Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation

Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation formerly "Cape Croker" is an Ojibway First Nations band in the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario, Canada. Along with the Saugeen First Nation, they form the Chippewas of Saugeen Ojibway Territory. Chippewas of Nawash currently has a population of 700 individuals living on the reserve; however, the band roll has approximately 2080 registered in total. The size of all reserves is 71.83 km2 (27.73 sq. mi.). The First Nation has 3 reserves, Neyaashiinigmiing 27, Cape Croker Hunting Ground 60B and Saugeen and Cape Croker Fishing Islands 1.

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


Current Band CouncilEdit

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:[1]

  • 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.[2]

Points of interestEdit

Cape Croker lighthouse
Cape Croker park sign
Cape Croker Bruce Trail

Cape Croker lighthouseEdit

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.[3][4]

Cape Croker parkEdit

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.[5]

The Bruce TrailEdit

The Bruce Trail goes through Neyaashiinigmiing and on some of the bluffs on Neyaashiinigmiing.[2]


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[6]

The name Neyaashiinigmiing loosely translated from Ojibwe as point of land surrounded on 3 sides by water. Which describes the location of Neyaashiinigmiing 27.[2]


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 27Edit

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 60BEdit

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

Saugeen and Cape Croker Fishing IslandsEdit

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.

Land claimsEdit

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.[7]

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."[8]

Notable membersEdit

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


  1. ^ "Chief & Council - Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation".
  2. ^ a b c "Cape Croker Park". Cape Croker Park (34th (annual pow wow)). Chippewas of Nawash First Nation: Cape Croker Economic Development. 2018.
  3. ^ "Cape Croker Lighthouse (Neyaashiinigaaming) «  Bruce Coast Lighthouses in Ontario". Retrieved 2018-08-20.
  4. ^ "Cape Croker Lighthouse |Cape Croker, ON". Retrieved 2018-08-20.
  5. ^ "Cape Croker Park Ontario | Home". Retrieved 2018-08-20.
  6. ^ "Chippewas of Nawash - Cape Croker". Archived from the original on 2018-08-06. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  7. ^ "Nawash/Saugeen First Nations Launch Aboriginal Title Lawsuit". Turtle Island Native Network.
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ "John Borrows - University of Victoria".
  10. ^ "paintings by IceBear". Ice Bear Studio.
  11. ^ "Chippewa Travellers Singers - Powwow Drum Music".
  12. ^ "The Website of Actor Jeremy Proulx". The Website of Actor Jeremy Proulx.
  13. ^ "Saugeen Ojibway Nation History".
  14. ^ "Writers-in-Residence Program: Robin Kimmerer." Archived 2013-04-02 at the Wayback Machine HJ Andrews Experimental Forest. 2004. Retrieved 17 July 2012.

External linksEdit

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