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The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians (UOI) as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI was established because the Anishinabek Nation did not legally exist and a legal entity was required to enter into legally-binding agreements. The Anishinabek Nation is a political advocate for 40 member First Nations across Ontario. The Anishinabek Nation is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.
The Anishinabek Nation represents 40 First Nations throughout the province of Ontario from Golden Lake in the east, Sarnia in the south, Thunder Bay and Lake Nipigon in the north. The 40 First Nations have an approximate combined population of 65,000 citizens, one third of the province of Ontario’s First Nation population. The Anishinabek Nation has four strategic regional areas: Southwest, Southeast, Lake Huron and Northern Superior. Each region is represented by a Regional Deputy Grand Council Chief.