Aamjiwnaang First Nation

History

Crest

See Description of Crest.

Early History

In the mid eighteenth century Aamjiwnaang territory covered a vast expanse of land on both sides of the waterway between Lakes Huron and Erie. Bounded by the Maitland River in the east and the Flint River in the west it contained some nine villages supporting a population of 15,000. Aamjiwnaang is an Ojibwa word denoting an important gathering place that had been used by First Nations for millennia. This gathering place was located at the foot of Lake Huron. The people who lived in this vibrant and prosperous band called Aamjiwnaang were members of the Anishnaabek First Nation. The French called us Saulteaux Ojibwe. The British and later the Americans called us Chippewa.

Beginning in the 1750’s Aamjiwnaang’s prosperity and population came under siege. We were allies first with the French and then the British. Multiple wars took their toll on our young men. At the same time outbreaks of cholera and small pox further decimated the population. In 1827 our population was enumerated at 440 on the Ontario side of the border and 275 in Michigan. Aamjiwnaang’s territory had also been reduced by several land cessation treaties to seven small reserves containing a total of approximately 25,000 acres. (Courtesy of David D. Plain)

Read more on Aamjiwnaang Early History.

Modern History

In 1807 we signed the Treaty of Detroit ceding all of our territory in Michigan. The treaty created two reservations, one at Swan Creek just south of Algonac and one at the mouth of the Black River at Port Huron. In 1827 we signed Treaty 29 ceding the remainder of our lands in Ontario to the British Colonial Government. This treaty created four reserves, one along the southern boundary of St. Clair Township, one at Sarnia, and two on Lake Huron. One located at Kettle Point and the other at the mouth of the Au Sauble River. The name Aamjiwnaang would disappear from the written record and fall out of general use until recently when it was revived and adopted as the name of the reserve located at Sarnia.

During the decades between 1850 and 1950 the community of Sarnia began to encroach upon the north end of Aamjiwnaang. Through a series of treaties our lands were reduced from over 10,000 acres to approximately 3,100 acres. Today Aamjiwnaang remains a vibrant, prosperous community interacting on excellent terms with the communities that surround us. (Courtesy of David D. Plain)

Read more on Aamjiwnaang Modern History.

Maps (Courtesy of David D. Plain):

History of Chiefs

Date Chief Years
Up to 1827 Animkeence 30+
1827 Joshua Wawanosh 17
March 1844 Mishibizhe 4
1848 Joshua Wawanosh 5
January 1853-67 David Wawanosh 15
January 1868-70 Joshua Wawanosh 3
June 1870-74 Nicholas Plain 3
May 8 1874 William Wawanosh 3 (1st elected)
June 30, 1877 John Sumner 5
June 1882 Nicholas Plain 2
December 1884 Francis Wilson Jacobs 14
January 3, 1899 William Wawanosh 2
August 4, 1901 Francis W. Jacobs 6
August 4, 1907 Peter Rodd 1
June 3, 1908 Peter Nawaug 1
January 6, 1909 Peter Rodd 1
June 9, 1910 Elijah Maness 9
 July 16, 1919 Daniel Otter 3
 September 6, 1922 Elijah Maness 12
 July, 1934 Nicholas Plain Jr. 6
July, 1940 Telford Adams 6
June 21, 1946 Kenneth Plain 3
June 24, 1949 Telford Adams 7
July 26, 1956 Lloyd Williams 2
July 8, 1958 Telford Adams 6
July 7, 1964 Christopher Adams 2
February 1, 1966 Fred Plain 3
October, 1969 Aylmer Plain 1
June, 1970 Gerald Maness 6
June, 1976 Ray Rogers 12
June, 1988 Phillip Maness 10
June, 1998 Ray Rogers 2
July, 2000 Phillip Maness 4
January, 2005 Christopher Plain 11
 July, 2016  Joanne Rogers  Current