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History

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In the Beginning...

Michel "Eagle" DokisIn 1850, Michel "Eagle" Dokis signed the Robinson Huron Treaty, creating the present known boundaries of Dokis First Nation. However, no families of Dokis or Restoule settled on Dokis Lands until the 1890's. Michel Dokis lived at Dukis Point on Lake Nipissing, very close to Garden Village situated at the west end of Nipissing First Nation. His family and friends were basically the Dokis tribe at that time and they helped Michel to operate a successful trading enterprise. His town sons, Alex and Michel Jr. managed a fur trading post North of Nipissing Lands while Michel Sr. and others safe guarded his trading network along the French River corridor, more notable at the Chaudiere Falls and Okikendawt Portage.

As the fur trading business slowed considerably, the "Dokis Tribe" felt it was time to now move onto the lands that they negotiated for on the french River and Dokis Village was established. A very close "Cousin Tribe" the Restoule's also started inhabiting Dokis Village and surrounding lands, both families grew vegetable and grain crops while maintaining some trapping activities. Much pressure was placed on the Dokis and Restoule's to sell the timber rights of Dokis Lands and lumbering became a new revenue machine for the families at Dokis Village.

These new timber revenues helped fund a church and a school in the 1920's, yet Dokis Village infrastructure was still very un-modern for that era. Dokis village still had no road and remained rather isolated on their island, they depended mostly on the French River for a traveling route, boats and canoes in the summer, horse carriages in the winter as ice travel provided the only road access. Many present Dokis Village elders say it was the isolation that created the bonding and dependency with one another, "we lived as one big happy family".

In the 1950's a road and hydro line service was established connecting Dokis Village to the "outside world" but our most distinct heritage is the French River and the canoe.

Many key words "sum up" the Dokis's and Restoule's heritage such as (1) middlemen (fur trading) (2) good land stewards (3) friendly (4) fishing and hunting guides (men and women) (5) sharing (6) togetherness (7) entrepreneurial.


Robinson Huron Treaty

On September 9, 1850 in Sault Ste. Marie, Michel Dokis signed the Robinson Huron Treaty on behalf of the Dokis and Restoule families, at that time, the total population was 16.
The Robinson Huron Treaty promised 2000 pounds currency and perpetual annuity, hunting and fishing rights on the territory, and the reserve land of their choice. In exchange, the Natives surrendered lands between Pentanguishene and Sault Ste. Marie and inland to the height of land north of Lake Huron.

For those Natives who signed the treaty from the Lake Nipissing and French River area, they were also promised 160 pounds of Provincial Currency along with 2000 pounds previously guaranteed. Also promised was "that for, and in consideration of the sum of 2000 pounds of good and lawful money of Upper Canada, to them in hand paid, and for the further perpetual annuity of 600 pounds of like money, the same to be paid and delivered to the said Chiefs and their Tribes at a convenient season of each year, of which due notice will be given, at such places as may be appointed for that purpose, the then said Chiefs and Provincial men, on behalf of their respective Tribes of Bands, do hereby fully, freely, and voluntarily surrender, code, grant, and convey unto Her Majesty, her heirs and successors for even all their right, title, and interest to and in the whole of, the territory above describe, save and except the reservation set forth in the schedule hereunto annexed; which reservation shall be held and occupied by the said Chiefs and their Tribes in common, for their own use and benefit". 1

The ninth treaty allotted "Dokis and his Band, three miles square at Wanabeyakokaun, near Lake Nipissing and the Island near the Fall of Okikendawt". 2

Although the reserve land was allotted to the Dokis First Nation in 1850, it was not until 1895 when the band members moved from Dokis Point to their reserve.

In 1897 the population increased to 75; consisting of 19 men, 30 women and 26 children. The following year the first election was held electing Michael Dokis as life Chief.

1 & 2 Robinson Huron Treaty, 1850.


Timber Rights

Respect and preservation of the Earth is sacred to all Native people. It is our belief that the earth is our mother and from her comes all life, such as the stars, the trees, the lakes and streams, the animals: all life. This is the reason why Chief Michael Dokis promised Benjamin Robinson that as long as he lived, they would never surrender their timber to the Crown.
However, as a result of this promise, and as a result of the Natives to not wanting to destroy and desecrate their land, this increased the desire of the Crown and the government's interest in the Dokis First Nations timber profusely.

In 1899 the Hardy Lumber Company of Michigan cut 1129 pieces of the Dokis First Nation's timber, without permission due to an error in determining the boundary between the reserve the Hardy Township. This error was not reported to the Dokis First Nation instead it was reported to the Superintendent of Indian Affairs. A timber inspector was hired and reported that 172, 336 feet was cut. The company was charged $1,044 and was allowed to have the timber off the reserve with no penalty imposed.

When Chief Michael Dokis was informed of the logging company's trespass and the arrangement made by the government, he refused the $1,044 payment and demanded $2,040 compensation. Chief Dokis also demanded that the logs be left on the reserve to rot, destroying any other interest in trying to steal the timber of the Dokis First Nation. Unfortunately, Chief Dokis's demands were not met or even acknowledged.

