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

Animkeence

30+ years – Up to 1827

Chiefs since the signing of the Treaty of 1827

Joshua Wawanosh

1827 – 1844

1848 – 1853

1867 – 1870

David Wawanosh

1853-1867

Nicholas Plain

1870 – 1874

1882 – 1884

William Wawanosh

1874 – 1877

1899 – 1901

John Sumner

1877 – 1882

Francis Wilson Jacobs

1884 – 1899

1901 – 1907

Peter Rodd

1907 – 1910

Elijah Maness

1910 – 1919

1922 – 1934

Daniel Otter

1919 – 1922

Nicholas Plain Jr

1934 – 1940

Telford Adams

1940 – 1946

1949 – 1956

1958 – 1964

Kenneth Plain

1946 – 1949

Lloyd Williams

1956 – 1958

Christopher Adams

1964 – 1966

Frederick Plain

1966 – 1969

Aylmer Plain

1969 – 1970

Gerald Maness

1970 – 1976

Ray Rogers

1976 – 1988

1998 – 2000

Phillip Maness

1988 – 1998

2000 – 2005

Christopher Plain

2005 – 2016

2018 – current

Joanne Rogers

2016 – 2018

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Historical Documents with respect to a “land and timber” deal dated April 15, 1852 were found at a local Goodwill store.  The documents were given to Dennis Plain, who transcribed them and presented them to Council on April 3, 2017.