Dokis First Nation

Many UFRCA cottagers access the Upper French River by the Dokis Road and through Dokis First Nation. The village of Dokis is a major hub of activity throughout the summer months. PresentlyHolly Waters has taken over the UFRCA Dokis Liaison position, following the retirement of Grant Hobson from the Board of Directors. Among the many events at Dokis is the annual Pow-wow, which is held on the weekend immediately before, on, or after July 1 - Canada Day. Dokis is also a major first-response location for volunteer fire-fighting and emergency evacuations, thanks to the involvement over many years of (the late) Leonard and Shirley Dokis at Riverview Cottages and their crew of volunteers. A relatively new event at Dokis is "Summerfest" is held on the 3rd weekend in July. All are invited to attend, and there are opportunities to get involved in baseball, tossing horseshoes, or just spectating.

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For more information see the Dokis First Nation Website




Congratulations to Dokis FN on Election Results and Hydro Project Grand Opening
Posted May 30, 2016

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Congratulations to recently elected Chief Gerry Duquette and to Deputy Chief Denise Restoule, who has been Chief of Dokis First Nation since 2006 but stepped down from that role this spring. One of her many accomplishments over the last 10 years was the successful construction of the hydro-generating station at the Chaudiere dam. On May 5, 2016, the project was officially opened. Photo supplied by Grant Hobson, UFRCA Dokis Liaison. See other photos in the Photo Gallery. Also scroll down to the  video on the hydro project

CBC Features Dokis Hydro-Mega Project

Posted November 10, 2016
An in-depth article about the Dokis power generating station appeared on the CBC News web site on November 5. Thanks to Paul Cormier for relaying the CBC information to us.

There is an announcement at the end of the article that, to hear more, listen to CBC Radio's The World This Weekend on Saturday at 6 p.m. (7 p.m. AT, 7:30 p.m. NT). Note that this aired on Saturday November 6. To listen to the podcast from The World This Weekend, click world this weekend power.asf Thanks to Philip Mason for locating this podcast.


Dokis Museum

Posted November 2016
(From the October 2016 Newsletter)

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In an effort to preserve the history and culture of the Dokis First Nation, many dedicated community members took on the responsibility and hard work to create the Dokis museum which opened its doors in July, 2016. The building is a new prefabricated structure and is located beside the Band office on Main Street.

The interior of the building is an impressive two-storey space and houses a collection of artifacts, both historical and cultural, celebrating the heritage of Dokis and its people. The museum is divided into several different rooms, each devoted to a different theme including history, traditional, industry, war, religion, and the French river.

Guided tours are offered by the docent on hand. The stories shared behind the artifacts and photos, are very engaging and informative.

The hours of operation will be determined for next season and there will be an entry fee per person. There is also a gift shop selling handmade local arts. If you have something you feel would make a significant contribution to the French river room, and would like to donate or loan it to the museum, please contact Holly Waters.  

Congratulations to Dokis FN on Election Results and Hydro Project Grand Opening

Posted May 30, 2016

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Congratulations to recently elected Chief Gerry Duquette and to Deputy Chief Denise Restoule, who has been Chief of Dokis First Nation since 2006 but stepped down from that role this spring. One of her many accomplishments over the last 10 years was the successful construction of the hydro-generating station at the Chaudiere dam.

On May 5, 2016, the project was officially opened. Photo supplied by Grant Hobson, UFRCA Dokis Liaison. See other photos in the Photo Gallery. Also scroll down to the  video on the hydro project. 


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Chief Gerry Duquette


Water Problems at Dokis - State of Emergency Lifted

Updated July 7, 2015
According to media reports, the state of emergency at Dokis has now been lifted. Efforts are now underway to secure funding for upgrades to the water system so the problem does not occur again.
Posted June 12, 2015
For the North Bay Nugget article, click here. 


Hydro-electric Project Update

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Excerpt from the March 2, 2015, Newsletter
by Grant Hobson

Photo at left by Dave Minden - Turbine installation site

Well, the colder than average temperatures have had an effect on the Village of Dokis as well.  The Hydro-electric project has made great strides in the last six months.  Completion was expected in March; however, with the cold, the likely target will be June.  Chief Denise Restoule has waited a long time for this day to come.  Now in her ninth year as Chief, she has spent the last eight years involved with this project.  She says it will all be worth it. This project will now bring the Dokis First Nation financial autonomy for many generations.

 0 views (4 Kb) Chief Denise Restoule, elected in 2006, will retire after present 2-year term

Speaking of the project, a national organization called Pollution Probe honoured the Dokis First Nation in December 2014 with their "Sustainability Award" in connection with the Okikendawt Project 10 MW Hydroelectric Facility.  This award recognizes many environmental and cultural considerations that went into the building of this project.  They included: model of sustainable development, community building as well as environmental and cultural stewardship.  During the development, major efforts were made to improve pickerel fishery habitat, protection of breeding sites for the Blanding’s Turtle and preservation of ancient archaeological pictographs and other artifacts.  This was a proud moment for Chief Restoule and her community, and I am sure you will all join me in saying congratulations.

