Our Community Past and Present

Members of the Manto Sipi Cree Nation living on the present location at the mouth of the God’s River along the north shoreline of God’s Lake settled there in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s.

Previously, they lived in several locations on and in the land around God’s Lake. They moved inland to their traplines in the fall and spring seasons. They lived and moved in family groupings. Each family group had their own place on the lake, typically on an island. These locations were known by the name of the head of the family and are not officially on any map. 

The people lived by hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering. These activities formed the economy of the people. Over time, outsiders came in mostly, because of the treaty and the old mine.

The Manto Sipi settlement grew out of the building of the lodge and later the airstrip. A school was built in the late 1950s, providing education up to Grade 9. The land on which the people now live officially became a reserve in 1988. The people now living on this reserve were members of the God’s Lake Band until 1976. The Manto Sipi Cree Nation elected their first chief in July 1976. Before that they elected their own Councillor to the God’s Lake Band Council and voted for Chief of the God’s Lake Band.

In 1988, the Manto Sipi Cree Nation bought the Lodge and airstrip. It later turned over the airstrip to the Province of Manitoba. The Band ran its own store until 2002, when it was acquired by the Northwest Company. There was a commercial fishery that was closed in 1980. Some members still trap, mostly on an occasional basis. The economy in Manto Sipi mostly is made up of delivery of programs and services, the lodge and special projects. There are several mining claims and mineral exploration licenses around God’s Lake and within the ancestral land of Manto Sipi. 
The Manto Sipi Council is engaged in discussions with exploration companies for potential benefits and partnerships.