Sioux Lookout is a vibrant little city about three to four hours north of the International Falls border crossing. The city is nestled between Abrams Lake, Pelican Lake with Minnitaki Lake and Lac Seul within short driving distance. The city has a strong business community with many stores, regional airport with commercial flights and repair shops to serve the residents and visitors. I also learned an interesting story of how Sioux Lookout got its name.
I asked my outfitter how the city got its name, because this isn’t the land of the Sioux. The name “Sioux Lookout” came from a battle between a Sioux raiding party and a local Ojibway band. The Sioux would come up from the plains into the area north of Lake Superior, to raid the local tribes, killing as they go. A local band of Ojibway knew the Sioux were in the area, so a lookout was posted on the highest hill, which overlooks Pelican Lake and the site where the city is today. The lookout saw the canoes of the Sioux far off in the distance. The camp was notified and a plan to ambush the Sioux was put into place. The women, children and old were taken to an island to hide. The old men remained in the village to make it look like there was activity, while the braves hid in the surrounding hills, ready to ambush the invaders. The entire Sioux raiding party was wiped out except for one boy which was the son of the Sioux leader. The boy was adopted into the Ojibway tribe and became an important part of the Ojibway community. The Sioux never returned to this area again. The whole story can be found at the Sioux Lookout Chamber of Commerce website.
During the 1950’s, another lookout was built at Sioux Lookout. The US and Canadian military build a radar station on a hill about a mile north of the original lookout hill. The radar station watched for Soviet bombers coming from the north. The radar station was dismantled during the 1980’s.
From what I saw, the primary industries in Sioux Lookout is logging, tourism and the rail line going through town. I looked at other resorts in the area to get a feel for what is available. There are many resorts and outfitters in the area that will compete for your business. Each resort has their own niche’, or clientele, so understand what your priorities are before booking. The major lakes in the Sioux Lookout area have public boat ramps for daily access.
There is a lot to see, do and learn about in the Sioux Lookout area. When going to a new area for hunting or fishing, I suggest getting out, exploring and learning about the history of the area. It will make for a much more interesting adventure.