The Attawapiskat First Nation is located approximately 260 km north of Moosonee, near the mouth of the Attawapiskat River along the western coast of James Bay. It has an on reserve population of about 1,784 as of March, 2012, from the website of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.
The Community can be accessed by air and by winter road or by barge during the summer. Attawapiskat has two reserves – Attawapiskat No. 91 A, where the people reside, and has a land base of 131 hectares. Attawapiskat No. 91 is located up river and has a land base of 27,040 hectares. Although Attawapiskat No. 91 is uninhabitable, it is used primarily for traditional purposes.
Attawapiskat has its own Chief and Council, a hospital, a nurses’ residence, a post office, First Nation-operated elementary school, a secondary school, a Northern Store, church, community hall, arena, all-weather airport; and a police station. In addition, a team of Peacekeepers work in the Community.
Attawapiskat’s on reserve secondary school, built by the First Nation, means a great deal to the Community. In the past, students leaving home to attend school created many disruptions in the Community, especially for those students who were separated from their families and homes for extended periods of time. The school also provides opportunities for mature students to continue their secondary education at home.
The Community, which has approximately 260 houses, has an extensive road system, diesel generation system that was operated by Ontario Hydro. The Community also has a water system. A new sewage system was constructed in 1994-1995. Dykes were also constructed to protect the Community from spring flooding, which sometimes necessitates emergency evacuations.