Trees and Bird Talk) and major advocate for Indigenous writers in Canada
  • Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, poet, founder of Kegedonce Press
  • Clifford Solomon, television actor
  • Delmar Ashkewe, (b. 1947), artist
  • Chris 'Ice Bear' Johnston, artist[12]
  • Mark LaVallee, musician, co-founder of "Chippewa Travellers".[13]
  • Polly Keeshig-Tobias, artist, author and illustrator of The Illustrated History of the Chippewas of Nawash
  • Jeremy Proulx, award-winning actor[14]
  • Andrea Fowler, founded Johnston Research Inc and researcher
  • Nyle Johnston, artist
  • Adrian Nadjiwon, artist
  • Bradley Kiwenzie, artist
  • Kevin 'The Hooch' Lavallee, musician
  • Bryden Gwiss Kiwenzie, musician
  • Charmaine Jenner, artist
  • Naomi Smith, artist
  • Michelle LaVallee, curator, artist, and educator
  • Patrick Lavalley, (b. 1968), artist, historian[15]
  • Mary Spencer (b. 1984), Canadian, World Champion, Pan AM, and Olympic middleweight boxer[16]

Many Nawash members have gone on to have professional careers in TV, film, theatre and publishing.


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Chief & Council - Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation".
  4. ^ a b c "Cape Croker Park". No. 34th (annual pow wow). Chippewas of Nawash First Nation: Cape Croker Economic Development. 2018.
  5. ^ "Cape Croker Lighthouse (Neyaashiinigaaming) « Bruce Coast Lighthouses in Ontario". Retrieved 2018-08-20.
  6. ^ "Cape Croker Lighthouse |Cape Croker, ON". Retrieved 2018-08-20.
  7. ^ "Cape Croker Park Ontario | Home". Retrieved 2018-08-20.
  8. ^ "Chippewas of Nawash - Cape Croker". Archived from the original on 2018-08-06. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  9. ^ "Nawash/Saugeen First Nations Launch Aboriginal Title Lawsuit". Turtle Island Native Network.
  10. ^ "Official Plan" (PDF). Town of Saugeen Shores. Town of Saugeen Shores. 26 March 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 March 2017. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
  11. ^ "John Borrows - University of Victoria".
  12. ^ "paintings by IceBear". Ice Bear Studio.
  13. ^ "Chippewa Travellers Singers - Powwow Drum Music".
  14. ^ "The Website of Actor Jeremy Proulx". The Website of Actor Jeremy Proulx.
  15. ^ "Saugeen Ojibway Nation History".
  16. ^ "Writers-in-Residence Program: Robin Kimmerer." Archived 2013-04-02 at the Wayback Machine HJ Andrews Experimental Forest. 2004. Retrieved 17 July 2012.

External links

Coordinates:44°54′30″N 81°01′21″W / 44.908279°N 81.022634°W / 44.908279; -81.022634

Media files used on this page

Cape Croker logo.jpg
Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: Fair use
The logo of Chippewas of Nawash First Nation
Cape Croker park sign.jpg
Author/Creator: BrandonXLF, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
The entrance sign at Cape Croker park
Cape Croker lighthouse.jpg
Author/Creator: BrandonXLF, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Cape Croker lighthouse
Cape Croker Bruce Trail.jpg
Author/Creator: BrandonXLF, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
A picture of the map of the Bruce trail in Cape Croker