Access: Daily scheduled airways, charter air service. Winter road (seasonal) connects to Sandy Lake and North Spirit First Nations, with connections south through Red Lake, Ontario to the provincial all-season road system.
Reserve Status: The Deer Lake reserve is within the boundaries of the territory described by the Winnipeg Treaty of 1875 (Treaty No. 5). An adhesion made to the Treaty on June 9, 1910 provided for a reserve in the proportion of 32 acres per capita Deer Lake achieved full band status in 1985.
A new Arena was built in 2006. The Arena provides the community with open ice for the community to enjoy. The youth drop in center coordinates evening activities including game nights, painting and craft nights, Elder teachings etc. The local school board has opened the schools new gym to the public after school hours to allow for public events and sports. Deer Lake Lands and Resources coordinates youth and elder activities to encourage families to get back on the land. The community holds festivals and gatherings year-round including:
• Spring Feast (“Gah Seegwuk”) – have a gathering that we make it through the winter and to bless the hunters for the spring hunt
• Fishing Derby - Summer
• Aboriginal Day Games – Jell-O wrestling, Scavenger Hunt, Strongman Competitions, Raffle Draws, 50/50 Draws, Bingo
• Fall Feast (“Wii kwen doo wiin”) – bless hunters/fishermen for a successful hunt/fish
• Hunting Derby – Mid-September
• Christmas Feasts & Parade
Deer Lake School (2004) provides Kindergarten to grade 9. High School and Post secondary is also available by distance in partnership with KIHS (Keewaytinook Okimakanak Internet High School) and WASHA distance education. Deer Lake has a fully equipped 24 hour nursing station which provides satellite care to neighboring community of North Spirit. The station provides daily clinics, telemedicine, public health services, and emergency services. The station also offers laboratory, x-ray, and pharmacy services. Social Services are generally provided by the health and band office including; Tikinagan Child and Family Services, NNADAP, Brighter Futures, Ontario Works. Deer Lake has limited firefighting equipment to fight local forest fires. There is a local volunteer house fire fighting team and has a fire engine. Daily policing service is provided by NAPS (Nishnawbee-Aski Police Service). Court is held on quarterly basis in the community. There are 157 residences, 15 cabin homes, 24 trailer unit homes, and 3 complex residences in use. In addition there are 44 commercial buildings being classified for various uses (business, infrastructure, and recreation). There is limited housing development due limited electricity capacity. The local saw mill is used to provide lumber for sheds and cabins. In 1998, a small 490 kilowatt run-of-the-river hydro generating station was constructed on the Severn River, approximately six kilometres from the community. There is a joint agreement for ownership between Hydro One and the First Nation; however, the First Nation has an option to take over ownership after ten years of operation.
There are 11 privately owned local businesses and 7 band-operated businesses in the community. Deer Lake owns and operates a local internet and cell phone service to residences and businesses. Cellular Data roaming is available on the Rogers Network. The Ennis Memorial TV & Radio Station is used daily to share community news, activities and for entrepreneurs to sell value products. There are three (3) gas bar that sell both fuel and snacks. RoyDale Gas, Shoreline Gas Bar, and Dustrollene Gas Station. The Brown Store which is a convenience store provide various supplies and snacks. There is a local ice cream store that operates seasonal only (summer months). Many youth sell baking and crafts through the buy and sell facebook group.
Accommodations are provided by the band office (1 trailer with 2 beds, 1 bath and kitchen) and Harvest church (4 beds, 2 bath, lounge and kitchen).