Poplar River First Nation
Poplar River First Nation is located 450 kilometres from Winnipeg. It is home to about 2,000 residents.
The people of Poplar River have archaeological evidence of continual occupancy in this area for at least 7,000 years.
Poplar River First Nation Location
Approximately 450 kilometers from Winnipeg, on the east side of Lake Winnipeg. The remote community is located at the mouth of the Poplar River as it enters Lake Winnipeg.
There are approximately 1,600 people living in the community and 400 people living outside the community.
Summer—accessible by boat and air transportation from Winnipeg.
Winter—there is an 80-kilometre winter road from Poplar River to Berens River First Nation, which connects to the all season road network to Winnipeg.
Learn more about travel routes across Pimachiowin Aki.
Poplar River leaders signed Treaty 5 on September 20, 1875.
Traditional Lands (Lands refers to land, water, and all life)
The Land that the people of Poplar River consider to be their Traditional Territory is approximately two million acres, in size, extending east from Lake Winnipeg to the Ontario Border.
- In 2011 Poplar River First Nation’s community-based Lands Management Plan became law and the Traditional Lands called Asatiwisipe Aki were designated as a Protected Area through Provincial Legislation
- In 2018, the combined Traditional Territories of Poplar River, Pauingassi, Little Grand Rapids, and Bloodvein River First Nations, along with two Provincial Parks were established as the Pimachiowin Aki World Heritage Site
Lands Based Economy
There are 15 traplines within Poplar River’s Traditional Territory managed by Poplar River First Nation. Each trapline has a Head Trapper who manages the area. Historically traplines where handed down from one family member to another and this practice is still in place today.
The amount of trapping and numbers of animals caught are not anywhere near the levels from a few years ago. However there are still several active trappers who also participate in Poplar Rivers Lands Protection Program.
Poplar River supports a vibrant and active Commercial Fishing Industry. There are several community people who own commercial fishing licenses and fish over the course of the spring, fall and winter fishing seasons. The main species which are caught and sold are Pickerel and Whitefish.
Commercial Fishing on Lake Winnipeg is strictly regulated to ensure its sustainability.
Poplar River owns and operates the Poplar River Fishing Station, which supports this industry. Fishers prepare their fish, which are weighed and packed in ice at the station and then shipped south by barge on a regular basis. The Fresh Water Fish Marketing Corporation purchases the fish from the individual fisher.
Poplar River is actively researching and developing an ecotourism industry.
Non Commercial Land Uses
Hunting, fishing, berry and medicine gathering and recreational uses are all essential to the health and wellbeing of the People of Poplar River.
Lands Guardian Program
Poplar River is part of the Pimachiowin Aki First Nations Guardians Program, and has developed a Lands Guardian Program to safeguard the protected lands and to ensure the Elders’ Lands Teachings are shared with Poplar River youth.
Poplar River is in the process of developing a First Nation Lands Law for our Treaty Lands.
Note: For a complete detailed Community Profile please visit Poplar River First Nation’s website: prfn.ca
Read the Asatiwisipe Aki/Poplar River First Nation Lands Management Plan for details on Poplar River’s work to protect and care for the Land.