Matachewan First Nation is a northern community whose lands and resources supported the traditional and subsistence livelihoods of many of its families. Matachewan’s traditional and treaty covers the historic mining camps of Kirkland Lake and Timmins. Over the last 100 years, Matachewan had been at the margins of resource extraction taken place within its territory. Recent engagement with mining industry has brought an increase in post-secondary education achievements, as well as the creation of diverse businesses.
Elder Laura Flood explained that her grandfather Michel Batise was the first recognized Chief of Matachewan FN. Elder Flood noted that originally Chief Batise used the last name Batise-Twain and that at one point, Batise became the family name.
According to the initial Treaty #9 document which was created in 1905 and 1906, the Treaty Commissioners arrived in Matachewan FN on June 19, 1906 after travelling from signing the treaty with the Abitibi First Nation people. They proceeded from Haileybury to Latchford using the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railway, then north for four days by water craft on the Montreal River to Matachewan FN. A crew from Temagami and several Native people from Matachewan Post including Michel Batise assisted the Treaty Commissioners on their river travel.
On June 20, 1906 a conference was held with the First Nation people of Matachewan and the treaty was signed by several community members and witnessed by the people and others. Michel Batise, Round Eyes, Thomas Fox and Jimmy Pierce signed the treaty with a simple ‘x’ beside their names. It was also signed by Treaty Commissioners Duncan Campbell Scott, Samuel Stewart and Daniel George MacMartin and witnessed by Pelham Edgar, George Monteith and Alex George Meindi, M.D. After the signing, payments were made the next day on June 21 to 79 First Nation members of the community. An election was also held in which Michel Batise was recognized as the first Chief under the new treaty. A feast was later held for everyone and Chief Batise was presented with a flag and a copy of the treaty.
The new treaty gave the First Nation community an area of sixteen square miles of land. The schedule of reserves was noted as – ‘ In the province of Ontario, inland and north from Fort Matachewan beginning at the creek connecting a small lagoon with the northwest shore of Turtle Lake, thence south on the west shore of said lake a sufficient distance to give an area of sixteen square miles.’
Matachewan First NationContact Information
The community is located approximately 30 kilometers southeast of the town of Matachewan and about 60 kilometers west of Kirkland Lake off of Highway 66.
P.O. Box 160, Matachewan, Ontario P0K 1M0
Tel: (705) 565-2230
Fax: (705) 565-2311