Foundational to the history of this ancient location, the Indigenous communities of the Sault and area continue to play a vital role today. Indigenous communities are found on all sides of the Sault, with Batchewana First Nation and Garden River First Nation being adjacent to the City. Other nations, including the Métis Nation of Ontario and the Missinabie Cree First Nation, also have offices in Sault Ste. Marie. Approximately 10% of the population is considered urban Indigenous. Family and cultural ties link Indigenous communities across the river to Michigan’s Sault Tribe of Chippewas as well as Bay Mills and other locations.
These communities were established through historic treaties, including the Robinson-Huron Treaty, the Jay Treaty, and Treaty 9, which have since caused the relocation of many Indigenous peoples away from their traditional lands. Culture is maintained and shared through powwows, ceremonies, teachings, drum circles, sweat lodges, traditional food and ways of life with strong connection to and respect for the land.
Information about services and events that support Indigenous peoples in Sault Ste. Marie can be accessed through the centrally located offices or the Indian Friendship Centre.