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George Abotossaway
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First Nation Communities in many parts of Ontario have had anglo names thrust upon them that were not reflective of their identity or characterized as to how they were viewed by other First Nations. The First Nation community known as the Ojibways of Sucker Creek (formerly Sucker Creek (Indian Reserve #23) have recognized that this former practice used to name their community was erroneous and have since changed its name once again to the now present Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation. The name Sucker Creek Indian Reserve was given by Indian and Northern Affairs because of a creek that flowed through the community into the North Shore of Lake Huron which contained an abundance of suckers and smelts. However, to the people of the community and to the Ojibways of the outside area they were known as Aundeck Omni Kaning (Literal translation "Where the crows nest").
 
George Abotossaway is believed to be the founding forfather of the Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation. It is documented that in 1952 George Abotossaway and his family started the settlement of Wabejiwong or Little Current as it is known today. In 1855, an appraisal was done when the Shaftsbury (to be renamed Little Current) town plot  was surveyed as a means of placing value the "improvements" which the Indians made on the land. The value of the land was to be reinbursed to the community members upon relocation to the land known as the Sucker Creek Indian Reserve when the former homestead in Little Current was sold to a white settler. Records do not indicate when the relocation actually happened although there is no record of families living on the Sucker Creek Indian Reserve prior to 1874. It was not until about 1880 that the First Nation people were relocated and this land was not registered with Indian Affairs in Manitowaning until March 16th, 1886. Original families who were moved to the new reserve were the Abotossaway, Columbus, Esquimaux, Zack, Muckdabin and Shokan's while other families to move there in later years were Corbiere, Kaysheyonge, Kokoko, Madahbee, Nahwegahbow, Weindabense and Salisquainess.

George Jr. Abotossaway was the first Chief of the reserve from 1882-1889 the chief followed the hereditary line until elections for the position were held every two years. The Indian Act from the elections followed until 1991 when the Audeck Omni Kaning First Nation passed their own band custom policy of  which changes were initiated that included the term of office being extended to three years for Chief and Council.

The Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation is located 5 km west on Highway 540 from the town fo Little Current which has the distinction of being the main access point to Manitoulin Island. The major city closest to the reserve would be the Greater City of Sudbury, which is approxamately 154km west and is considered one of the major cities in Northern Ontario. The Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nations land mass consists of 897ha (2214acres) of which 59% is managed by the Band Council while the remaining 49% is held by individual Band members by Certicate of Possession. The total current membership of the Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation is 700 with an average 340 members residing within the community. An estimated 57% of the population are under the age of 30 years of age and this makes the community relatively young in terms of age and life experience. As a result of the age factor and the influence of residential schools on the older population, many of the band members cannot understand or fluently speak the mother tongue of Ojibway today. However, the community has begun a language and cultural revitalization program through which the language, arts and crafts, traditional ceremonies and knowledge can be taught and preserved as a means of strengthening the cultural identity.

Within the community, there are many talented artists practicing the woodland style of native art, antler carvings, leather and beadwork while other community members excel in other areas of furniture making and wood burning artwork. Located on the shores of Georgian Bay means that many of the favourite past times and recreation activities are spent on the lakeshore or around the many islands surrounding Manitoulin Island. Recreational Activities such as swimming, fishing, family camping, sports and social gatherings are enjoyed by the community and their friends but the Aundeck Omni Kaning Traditional Pow Wow and Gathering remains one of  the most anticipated and well attended events for the community held on the first weekend of June at the beach park.

The community members still practice their traditional wildlife harvest of deer, moose and smaller animals such as rabbits and partridge. Many still practice the harvesting of vegetables, herbs and various flowers for private use while traditional seasonal harvest of maple syrup, morals and other non-timber products is carried on by descendants of the early community members. The Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation have begun its own tradtional events to mark various seasons and to promote community unity through the Kings Day Feast, Fall Harvest Feast, Aboriginal Solidarity Day and events to mark other non-native tradtional holidays such as Halloween, Christmas, Canada Day, etc. A variety of social affairs and events that celebrate men's day, women's day, diabetes awareness and other social acceptable programs sponsered by the Health and Wellness programs, recreation and church programs which are held throughout the year.

The Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation involvement in sports on Manitoulin Island almost becomes legendary when one considers the exceptional number of athletes who have excelled in their sports or the number of Championships won on many age levels. From sweeping every youth and teen category in fastball in the early 1970's at the Haweater Weekend tournament to the string of island and Espanola-North Shore championships by the men and women fastball teams right up to the all Ontario Women's Championship in 1982. This small community has shown their versitality in hockey, volleyball, bowling and continues to become a leader in all sports and recreaional activities.

The implementation of economic initiatives has rewarded the Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation with a number of ventures that have led to employment opportunities and becoming a leading model for achieving self-sufficientcy for the community and its members. A few of the successful economic ventures are:

Wabuno Fish Farm and Processors: This unique business was established as a production facility for farm raised rainbow trout in 1992, which eventually led to the construction of the processing plant on 1994. The business continues to operate by developing domestic and export markets while looking for new and innovative ways to increase productivity, non-traditional value-added products and looking ahead to the next century.

Endaa-aang Tourism: This eco-tourism business opened its doors in May 2001 and every indication looks like the business will be one of the leading tourism attractions over the years. With cabins and teepees on the mainland and the traditional occupied island on the North Shore and though the cooperation of other Manitoulin Island Facilities such as the Ojibway Cultural Foundation in M'Chigeeng, Endaa-aang Tourism will be another successful adventure for the Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation.

Not only does Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation have an Administration and Community Centre in the heart of the reserve but also it has a newly constructed Health Centre offering a variety of health services to the community. Nearby is a Legal Aid Office serving the Manitoulin Island area and it is also within the community. There are smaller venues such as Gunners Gas Bar, Snedzy's, Renz and Dillmar's.  A newly estabished contracting business which is called MCI Construction .

 

PHOTOS OF THE CHIEFS AND THE YEARS THEY WERE IN OFFICE FOR THE AUNDECK OMNI KANING FIRST NATION COMMUNITY.

Charlie Abotossaway
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1895-1950

Stanley McGraw
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1950-1960

Levi Owl
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1967-1969

David Nahwegahbow
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1963-1965, 1965-1967

Ivan Madahbee
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1973-1975

Lawrence Madahbee
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1961-1963, 1969-1971, 1975-1977, 1977-1979

Clayton Abotossaway
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1971-1973, 1979-1981, 1981-1983, 1983-1985

Patrick Madahbee
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1999-2002, 2005-2007

Joanne Esquimaux
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1993-1996

Diane Abotossaway
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1996-1999