The Clearwater River Dene (Big “C,” La Loche) First Nation occupies three La Loche Reserves located 11 km southwest and 24 km east of La Loche, and 24 km northwest of Buffalo Narrows. Ancestors of this band signed Treaty 8 in 1899, and chose the La Loche area for their reserve as it was thick with vegetation and wildlife. The language spoken by the Clearwater River Nation is Dene. The band controls 9,511 ha of land and has a membership of 1,418 people, 619 of whom live on reserve. La Loche Landing (located between La Loche and Buffalo Narrows) is the most populated reserve area, but most of the Band’s members live in the town of La Loche. Facilities available on the reserve include a band office, a school, a group home, a drop-in centre, a fire hall, a health clinic, and community maintenance structures. The band’s economy is based mainly on trapping and fishing, with potential for timber and mining development.

Christian Thompson