Pays Plat First Nation

About this Nation

Pawgwasheeng (Pays Plat First Nation) is located near the municipality of Rossport Ontario, 175 km east of Thunder Bay along highway 17. The people of Pawgwasheeng have lived on the north shore of Lake Superior for a long time, surviving on hunting, trapping, fishing and gathering food and were heavily involved in the fur trade. There is a registered membership of 210 people, with 70 members living in the community.

Food Sovereignty Visions
  • Health Centre Greenhouse: Due to the success of the raised garden beds behind the Health Centre the community wanted to extend their season for growing and starting their own plants from seed so decided on buying a plexi-glass greenhouse with shelves for inside along with some seeds from Superior Seasons.
  • Extension of Raised Bed Building and Planting Initiative:  Community members had an overwhelming response from the raised beds and the health centre wanted to build a few more beds in their space as well as offer some raised beds to those community members who were interested in hosting and caring for one within their yard. The project also purchased the community enough wood to build six more raised beds for the summer of 2020. The Understanding Our Food System team and Roots to Harvest will be traveling into the community to plan, plant and build early spring 2020.
  • Community Kitchen Refrigerator (Kitchen Renovation): The Health Centre utilizes the community centre for many food related programs, when the project team first visited the community the health team stressed the need for a kitchen renovation in the community centre. The band administration decided that they would conduct the kitchen renovation if the Understanding Our Food Systems project would support the purchase of a much-needed replacement refrigerator to add to the renovation and to further support food related initiatives and programming.  An industrial refrigerator was purchased and delivered to the community, the health centre staff explain that this purchase and the kitchen renovation have really changed the dynamics of food related programming and the space that the community utilizes for such programming. The results have been increased attendance to programming, the ability to hold higher quality foods for freshness longer and more space to hold food for programming. The community centre is a hub and the renovation and refrigerator purchase have only increased its potential.
  • Health Centre Raised Garden Beds: In the summer of 2019 Roots to Harvest visited the community and assisted in the building of four raised garden beds behind the health centre. Roots to Harvest assisted in the planting of the beds and mentored the health centre staff throughout the summer. The raised beds yielded a large harvest that feed into many community programs hosted at the community centre, some of the left-over harvest was given to Elders in the community and no food went to waste. The health centre gardens became a focal point for community conversation and visits, the gardens also proved to be a source of relaxation and health centre staff breaks where time was spent weeding or harvesting while taking a short break from the work happening in doors.