Deer Lake

Smoke from forest fires forces some evacuations from Deer Lake First Nation

Evacuation ordered as smoke blankets Ontario reserve
Sept 06 2006 - CBC News Online at

Some residents of a remote community in northern Ontario were ordered to leave their homes Tuesday as more than 30 forest fires burned nearby.

About 200 people, mainly children, the elderly and those with respiratory problems, were told to leave the First Nation of Deer Lake, about 300 kilometres north of Red Lake, because smoke from a cluster of fires has been lingering over the community of 700.

According to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, the evacuation order was imposed on Tuesday and the operation was expected to continue on Wednesday.

A reception centre in Geraldton, a community of more than 2,000 people north of Lake Superior, has been set up for people leaving the community.

There are more than 40 active fires across northern Ontario, mostly in the northwest.

As of Aug. 31, the ministry said 1,468 fires have burned about 20,562 hectares in the province.

Last year, 1,735 fires burned about 42,500 hectares in Ontario by the Labour Day long weekend.

With files from the Canadian Press


Deer Lake Head Start heads to Kahnawake, Quebec for Community Exchanges Program

For the Second year in a row, the Aboriginal Head Start Program in Deer Lake has been selected to participate in a Canada-wide Community Exchanges Program. Last year staff members travelled to Mistawasis First Nation in Saskatchewan to exchange ideas and information. This year the group will travel to Kahnawake, Quebec.

Last year 16 sites were selected to take part in the Community Exchanges Program but because of overwhelming success, Health Canada increased the number of participating sites to 30 sites this year. Head Start sites are paired based on strengths and weaknesses.

Deer Lake Head Start has had tremendous success in its Culture and Language component of the Program. With the guidance and assistance from Elders and dedicated community members, the Program has been more active in exposing its students to traditional lifestyle practices.

Deer Lake Head Start hopes to get ideas on networking and creating linkages with other programs in the community. With a stronger emphasis on creating a working relationship with the local school.

The Exchange visits will take place in the fall 2006.


Deer Lake Personal Support Worker ceremony honours three graduates

February 20 2006 marked the graduation of  3 dedicated Deer Lake Homecare workers from the Personal Support Worker Certification program.

Martha Meekis, Home and Community Care Coordinator, Annie Anysanabe, Home and Communiy Care PSW and Doris Meekis Home and Community Care Homemaker all completed the 500 hour course.

Their studies included all areas of caring for community members who need assistance. Hygeine, mobility, medications, mental health, documentation, ongoing conditions, abuse, interpersonal skills, care planning, first aid, CPR, death and dying, bedside care individuality of the person, role of the worker, household management and meal preparation were some of the topics studied by these hard working ladies over the past 3 years.

The graduation ceremonies were held at the Deer Lake School. Thanks to so many caring people in the community, the event was a huge success.

After an opening prayer by Elder Virginia Meekis, Assistant Health Director Jill Quill, Elder Obeik Koostachin, Chairperson of Health Zack Meekis and Band Councilor Oscar Meekis all helped to present the certificates and honour the graduates with kind words.

Past and Present Home and Community Care Nurse Supervisors, Nancy Muller and Sylvia McPherson as well as LTC Nurse Phyllis Choweniec travelled to Deer Lake for the event.

The PSW certificate is recognized by Homecare and Hospital facilities and is a prerequisite for many jobs in the health care field.

These 3 caring workers are proud of their accomplishment and plan to use their new skills to improve the Deer Lake Home and Community Care program. 

Click here to view photo album of this special event

Request for information concerning the whereabouts of MURPHY QUILL of Deer Lake

The family of Murphy Quill is asking that if anyone knows of his whereabouts that they contact his family through the Deer Lake band office. Or have Murphy contact his family.

Murphy is 44 years old and from Deer Lake.  He has not been since July.  He was in Winnipeg the last time the family heard any news about his whereabouts.  Perry & Cecillia Quill traveled to Wpg to go look for him. They searched the shelters, Portage (just in case anyone seen him) and other place without any success.  They will be leaving again today to travel to Shammatawa.  There were rumors saying that he was living there with his girlfriend so they will go check if he's there. 

Crossing my fingers!!!

Deer Lake paddlers travel traditional route between North Spirit to Deer Lake

It was a five day trek through trails that have not been used for more than many years.  11 Deer Lake youth and 2 local instructors / guides completed the trip. The youth were 14 to 18 years of age. Five lakes, two rivers and 15 portages were traveled to complete the trip.

Deer Lake First Nation General Election Results

July 14 2005   


Archie Meekis       204 votes

Evelyn Meekis      125 votes

Deputy Chief

Henry Meekis      210 votes

Delbert Kakegamic     119 votes 


Albert Mamakeesic     193

George Rae       192

Randy Meekis      162

Cory J. Meekis      158

Lydia B. Meekis     144

Oscar Meekis          142

GW Children's Centre in Deer Lake delivers ECE training program for staff

The Ga Wiianiniiganiitamagoyak Children's Centre (GWCC) in Deer Lake First Nation is a new organization funded under Health Canada's Head Start program. It is evolving to become a fully accredited child care centre which has been its goal since its inception. Rather than being a stagnant entity the centre continues to be very proactive in its approach to reaching this goal.

The centre has achieved many successes with its innovative programming and its community based approach to developing local services that address local needs and objectives.

To achieve its goal, the Centre worked to develop an Early Childhood Education Program for its staff and interested community members in partnership with the regional college. This objective became a reality when funding was secured for a community based ECE Program to be delivered by Confederation College through the use of video conferencing. Students are able to attend classes in our community with regularly scheduled instruction and class time the college instructor who is located in Kenora. A virtual face-to-face classroom is now operating at the centre.

The broadband connectivity is being provided by Deer Lake's Broadband Community Network and the video conferencing equipment was provided to the Centre by the Regional Management Organization (KO) with Industry Canada's First Nations SchoolNet Program as a pilot project.

Sandy Lake's Aboriginal Head Start Program joined the initiative when they heard how the courses were being delivered. K-Net Services as a recognized leader in connectivity and telecommunications is providing the video bridge to connect Sandy Lake with Deer Lake and Confederation College for these courses.


Deer Lake to celebrate the Grand Opening of their new school on Jan 13

On behalf of the people of Deer Lake First Nation, the Chief & Council invites everyone to join them during the Grand Opening of the new Deer Lake School.

The Grand Opening festivities will take place on Thursday, January 13, 2005 at 1:00 pm.

Please confirm your attendance and who will be attending to the Band Secretary Angie Meekis @ 807 775 2141 or Councillor Cory J Meekis at the same number or by e-mail to

If you want to make a presentation, please let Cory know so that he could make arrangements with the Grand Opening Planning Committee for a time slot on the agenda.

Click here to check out the pictures of the new school

Gitchi Meegwetch,

Chief & Council
Deer Lake First Nation


Final preparations for the opening of new Deer Lake school

K-Net staff members travelled to Deer Lake this week to work with local network technicians to complete the wiring and networking requirements for the new school in Deer Lake First Nation. The team of Dan Pellerin, K-Net Network Manager and Jamie Ray, Computer Technician from the Sioux Lookout office of Keewaytinook Okimakanak travelled to Deer Lake on Tuesday. They are working with Oscar Meekis, Jeremy Sawanas and Darrell Ostamas to complete the preparations for the opening of the new school at the beginning of January.

The IP telephone system is now operational. The computer labs and data network connecting all the rooms throughout the school, along with the video conferencing services are being set up so students and teachers are able to use these tools from any location in the new school.


Bob Rae releases mid term report on post secondary education on-line

  To see the interim report, click here...