Dokis First Nation boasts majestic wilderness for you to explore. Beautiful, scenic waterways with exceptional fresh water fishing and great hospitality to match.
Our community is home to some of the nicest people you will meet!
This beautiful little river is over 25 miles in length and over 100 yards wide in most areas.
Read more about the Little French River
A favorite swimming spot, tranquil and scenic.
More spectacular rapids, scenic area.
The Historic Okikendawt (Chaudiere Portage)
As mentioned in other studies, the Okendawt Portage Bay on the Western side has always been a reliable and utilized fishery. Still today after the man-made channel provided flow to the area, the amount of spawning activity must of increased. The flowing currents attract spawning walleye, sturgeon, musky, bass, and most other fish. The area is unique in terms of an efficient fishery ecosystem. Areas a little downstream of the fast currents contain ideal habitat for nursery and feeding for a huge variety of fish. The littoral zone is substantially large and efficient for all age classes of fish and the deep pockets of thermo cline waters are ideal for sturgeon and other deep-water yearlings that go into these waters for protection, temperature and or oxygen content levels.
This huge fishery has also supplied much food fish for Dokis Bay residents, as every April; the people from Dokis come here for netting smelts and spearing walleye. In May and June the area is good fishing for the walleye with rapalas, and good spearing for Sturgeon and Musky. For the remainder of the fishing season the area can be fished for most species as they still school in this area for feeding.
Another unique feature of the Portage West Bay is the fact that it is an area where some Dokis Residents do an early spring Duck Hunt in the final three weeks in March. The area is teeming with ducks at this time because it is open water habitat while most other water bodies are still frozen. The ducks flock here in order to find mates or rest for a while on their journeys. The ducks are easily called into the blinds for these three weeks and the hunters eat most varieties. This spring duck hunt is part of our heritage because the Dokis hunters know that the ducks are easy to hunt, they land in the same areas, the ducks don't contain as much fat as other times of the year, and most importantly the ducks are not impregnated or nesting yet.
The Beautiful and Historic Chaudiere Falls (Okikendawt Falls)
(Based on oral reports by Dokis Elders)
The beautiful and historic Chaudiere Falls is a lifeline to the residents of Dokis Bay. For two centuries Aboriginals, Europeans and Metis peoples have inhabited this general area; however it was the aboriginal people who have survived here and lay official claim. These people beheld the Okikendawt area and the Chaudiere falls area as a central point to their existence. The Chaudiere falls area is rich with a huge variety of fish, wild game and other traditional land uses.
Deer hunting was a major contributor to the food sources of the first inhabitants, without beavers to build dams and flood ponds the hunting dogs can easily pick up the deer scent and the Dokis hunters would wait at the waters edge at specified locations for the deer to start swimming (an easy kill). This practice was also used for the Little French River. Moose hunting did not start here however until the beavers started creating desired habitat in the mid-1950's.
Other animals that were hunted for food were:
- Bears, rabbits, squirrels, porcupines, woodchucks and muskrats.
- Ducks, geese, partridge and grouse.
One must imagine the abundance of fish at the Chaudiere Falls even 200 years ago. The early inhabitants of this area knew very well how important this resource was as a food source and thus built their community surrounding that precise fact.
The flowing currents of the Chaudiere falls are an excellent fish spawning, nursery and feeding habitat. Sturgeon, Walleye, Suckers and Musky were the dominant species of this habitat and rightfully so they were also the preferred food fish for the Dokis inhabitants. Channel Catfish were also very abundant and they along with sturgeon can be fished for using night lines baited with chunks of squirrel, porcupine or scrap fish parts.
Other fish that were eaten:
- Burbot, brown bullheads, smallmouth bass, rock bass, perch, northern pike, cisco, drumfish, whitefish and red horse suckers.
Before the beaver moved in the area most trappers sought after the following animals:
- Mink, otters, weasels, muskrats, fishers, pine marten, fox, raccoons, wolves and coyotes.
The shorelines and barren rock lands were always used for blueberry picking and cranberries. The forest edge on a little higher ground was used for pin cherries, raspberries and gooseberries etc. The hardwood lands has probably been the biggest contributor for foraged foods and medicines as it contained a larger variety of tap roots and mushrooms. The following are some examples of traditional medicines:
- Indian pipe, cedar and sweetgrass.
The following are some examples of foraged foods:
- Wild Garlic, Indian cucumber root, brown morels and lichens.
One conclusion that most elders and residents of Dokis agree on is that our ancestors built the community in Dokis Bay because of our unique dependence on:
- The valuable fishery of Chaudiere falls
- The fertile crescent of adjacent lands.
- The fur-trading route (employment).
The abundance of building woods, maple syrup and timber.
Dokis Trails (3)
Tikibi Trail - Chaudiere Trail - Papase Trail
Tikibi trailhead is located behind Dokis Band Office and is 2.2 kms long. Chaudiere trailhead is located on Main Street ("down the hill") and is 2.28 kms long. Both trails connect with one another and are easy to moderate in terms of walking. Features such as rock bowls, 8000 yr old watermarks, caves and plenty of wildlife can easily be found on these trails.Tikibi trail loops back to the Dokis Band Office and connects on to the Chaudiere trail.
The Chaudiere trail connects the Upper French River to the Lower French River so as to view the beautiful Chaudiere Rapids and Cradle Rapids. The Chaudiere trail is very scenic and includes plenty of medicinal and edible plants of approx ninety species. A 100 ft bridge, walkways, benches and picnic tables are placed along designated areas for your comfort. Both trails have posted info on our plants and their native health benefits.
Papase trail is almost complete. This trail is 8.8 km long, trailhead begins near our community and leads to the famous Five Finger Rapids. The trail is geared to moderate to extreme hikers and pre-planning is encouraged. We have a 2 km section to complete which will be done this spring. Many different plant species can be found on this trail and much more uninhabited species to be discovered by you, extreme wilderness lovers.
* Visitors are encouraged to please take garbage back out to the trailhead garbage bins located at the beginning of the trails.
Permits are required to walk the trails at a small fee of $3.00 per person or $2.00 for seniors. Band and community members are free. Permits can be purchased at Dokis Band Office, Riverview Cottages, Dokis Marina and Pine Cove Lodge.
Additional info about our trails will be available on our brochures in spring of 2011 at locations mentioned or by calling the Dokis Band Office at (705) 763-2200.
Anyone is welcome to come over, visit our area and explore, explore, explore!
Dokis Pow-Wow Grounds
The location of the Dokis Annual Pow-Wow is on Keso Bay Road (turn right, follow signs).