Black River First Nation is located at the banks of the O'Hanley and Black Rivers along the shore of Lake Winnipeg. The community is accessible by an all-weather road which is a short drive north of Powerview/Pine Falls and is approximately 194 km north of Winnipeg.


As of December 2020, Black River has a combined on-reserve and off-reserve population of approximately 2000 members.

Chief and CFS Portfolio Councillor

Chief is Sheldon Kent and the CFS Portfolio Councillor is Milly Cook.

Black River First Nation

Black River First Nation is a small but resourceful community with an infrastructure that includes the: Southeast Child and Family Services Office; a Shawenim Abinoojii home; Daycare/Head Start; Band Office; Black River Health Centre; Moppa's Store; Water Treatment Plant; and a food bank that operates once every two weeks.

The community has an Elders Program which is usually very active but has not been so recently due to the pandemic. The Elders provide cultural activities such as cooking, monitoring of children in the classroom or playground, language development, counselling, and participate in all school activities.

The community has established the Black River First Nation Local Child Care Committee whose objective is to provide guidance, direction, support, and recommendations to the programs that SECFS provides to on- and off-reserve families.

The Black River Gaa-wiijii-int Abinoonjii (Jordan's Principle Program) is active in providing health care and social services to children with complex medical needs. Gaa-wiijii-int Abinoonjii and SECFS staff work together to provide children and families supports that help build on their strengths as a family and prevent children from coming into care.

The Anishinabe Black River School offers nursery to grade 10 and is a part of the Frontier School Division. Grade 11 and 12 students have the option to attend school in Powerview/Pine Falls or to attend Southeast Collegiate in Winnipeg. The community also has an alternative education program for adults; however, remote learning practices have been implemented due to the pandemic restrictions.

SECFS staff work collaboratively with Shawenim Abinoojji to enhance opportunities in keeping children in the community and to keep siblings together. There is currently one Shawenim Abinoojji home in the community.


  • Director of Services - Heather Unfried
  • City Supervisor - Simone Richard
  • Community Supervisor - Lorna Bjork
  • Direct Service Workers - Valerie McDonald, Farley Bird, Satira Mooyman, Katrina Starr, Michelle Daly, Patricia Kakegabon, Hannah Tyler, Gayle Parisien, Jessica Jureidini, Darissa Ross
  • Administrative Assistants - Michelle Wiebe, Robin Cornell
  • Service Assistants - Ellie Marsch, Ilona Francis

The City Team provides services to Black River off-reserve members and works closely with the on-reserve staff to ensure services are provided adequately and are respectful of Black River's customs and traditions.

Highlights and Activities

  • Many programs and activities have been adapted to remote and/or virtual sessions this year.
  • Staff encouraged clients to register for the Agency's virtual programming and workshops.
  • The Parent Aide Program operated throughout the year and is available for all Black River community members.
  • Treaty Days celebrations were not permitted this year due to pandemic restrictions; however, SECFS contributed to a fishing derby and an online talent show and contest.
  • The Summer Recreation Program was unable to deliver its programs this year, but the community children were able to participate in the Waterways canoe training program.
  • SECFS provided Thanksgiving hampers to families, and Halloween treats for the children, and a contribution to Black River First Nation made possible the delivery of meat packages to families at the beginning of the pandemic.
  • The luncheon with Santa for the Children in Care was cancelled but the children in care and protection family children still received a gift from Santa. In January, an after Christmas hamper was provided to the Agency involved families.
  • Funds are set aside for emergency family needs.
  • The SECFS office is undergoing expansion and will provide more space to deliver programs and activities.
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