In the Anishnabe language, Kebaouek means “at the narrows beyond which more water opens out”. Local elders say the term applies to all of Lake Kipawa, and refers to its many hidden arms and bays. What is now called the Kipawa River, runs through much of the traditional territory of what are now the Wolf Lake and Eagle Village First Nations. From its head waters at Matawashkwia Sagahigan (Grassy Lake), the river flows westward Mahingan Sagahigan (Wolf Lake), then southward through Minitigagook Sagahigan (Brennan Lake or Lac Sairs) and westward to Lake Kipawa..
According to the Elders, however, only the final stretch of water leading to Lake Temiscaming can properly be called the Kipawa River. The other sections have many different names. For example, the stretch from Grassey Lake to Watson Lake is called Matawashkwia sipi. And the long stretch from Wolf Lake to Lac Sairs is called Witigowiak sipi.
Along this river route are the rema\ins of numerous abandoned logging camps from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, complete with stump and rusting machinery. The red and white pine of the Kipawa region were among the last of the great forests of the Ottawa Valley to be cut over, and they provided lucrative returns for many decades to lumber merchants from Pembroke, Renfrew and Ottawa.