Whitesand First Nation

About this Nation

Whitesand First Nation (WFN) is located 246 km northeast of Thunder Bay on highway 527 and is situated northeast of the municipality of Armstrong. WFN has a land base of 615 acres. Historically, the community was located along the northwest shore of Lake Nipigon near Mount St. John and the Whitesand River. In 1942, high water levels began eroding the shoreline and flooding out the community’s buildings and burial grounds. Many WFN people settled along the rail line with the majority settling in Armstrong, where the establishment of the new reserve lands were negotiated. The community has a registered membership of 1086 people, with 311 members living in the community.

Food Sovereignty Visions
  • Health Centre Food Bank: The Community Health Centre in a hub for programming, and the health team is a very active community orientated team. The team is in the process of turning a small portion of the centre into a community food bank. A partnership is being explored between Feed Ontario, the Regional Food Distribution Association to begin this process. The Understanding Our Food Systems Project purchased the community an industrial freezer to assist in this project, the community already has an accessible industrial fridge for use for the proposed food bank. Small renovations will begin in early February 2020, continued conversations and partnerships to be built and established throughout the first few months of 2020. The Understanding Our Food System team and the Whitesand Health Centre team are meeting in February to develop a workplan for the 2020 year.
  • Community Bulk Buying (Potential Cooperative) Project: Due to the fact that the community only has one grocery store in neighbouring Armstrong that lacks fresh, quality, affordable food the Whitesand Economic Development is in the process of conducting a feasibility study on the potential of a cooperative store for the community. The Health Centre team met with the Silver Mountain Cooperative Buying Group in December 2019 to hear about the cooperative and see if there was an opportunity for the Whitesand Health Centre team and other interested parties to become temporary members of Silver Mountain and do some test runs for ordering in bulk. In addition to the potential for buying in bulk the group is interested in coupling this with workshops around storing the food and different methods for storing. In February when the workplan is being developed the team will be deciding on a trail run with the Silver Mountain buying group.
  • Raised Bed Community Project: Roots to Harvest supported the community in building 10 raised garden beds, community members volunteered to host and care for one in their backyard. There were positive results from this project as the gardens produced vegetable harvests, kids were positively involved in all stages from planting, caring, harvesting and cooking. This project will continue into the summer of 2020.