The Rainy River First Nations are members of the Ojibway Tribal grouping, which is part of Grand Council Treaty Three.
Grand Council Treaty Three encompasses an area of 55,000 square miles within Northwestern Ontario and Manitoba. Historically, the Ojibway occupied a much larger land base that included Minnesota and Wisconsin. As such, Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung provides an excellent forum to highlight Ojibway culture as well as the culture of the ancestral tribes of the area.
The major theme of the Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung Historical Centre is the cultural history of the Rainy River corridor, as based on oral traditions and archeological evidence.
This major theme actually covers a time frame from the earliest occupation, more than 8,000 years ago, until the early 20th century. The culture of each of the successive archaeological occupations are represented, and include Paleo Indian, Archaic, Laurel, Blackduck, Selkirk, and Ojibway occupations.
Other themes which are recognized in the development philosophy include:
- Material culture through time
- Subsistence adaptation
- Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung as a ceremonial centre
- Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung in a North American context
- Ojibway World Vie
All of these inter-related themes are explored throughout the entire development, and are included in exhibits, the trail network and interpretive demonstrations.