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Photo at left by Peter Fry – Lower coffer dam at Hydro project

As some of you may know, the Chaudiere Dams near the village are in dire need of repairs.  (See related articles below.) The government commenced that project last October and hope to be finished in two to three years.  They have already run into delays with the high water level in the fall and the severe cold this winter but hope to be back on track this month.  We will keep you apprised of that development and how it may or may not affect us on the Upper French as time goes on.

Updates: The heated dressing rooms at the community outdoor rink are nearly completed. With just a few final touches left, they have been able to use them this winter to the delight of all.  Chief Restoule applauded the efforts of the local youth for fundraising to get the project started.  She was also very appreciative of the funds donated by the Upper French River Cottage Association and its members.
The addition to the Band Council Office is complete.  Since the government recently altered the Indian Act to allow First Nation communities to manage their own land and resources, Dokis First Nation hired people to fulfill that function and therefore needed more office space for those people.

Chief Denise has accomplished many initiatives in her tenure as Chief and claims this may be her last two-year term.  One other project she would like to see come to fruition is a Museum in the community to highlight and preserve the proud past of the DokisFirst Nation people.  We will keep you up to date on the progress of this project and any fund raising initiatives needed to make it happen.

Posted May 23, 2014

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Clayton Dokis led a group from MNR and the Nipissing Forest Local Citizens Committee on a visit May 21 to the Portage Dam hydro-electric project.

The current work is focusing on the turbine support structures at the bottom of the new blasted channel. Hydro power generation is expected to commence in July of 2015.

Click on the photo to enlarge. The photo is looking downstream with the French River in the distance. The steel gate prevents down-stream water from backing up into the construction area. The Portage Dam itself is out of sight to the left of the area shown. 



Dokis Hydro-electric Dam Update

Dokis drives forward with $43-M dam

DOKIS FIRST NATION — An ambitious plan to develop a 10-megawatt, $43-million hydro dam where Lake Nipissing flows into the French River near Monetville moved a step closer to reality Monday.

The Okikendawt Hydro Project received its name in a ceremony near the Portage Dam Site Monday. Okikendawt means pots in the rocks in the river" in Ojibwa.

A pubic works dam is already there," said Dokis First Nation Chief Denise Restoule. We are going to be tapping into the outflow of the public works dam." Ten megawatts can power 30,000 homes.

People attending the naming ceremony included Dokis First Nation elders, Ontario Energy Minister George Smitherman, Chris Henderson of Lumos Energy (a Canadian energy company that provides clean energy expertise and advice to First Nation communities), and Jacky Cerceau of Hydromega of Montreal, the private company that will develop the new dam.

Restoule said construction on the $43-million project could start in 2011 with the dam opening in 2012. They figure it might involve up to an 18-month job," she said. They figure they might hire in the neighbourhood of 150 people in the construction stage."

Restoule said Hydromega will be providing the bulk of the capital for the project.
The band is looking at different government agencies (for funding help)," she added.
What we get will be considered part of our equity (in the project)."

Dokis First Nation and Hydromega have started the regulatory process to obtain a Water Priority Permit under the federal Dominion Water Power Act. The permit will allow for the development of the dam and the use of water for that purpose.

People and organizations that will be affected by the project, including Dokis First Nation members, Lake Nipissing and French River water users, and authorities such as Ontario Parks, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and Public Works and Government Services Canada have all been consulted and support it, she said.

Restoule said the dam project will maintain water quality and flow, improve fishery habitat, protect endangered species and archeological zones, and also rebuild the historic Chaudiere Portage Route.

The Okikendawt project has been an economic development goal for the Dokis First Nation for 25 years.
Posted: 8/18/2009

Okikendawt Hydroelectric Project Transmission Line

Notice of Opportunity to Inspect the Draft Environmental Study Report
Okikendawt Hydroelectric Project Transmission Line
Class Environmental Assessment for MNR RSFDP and Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Class EA
The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) is in receipt of an application for a proposed 44kV electrical transmission line in order to connect the proposed Okikendawt Hydroelectric Generating Station at the Portage Dam on the Upper French River (near Dokis, ON) to the electrical supply grid near Highway 522 in the vicinity of Golden Valley in the District of Parry Sound. The proposed transmission line project is subject to the provisions of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Class EA for Resource Stewardship and Facility Development Projects and the Class EA for Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves, as a Category C undertaking. The project is also subject to a federal screening under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The Draft Environmental Study Report (ESR) was harmonized to meet both the federal and provincial requirements in a single environmental assessment document.

