Little Grand Rapids Unit

Location:

Little Grand Rapids (LGR) First Nation is a remote community located 268 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg on the shores of Family Lake near the Manitoba/Ontario border. The community is spread out over an eight kilometre stretch along the lake shores.

The LGR airport is located on the north side of the lake on the peninsula near the community. Travel is limited during freeze up and thaw, and a helicopter is utilized to provide transportation across the lake during this period. In the summer, travel is only by air and in the winter community members take advantage of the winter road which is open for 1 to 3 months, dependent upon weather, to transport big items and stock for the year.

Little Grand Rapids is steeped in traditional life and most members speak their Anishinaabe language fluently. The members and visitors enjoy the outdoors, site seeing of the waterfront, boating and canoeing the river and lakes, and engage in hunting, fishing and camping. The community is surrounded by many small lakes, rivers, and rapids that provide ample opportunities for these activities. The community organizes many shore lunches members can participate in during the summer months.

Population:

The on-reserve population is 1,300 and off-reserve is 354 for a total population of 1,654.

Community Services/Businesses:

SECFS Office; Daycare and Head Start Program; Band Office; LGR Health Centre (nursing station); General Merchants; Owen’s Cash and Carry Store; Northern Store; Water Treatment Plant and Sanitation; Circling Thunderbird Centre; RCMP Station; and, a Fire Hall.

School:

Abbalak Thunderswift Memorial School is a band operated school that offers nursery to grade 9. The children must relocate to Winnipeg and/or other municipalities in order to attend school beyond grade 9.

Little Grand Rapids First Nation Chief and CFS Portfolio Councilor:

Chief Ray Keeper.
The three CFS Portfolio Councilors are Wendy Leveque, Hilda Crow and Diane Keeper.

Staff:

Director of Services – Jackie Larocque
Community Supervisor – Jackie Laroque
Direct Service Workers – Bedla Francois, Cindy Green
Administrative Assistant – Jude Leveque
City Supervisor – Julia Seymour
Direct Service Workers – Rabia Harb, Sheryn Seunath, Allison Mckay, Brittany Jonsson, Thomas Bergan
Administrative Assistant – Corrine Player

Highlights and Events

  • City and community staff participated in the community resource committee meetings as part of the Unit’s commitment to partner with the community resources to address the social issues impacting the community i.e. alcohol and substance abuse. Chief and Council, RCMP, SECFS, Nursing staff, SERDC, Health Program, and the School participate on the committee. Alcohol and substance abuse continues to be the main reason member children come into care.
  • Children continue to be reunified with their families, and children are returning to the community which requires the joint effort of the city and community staff.
  • Quarterly team building activities and case reviews are held as a means to improve and maintain positive communication and working relations between the on and off reserve staff.
  • About 30 children and youth in care returned to the community to attend the Treaty Days week long events.
  • Partner with Chief and Council with events including Treaty Days; Fishing Harvest; Spring and Fall Community Feasts; Moose Harvest; Winter Carnival; Canada Day Celebrations; National Addictions Awareness Week events; and community workshops and presentations
  • Community staff actively participated with the Community Christmas Feast where 300 members attended. The children received coloring books, crayons, pencils and markers, and the community members were welcome to take home the extra food.
  • The Family Enhancement Worker is setting up women’s groups, men’s groups and other support groups to meet community needs.
  • The Unit is in the process of developing an internal system to identify and accept new and existing family enhancement cases

Shawenim Abinoojii Homes

The community constructed 3 Four Bedroom Units in 2014, and 5 Four Bedroom Units in 2016. The Circling Thunderbird Centre (CTC), located across the peninsula has two trailers that are used as Four Bedroom Units, plus 1 Four Bedroom Unit attached to the CTC. These homes provide for 11 Four Bedroom Units available for children in need of placements, and are operated by Shawenim Abinoojii Inc. These Four Bedroom Homes are used as emergency, temporary, short, or long-term placement options that prevent children from having to be placed outside the community, and has provided opportunity for children in care to be returned to the community. These child care placements are always filled to capacity.

Little Grand Rapids charts