The ancestors of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation were inhabitants of the Lake Simcoe region long before the arrival of white settlers. Chippewa Chief, Joseph Snake, and his people first lived on Snake Island, one of three islands (Snake, Fox and Georgina) not surrendered to the Crown.

In 1830, Snake and two other Chippewa communities (led by Chief Assance and Chief Yellowhead) were moved to 9,800 acres near what is now Coldwater, Ontario as part of the government’s Coldwater Experiment to colonize the Chippewa people. Then, just six years later, the Chiefs were forced to surrender these lands under treaty. Chief Joseph Snake slowly moved his people back to Snake Island. By 1860, the band had outgrown small Snake Island and Chief Snake moved his people onto the larger and more spacious Georgina Island.

The future for the Chippewas of Georgina Island is bright. The island is currently undergoing a growth spurt, which has resulted in the construction of new homes and cottages, and this construction boom has created job opportunities. There is also increased investment by island residents in new businesses that foster our tourist industry as visitors to the area become more aware of this ‘jewel’ of the lake.