The 38 km transmission line would consist of wood poles extending approximately 20m above ground, erected approximately every 100 meters. Approximately 75% of the preferred route would be sited along areas that have been previously disturbed including an existing snowmobile trail network, existing roads and former logging roads. The transmission line corridor would be constructed across federal land, Dokis First Nation land and 24.5km of provincial Crown land, including 209 m of French River Provincial Park and along an existing road through Restoule Provincial Park, and on private property. The transmission line route alternatives are shown on the accompanying map. 

The applicant is inviting comments on the Draft Environmental Study Report which is available for viewing at the Municipality of French River, the Noelville Library, the Alban Library, the Municipality of West Nipissing, the Sturgeon Falls Library, and in the post offices in Golden Valley, Port Loring, Loring, Arnstein and Restoule. The document is also available for electronic review at

Please direct any inquiries, comments or requests to the Applicant or the MNR within the 30-day comment period which will expire on April 18 2011.

The Draft ESR assesses the potential effects of the proposed transmission line corridor on the environment during its construction, operation and maintenance. Mitigation measures are provided to avoid or minimize adverse environmental effects of the project. The measures identified were prepared from standards, guidelines, best practices, and from agency consultation.
Click here to see map of proposed transmission corridors and dates of public open houses.
Source: MNR
Posted: 3/15/2011

French River Dam Complex to get major upgrade

Posted November 4, 2014
Monday, November 03, 2014 by: Staff

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Jay Aspin, MP for Nipissing-Timiskaming announced the awarding of a construction contract for the Big Chaudière Dam Replacement Project at the French River Dam Complex near Dokis, Ontario, to EBC Inc., of Brossard, Quebec. “The Dam is being replaced to ensure its continued function and operation,” said Aspin. “This contract award is a sizeable investment in the region. Our Government is ensuring this important piece of infrastructure continues to serve citizens by managing the water levels of Lake Nipissing and the French River.” The Big Chaudière Dam was built between 1910 and 1916 and consists of two concrete structures with large steel gates divided by a rock island.

The French River is part of a vast watershed in Ontario that drains Lake Nipissing into Georgian Bay. The French River Dam Complex is made up of three dams: the Big Chaudière Dam, the Portage Dam and the Little Chaudière Dam. These structures control the outflow from Lake Nipissing and are essential for maintaining its water level and for regulating the flow of water into the 105-kilometre-long French River. Construction started during the first week of October and is scheduled to be completed in summer 2016. 

Click here  for background information. 

Environmental Assessment
Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) is the custodian and operator of the Big Chaudière Dam located on the French River. The dam is approaching the end of its operational life and PWGSC is proposing to construct a new dam downstream from the existing structure. The proposed project activities will likely include: site preparation, dam construction, deepening a man-made channel downstream from the dam, dismantling the existing dam structures and operating the new dam. An environmental assessment (EA) of the proposed project is being undertaken in accordance with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.
PWGSC is hosting two Public Consultation Sessions to provide interested parties with an opportunity to learn more about the project, the environmental assessment process and provide input into the EA report. The drop-in sessions will be held as follows:
Date:      Monday, March 16                               Date:       Tuesday, March 17
Time:     3:00 – 9:00 pm                                   Time:       3:00 – 9:00 pm
Alban Community Centre                                   Clarion Resort Pinewood Park
796 Highway 64                                               201 Pinewood Park Drive

       Alban, ON                                                           North Bay, ON
       P0M 1A0                                                             P1B 8Z4
Experts will be available to answer your questions and to receive your comments.  Information will be collected and used in accordance with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
For further information, please contact:
Ms. Angela Brooks                                             
Environmental Planner                                     
SNC-Lavalin Inc.                                               
Telephone: 416-252-5311                                
Fax: 416-231-5356                                                
Ms. Suzanne LaPerrière
Senior Environmental Officer
 Public Works and Government Services 
Telephone: 416-590-8301
Fax: 416-590-8284
Posted: 3/10/2009 

Dokis Annual Pow-Wow slated for June 28-29, 2014

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The annual pow-wow at Dokis First Nation is slated for the weekend of June 28-29, 2014. All cottagers are invited to attend and witness a very colourful event. Click on the poster to enlarge and view details.

Dokis Summerfest 2014

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The Dokis Summerfest is set for July 18-20. Click the image to enlarge and see details. Cottagers are invited and welcome to attend. Click on the poster to enlarge and view details.



Denise Restoule Re-elected as Chief 

Posted May 23, 2014
Congratulations to Denise Restoule on her recent re-election as Chief of Dokis First Nation. The election was held two weeks ago. This is Chief Denise's 5th 2-year term.

Dokis Election Results from May 2012

Congratulations to Chief Denise Restoule, who was recently re-elected along with Band Councillors Leonard Dokis, Roger Restoule, Derek Restoule, Chris A. Dokis and Gerry Duquette Jr.

