Moose Cree First Nation is located in the community of Moose Factory on an island near the mouth of the Moose River at the southern tip of James Bay. It is 246 kilometers north of Cochrane, Ontario. The closest major urban centre is Timmins, Ontario. In 1905, Moose Cree became a signatory to Treaty 9 through which the First Nation was allocated two tracts of reserve land for its use. The reserve is 299 hectares in size and has an on-reserve population of approximately 1,700 people, out of a total band population of approximately 3,950 people. The other reserve, located further south of James Bay is in excess of 17,000 hectares in size and is largely unpopulated.
Moose Factory is considered to be an isolated community. It is accessible via water taxi during three seasons from the town of Moosonee, on the mainland. During the winter months, road access to the island is also available. Moosonee has no road access and can only be reached by plane or train. The economy of Moose Factory, as a whole, is made up of several main sectors including the public service, tourism, construction, the bush economy and private businesses. Additionally, the First Nation has been seeking to diversify its economy through partnerships and other ventures with the goal of improving the economic outlook for its members. Recently, the First Nation entered into an agreement with Ontario Power Generation. It is also currently negotiating an agreement with Detour Gold and has completed construction of an Aboriginal eco-tourist project known as Washow Lodge. Each of these projects is expected to result in significant economic benefit to the community.
Further, the First Nation has provided facilities such as a shopping complex and indoor arena for the use and enjoyment of its members. The housing portfolio in the community is a mix of rental and privately owned homes. Chief and Council have shown a keen interest in addressing the shortage of housing through upgrades, the elimination of substandard homes and new housing. The community intends to use the First Nations Market Housing Fund to make it easier for its members to access housing loans on reserve, to purchase and/or renovate existing homes, and to build new homes, thus improving the quality of housing available to its membership.