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Chapter 10: First Nations Settlements

10.7: Oxford House

The Bunibonibee Cree Nation (population 1,947 in 2006) lies at the northeast end of Oxford Lake 1, part of the Hayes River System that drains to Hudson Bay. A channel in the northeast 2 drains into Buck Lake, part of which is visible in the east 3.

The photo shows the essential elements of many northern reserves: settlement strung out along a road parallel to the shore 4 with a nearby gravel landing strip 5. The northeast/southwest strip about 5,000 feet (1,524 m) long is not well-oriented given the frequency of northwest winds in this area, but it is probably all that was possible given the lay of the land and water. Oxford House is also served by floatplanes and by winter roads that link it to Gods Lake to the southeast and Cross Lake to the west.

Tracing the settlement from south to north there is first a cluster of residences at Hyers Point 6 followed by a gap to the east 7; then a string of settlements between the lake shore and the road 8 with a large building—possibly a school 9—at the south end. Numerous paths lead down to the lakeshore from the residences 10. In the north the road veers away from the lakeshore with numerous residences along it 11.

This northern part of Oxford Lake is shallow with numerous sand waves just off shore 12. In the northeast is a series of well-developed sand bars 13.

Figure 10.7: Oxford House

Figure 10.7:  Oxford House

Figure 10.7

Vertical air photograph: A26570-119

Flight height: 10,600 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 152.031 mm

Scale: 1:19,900 (approx.)

Date: October 1, 1984

Location: Township 69; Range 15 WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 53L Oxford House

                    1:50,000 53L/14 Oxford House