Camp Petawachuan Eco-tourism Camp At Dokis

Norm Dokis has recently established an eco-tourism camp called "Camp Petawachuan" near Five Finger Rapids and the Chaudiere Dam. It s accessed from the Dokis Road just before the village of Dokis. See for details. Best wishes to Norm on this venture.
Posted: 9/30/2011

Dokis Hiking Trails

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The Chaudiere and Tikibi trails are now open from May 1 to end of October. Trail permits available at Riverview cottages and Dokis Band office at $3:00/day (unguided).  Take the loop to see the dams, or walk to the beautiful lower French and see the rapids. Native guides available. Call at 705-763-2200, for more information on prices, bookings and brochures (maps). The Chief and Council say: Come enjoy your day, all day, everyday.

A Dokis Fair (Fallfest) is in the planning and will be announced later this summer.

For more information, contact Norm Dokis at PA-PA-SE Eco-Tours (705) 763-2335.
Dokis TRAIL MAP 3.pdf

Leonard Dokis Recognized

Congratulations to Leonard Dokis who is receiving a Lifetime Achievement award tonight (June 22, 2011) at the Anishnabeck Achievement Awards in North Bay. Also receiving the award posthumously is the late John. C. Restoule.
Posted: 6/22/2011

Riverview Cottages - 40th Anniversary

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The following was written by Valarie Viau, daughter of Leonard and Shirley Dokis,
summer 2011.

Riverview Cottages - 40 Years in the Making.pdf

Fire Destroys Dokis Landmark

North Bay Nugget 6/18/2008

A Dokis First Nation landmark was destroyed Thursday morning when the Okikendawt Restaurant and marina went up in flames. Four boats, a pickup and the building formerly known as the Dokis Marina burned beyond repair with damage estimated at more than $250,000. The Anishinabek Police Service said Friday the investigation has concluded with the cause undetermined. No suspicious circumstances were found, said Sgt. Ken Dokis, adding that electrical inspectors were called in to take a look and insurance adjusters were visiting the site with owner Derek Restoule Friday afternoon. Dokis said there were customers in the restaurant when the fire was detected. The Dokis marina was built in the 1960s by the late Chief Joe Dokis and the large timber structure attracted tourists for decades as they ventured into the bay to have a meal and get supplies.

Book Captures Dokis History 

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A snapshot history of Dokis First nation has been captured in a thick coffee table book featuring a rich heritage stretching beyond generations. And elders of the community hope Dokis: Since Time Immemorial, by Wayne LeBelle, will spark interest in their community for decades to come. LeBelle spent more than three years gathering the materials from various sources and said, “It was a moving experience to be trusted with valuable pieces of family heirlooms.”


Now Available
Dokis History Book - 2006
Title - Dokis: Since Time Immemorial
Cost - $30 pickup, $37 with shipping
To Order - Contact Jane Dokis (705) 763-2200
Copies are available for pick up at the Band Office.
Also at:
Gulliver’s’ Books, North Bay
Chester’s Shore Lunch, Beaucage
Giant Tiger. Sturgeon Falls
Source: Dave Dale North Bay Nugget 1/2/2007 

Movie - Eagles On The River

This film was written and narrated by G.E. Mortimore, Ph. D., Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, and filmed and edited by Ray Pollard also from the University of Guelph. Mortimore, who had an interest in the north and the First Nation’s people, decided to do his thesis on the Dokis First Nation people. This took place in the mid- to late 1970s and took approximately two and a half years to produce. Mortimore consulted with the community leaders at the time, initially Chief Joe Dokis and later Chief Leonard Dokis and many of the people of the community to produce this film. This production is a brief glimpse of the Dokis First Nation - its history, struggles and day to day life at the time. It gives you a sense of their strength as a community and many of the cultural attributes that are still present today. Runtime is approximately 28 minutes.


Leonard Dokis Receives Award

Leonard Dokis received the 2004 Dorothy Walford Memorial Award on November 25, 2004, from the North Bay Mattawa Conservation Authority in recognition of his contribution to help restore, maintain, and preserve the environment. Congratulations Leonard!


Leonard Dokis was awarded the Dorothy Walford Memorial Award in 2004 by the North Bay – Mattawa Conservation Authority for his many contributions over the years and specifically for his role in establishing and maintaining the Migisi Fish Hatchery which has been operating now for over 20 years. Paul Cormier wrote this article for the June, 2010, UFRCA newsletter.

Migisi Fish Hatchery.pdf
Posted: 8/26/2010

New Chief Elected

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In the spring of 2006, Denise Restoule was elected Chief, Leonard Dokis, Deputy Chief and Derek, Roger, Tim and Tina Restoule as Band Councilors. This was the first time that a woman was elected as Chief. We wish them well in their respective positions.
Source: Harold Meyer Jr.
Posted: 9/28/2006