Nibinamik (aka Summer Beaver) is a First Nation community in Northwestern Ontario composed of approximately 200 in-community members. This remote community, located roughly 500km North of Thunder Bay, has no year round road access and is fly-in only in the summer months. A winter road, just North of Pickle Lake, is maintained in the winter months and provides an opportunity to get vehicles, goods and construction materials, and diesel fuel to the community.
The First Nation is a member of the Matawa First Nations, a regional Chiefs council, and Nishnawbe Aski Nation, a Tribal Political Organization representing majority of First Nations in Northern Ontario.
Summer Beaver began as an intentional community in 1975 when a group of Anglican people, related by kinship, decided to leave Lansdowne House, a Catholic settlement. Violence had reached epic proportions in Lansdowne House in the 1970′s and the community was divided along religious lines. The Summer Beaver people felt that they could make a better life for themselves and their children back at Nibinamik Lake. Community members travelled to Nibinamik from Landsdowne House, where they started developing their own infrastructure, constructing log homes that exist as the predominant architecture to date (131 buildings to date). Nibinamik was not recognized as a reserve, but has treaty status.
Nibinamik is nestled along the shoreline of the East end of Nibinamik Lake, which is a part of the Winisk River system that flows into James Bay. The community is located on the western edge of the “Ring of Fire” regional mining deposits and is involved in negotiations with the province in how to proceed with startup of mines in the area.
A large majority of the buildings and residences are log constructed, poorly insulated, and heated via wood stove. Electricity for all buildings is generated from an in community diesel generating power station.
The community has a water treatment plant, but many buildings either have no plumbing or have plumbing problems and do not have running water. There are also concerns of contamination in the water supply.
Many community members still fish, hunt and trap to provide their families with food and to create crafts and clothing in which they can sell to help sustain themselves.
NEWS & EVENTSAugust 14, 2015
Nibinamik First Nation will be celebrating its 40 year annual summer festival this august 17-22, 2015.