Nipissing First Nation is located on the north shore of Lake Nipissing between the Municipality of West Nipissing (Town of Sturgeon Falls), Ontario (to the west) and the City of North Bay, Ontario (to the east) and includes several small settlements: Garden Village, Duchesnay, Yellek, Beaucage, Beaucage Subdivision, Meadowside, Jocko Point Subdivision, and Veterans’ Lane. With a total land base of over 21,000 hectares, the total registered population is 2,509.
Lake Nipissing drains via the French River into Georgian Bay and, to the east of Lake Nipissing, Trout Lake drains via the Mattawa River into the Ottawa River. Living at the crossroads between two watersheds, the Nipissing were key to trade to the East, West, North and South of Lake Nipissing. The French portaged the watershed divide extensively to reach the Great Lakes by canoe from their settlements around Montreal on the St. Lawrence River.
Small business and self-employment account for a large part of the economy of Nipissing First Nation. Small business sectors include: smoke shops, convenience retail, Beaucage Tent and Trailer Park, Couchie Industrial Park, Miller Quarry, construction sub-trades, handicrafts retail, service stations, automotive, speciality services and the Nipissing Commercial Fishery.
Historically, the Nipissing First Nation depended on the fishery for trade and self-sustainability. Today, the fishery continues to be an important part of the community. Although the economy is not dependent on the fishery, there are harvesters who make a living from the fishery. A vast majority of the community still depends on the Lake Nipissing fishery stocks for self-sustenance. Pickerel and Northern Pike are the main species harvested. Herring, whitefish and lake perch are also harvested. Sturgeon can still be found in the Lake and in gillnets and is a rare delicacy. Today, Nipissing First Nation participates in all conservation and fisheries management programs in association with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the Anishinabek/Ontario fisheries Resource Centre. The Nipissing First Nation employs a Fisheries Coordinator/Biologist and technicians. In 2004, Nipissing First Nation began a walleye hatchery program releasing nearly a million fry into Lake Nipissing. In 2005, the Nipissing First Nation passed its Fisheries Regulations which will see the community regulate its commercial fishery on Lake Nipissing.
Nipissing has two pre-school daycare centres and although an elementary school has been debated for decades, both elementary and secondary school students are bussed to North Bay and Sturgeon Falls. About 75 students are enrolled in a private high school, N’bising Education Centre. Both Canadore College and Nipissing University are located in North Bay and College Boreal, a French institution, has a campus located in Sturgeon Falls.