Community Contributors

The Nipissing are generally considered part of the Anishinaabe peoples, a grouping of people speaking Algonquin languages, which includes the Odaawaa, Ojibwe, and Algonquins. This broad heritage is likely the result of the Nipissings living at a geographical crossroads, a watershed divide.

To the west the Nipissing trade routes extended as far as Lake Nipiqon and their Ojibwa neighbours, and to the north as far as James Bay, where they traded with the Cree and, later, the English. Their trade network to the east extended as far as present-day Quebec City, also on the St. Lawrence. The Huron lived nearby to the South. Archaeological evidence shows that the Nipissing integrated some Huron styles and techniques in their pottery.

They obtained food primarily through hunting, fishing, and gathering. Their extensive trading likely allowed them to supplement their diets with corn, beans, and squash as well, which were staple crops of many First Nations peoples. The land in the lake valleys would have supported some horticulture.

Today Nipissing First Nation lies between the city of North Bay and the municipality of West Nipissing in northeastern Ontario, Canada. Most members of the First Nation reside on the First Nations reserve of Nipissing Indian Reserve 10.

The current governance of the Nipissing First Nation is elected under the custom electoral system, consisting of a chief, deputy chief and six councillors. The Nipissing First Nation’s council is a member of Waabnoong Bemjiwang Association of First Nations, which is a regional chiefs’ council. The First Nation is also a member of the Union of Ontario Indians, a tribal political organization representing many of the Anishinaabe First Nations in central and southern Ontario.

Serpent River First Nation