Since time immemorial, the people of Wahgoshig First Nation have lived and thrived in the Abitibi region. Formerly known as Abitibi Band of Abitibi Indians, Wahgoshig First Nation is an Algonquin community whose traditional territory straddles a large segment of Northeastern Ontario and Northwest Quebec. The Wahgoshig people were known centuries ago as a nomadic group of hunter-gatherers, and the majority of our members have Algonquin or Cree descent. Our codes, customs, and culture are reflective of our Peoples.
When the settler Europeans arrived to this land in the 1600’s, the Indigenous Peoples and the British Crown began to enter into land agreements. The Abitibi Indian Reserve No. 70 was created when the James Bay Treaty (Treaty 9) was signed at the Hudson’s Bay Company post on Lake Abitibi in Quebec on June 7, 1906.
When the Crown’s Treaty Commissioners arrived at the Hudson’s Bay Company post on Lake Abitibi in Quebec on June 7, 1906, they only met with the Indians located within Ontario, not the Indians in Quebec.
So, two years after the signing of the James Bay Treaty the federal government then arranged to have the Quebec Indians included in Treaty 9. Part of this arrangement meant the Quebec Indians would receive annuities and would share in the revenues allocated to Abitibi #70.
The reserve land that promised was in 1906 was 19,239 acres or 78 km2 . But the land wasn’t Wahgoshig’s until 1986. At that time, the members were living off the land in tents within their traditional territory. Since receiving its reserve land in 1986, Wahgoshig has grown and become stronger with a collective desire to grow even more into a healthy community.