After the trespassing incident, the government and logging companies continued to try to persuade and pressure the Dokis Natives to surrender their timber rights. On January 7, 1908, the government succeeded their timber. It must be noted however that the government's influence was deceitful and underhanded. The meeting for the vote was only delivered to Chief Alex Dokis December 31, 1907, written in English. Chief Dokis had to travel to Sturgeon Falls in order to receive a translation. By then it was to late to seek legal advice or to influence the other members of the band. A feast was also arranged the day before the meeting by the government where a large supply of liquor was illegally given to the Natives. The day of the vote, eleven voted in favour and six voted against. The timber rights were officially surrendered by the Dokis First Nation to the Federal government.

In 1909, the white pine lumber sold at an action for $1.1 million, with the interest of the money divided between families. This made the Dokis Natives the richest Natives in all of Canada. Capital was later used to create and construct a better quality of life on the reserve, including the road, the church, the school, and many other projects.



Succession of Chief and Council

1898-1906 Chief Michael Dokis- 1st elected Chief
1906-1926 Chief Alexander Dokis Sr.
1929-1929 Chief Michael Dokis Jr.
1930-1933 Chief Frank W. Dokis
1933-1936 Chief John C. Washusk
1936-1939 Chief John A. Washusk
1939-1942 Chief Fred Dokis
Councillor Frank W. Dokis
1942-1951 Chief Frank W. Dokis
Councillor Fred Dokis (1942-45)
Councillor Ralph Restoule (1948)
1951-1953 Chief John C. Restoule
Councillor Angus Restoule
Councillor Ralph Restoule
1953-1971 Chief Joseph W. Dokis
Councillor Angus Restoule (1953)
Councillor Ralph Restoule (1953)
Councillor Norman Dokis (1955)
Councillor Ralph Restoule (1955)
Councillor Albert Restoule (1962)
Councillor Robert Dokis Sr. (1962)
Councillor Albert Restoule (1962)
Councillor Leonard Dokis (1962)
1971-1972 Chief Leonard Dokis
Councillor Ernest Restoule
Councillor Dave Dokis
1972-1974 Chief Rolly Restoule
Councillor Ernest Restoule
Councillor Ron Restoule
(Ernest Restoule resigned September 11
and Gordon Restoule then became Councillor)
1974-1978 Chief Leonard Dokis
Councillor Ron Restoule (1974)
Councillor Ernest Restoule (1974)
Councillor Ken Restoule (1976)
Councillor Harold Restoule (1976)
1978-1979 Chief Wilfred Dokis
(Chief Wilfred Dokis died June 11)
Reno Dokis (1st Councillor) took office of Chief.
Ernest Restoule became Councillor
1979-1984 Chief Reno Dokis
Councillor Harold Restoule (1979)
Councillor Ernest Restoule (1979)
Councillor Leonard Dokis (1980)
Councillor Ernest Restoule (1980)
1984-1988 Chief Martin Restoule
Councillor Barbara Restoule (1984)
Councillor Wanita Dokis (1984)
Councillor Leonard Dokis (1986)
Councillor George Dokis (1986)
Councillor Reno Dokis (1986)
1988-1990 Chief Reno Dokis
Councillor Ernest Restoule
Councillor Leonard Dokis
Councillor Roger Restoule
1990-1992 Chief Tim Restoule
Councillor Wanita Dokis
Councillor Roger Restoule
Councillor Peter Restoule
Councillor Harold Restoule
Councillor Jack Restoule
Councillor Ernest Restoule
(Ernest Restoule died June 9)
Kenneth Restoule then became Councillor.
1992-1994 Chief Tim Restoule
Councillor Harold Restoule
Councillor Peter Restoule
Councillor Kenneth Restoule
Councillor George Dokis
Councillor Gordon Restoule
Councillor Wanita Dokis
Councillor Robert Dokis Sr.
1994-1996 Chief Jack Restoule
Councillor Robert Dokis Sr.
Councillor Veronica Dokis
Councillor Gilbert Dokis Sr.
Councillor Chris A. Dokis
Councillor Roger Restoule
Councillor Harold Restoule
Councillor St. Clair Dokis
Councillor Wanita Dokis
1996-1998 Chief Jack Restoule
Councillor Charlie Restoule
Councillor Eugene Restoule
Councillor Kenneth Restoule
Councillor St. Clair Dokis
Councillor Lindsay Dokis
1998-2000 Chief Tim Restoule
Councillor Leonard Dokis
Councillor Charlie Restoule
Councillor Lindsay Dokis
Councillor Roger Restoule
2000-2002 Chief Tim Restoule
Councillor Leonard Dokis
Councillor Veronica Dokis
Councillor Roger Restoule
Councillor Richard Restoule
Councillor Derek Restoule
2002-2004 Chief Bill Restoule
Councillor Leonard Dokis
Councillor Roger Restoule
Councillor Richard Restoule
Councillor Derek Restoule
Councillor Lisa Restoule
(Leonard Dokis resigned on June 7)
(Roger Restoule resigned April 8)
2004-2006 Chief Bill Restoule
Councillor Leonard Dokis
Councillor Derek Restoule
Councillor Roger Restoule
Councillor Lisa Restoule
Councillor Denise Restoule
2006-2012

Chief Denise Restoule
Councillor Leonard Dokis
Councillor Tina Restoule
Councillor Roger Restoule
Councillor Lindsay Dokis
Councillor Gary Dokis

2012-Present

Chief Denise Restoule (Re-elected)

Councillor Roger Restoule

Councillor Derek (Bud) Restoule

Councillor Chris A. Dokis

Councillor Gerald Duquette Jr.


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