Sheshegwaning First Nation
Points of Interest
Standing guard over the Mississagi Strait for over 130 years now also serves as a museum and stands on grounds perfect for picnicking, hiking and sunning. Located about 12km from the village of Meldrum Bay, the lighthouse is only accessible during the summer months. (May long weekend until the third Saturday in September.) Campground with central showers. Legend of La Salle’s wrecked Griffon can be researched here.
A well-kept church which has served the area for over 70 years is flanked by the nearby hall, site of numerous local events.
Shesheqwaning First Nation is located on the North Channel with road access off Highway 540 about five kilometers west of the hamlet of Silver Water.
Head men from Sheshegwaning were signatories to the 1862 Manitoulin Treaty that established the Island’s First Nations reserves’ boundaries (with the exception of Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territories.)
It is interesting that one of the Sheshegwaning head men at that time was a son of Jean Baptiste Assiginack, a War of 1812 veteran who had fought for the British cause and to prevent the possibility of American annexation of Upper Canada, by force, at that time.
JB Assiginack lived in Wiikwemkoong where he was an important figure and noted orator.
Unlike other Wiikwemkoong head men at the time of the treaty, he favoured signing it, as did his son in his capacity as a Sheshegwaning head man.
JB Assiginack and his family were forced to leave Wiikwemkoong after the treaty was signed and the Upper Canada government gave his family a grant of land near present day Manitowaning. When the townships were surveyed, Assiginack was named for him.
In the Sheshegwaning area:
In recent times, the First Nation has purchased adjacent land to enlarge its base and are presently in the process of developing some specialized quarrying services.
There are two hiking trails, the community has developed for the public to enjoy and to establish a niche in the tourism market.
It’s named Nimkee’s Trail and there are camping opportunities. Trail maps are available at the band office and at the convenience store (which also sells gasoline) near the trailhead.
This proud community also has its own school, St. Joseph’s Anishnabek School, with classes from Junior Kindergarten through to grade 8.
The Sheshegwaning First Nation’s annual pow wow cultural celebration is held annually on the third weekend in June.