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Hatchet Lake Denesuline Nation (Lac la Hache)

On August 19, 1907, Commissioner Borthwick met with the Denesuline of the Lac la Hache at Lac du Brochet on the north end of Reindeer Lake to negotiate an adhesion to Treaty 10. Three days later, after selecting their chief and headmen, they reassembled with the Treaty Commissioner and signed. The reserve was surveyed on the east side of Wollaston Lake, 354 km north of Flin Flon in the fall of 1965, and set apart as the Lac La Hache Indian Reserve on September 23, 1970. Wollaston “Post,” the home community of the Hatchet Lake Denesuline Nation, is on the southeastern shore of Wollaston Lake. This lake was known as Axe Lake—hence the name “Hatchet.” The Hatchet Lake Dene lived a mostly nomadic life until about 1960, when their children began to attend school regularly. It was then that the community started to develop. The Dene are still active hunters, fishermen and trappers, and those involved in a wage economy participate as time allows. Chief and council are responsible for the administration of the many programs that keep the band organized, and Elders sit on committees and assist in the band’s governance. Outside of positions within the band’s infrastructure and administration, there are a band-owned store (Hatchet Lake Economic Development Corporation, 2001) and a commercial fish plant. There are a total of 1,311 band members, with 1,026 people living on their 11,020-ha reserve.

Christian Thompson

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