Until the 1960's, we enjoyed a rich traditional lifestyle. In 1907, the Aseniwuche Winewak who had traditional homesteads in the Jasper area were forced to relocate.
The members of the Aseniwuche Winewak Nation are non-status Indians descended from Cree and Beaver tribes from the northern Rocky Mountains (now Jasper National Park, Willmore Wilderness Park and the Grande Cache area).
AWN was incorporated in 1994 and represents the six Aboriginal communities in the Grande Cache area: Muskeg Seepee Cooperative, Susa Creek Cooperative, Grande Cache Lake Enterprise (Kamisak Development), Victor Lake Cooperative, Joachim Enterprise, and Wanyandie Cooperative (East and West).
Archaeological evidence of Aboriginal people in this region dates back thousands of years. In 1907, Aboriginals in the Jasper area were evicted to create the National Park. Many moved to the area near present day Grande Cache, joining family already there. The People lived a traditional, self-reliant lifestyle until the 1960’s. In 1969 the town of Grande Cache was built to facilitate the development of a coal mine. Aboriginal residents were unable to participate in development decisions, as they had no legally recognized title to the land or minerals. Many traditional sites, homes and gravesites were destroyed, and a legacy of loss began.
The community problems arose from a lack of education, training and economic opportunity. In an effort to overcome these barriers, the Aseniwuche Winewak Nation was formalized in September 1994. The six aboriginal settlements that surrounded the town of Grande Cache joined together to have a collective presence. In 2001, the Nation became the representative body of more than four hundred individual members, and the corporate members of Cooperatives and Enterprises.
Today, Aseniwuche Winewak Nation has a provincial reputation for leadership, professionalism and achieving results.
Towards the Future
Today, we face pressures unknown to previous generations: unparalleled development on our traditional lands and integration into the modern world. We are meeting the challenge by designing and delivering programs and services to meet our community needs. Aseniwuche Winewak Nation has a provincial reputation for leadership, professionalism and achieving results. We are doing our part: finding practical solutions, forming partnerships and being accountable.