History

The Keeseekoowenin Ojibway First Nation (KOFN) has had a number of names in the past. When its forefathers signed Treaty 2 in 1871, it was called the Riding Mountain Band, a title based on the location where the people lived. Before Keeseekoowenin became Chief in about 1874, it was also called Okanase’s Band and Mekis’ Band. The Keeseekoowenin First Nation has three reserves. The largest reserve, Indian Reserve (IR) 61, is located adjacent to the village of Elphinstone, about 80 kilometers northwest of Brandon, Manitoba. The next in size is IR 61A, on the shores of Clear Lake in Riding Mountain National Park. A third and smaller reserve, IR 61B, is located next to Bottle Lake. As of May 2005, the Band had a registered population of 973, of whom 463 lived on the reserve. Today Keeseekoowenin has over 1200 people on reserve and they have come a long way from where their ancestors had left them, both economically and culturally. Despite valuing its culture and traditions, today KOFN is open to embrace all the modern developments and endeavors to have access modern management techniques and latest technology with readiness to utilize its natural resources for the betterment of its community members’ present and future.