The original chief was Kinistin, which means Cree, because he could speak it. The Obijiway people roamed the hills of Pasquia, surviving predominantly on moose, as was the Saulteaux custom. Kinistinís people temporarily left these hills when settlers began encroaching on their territory. They traveled to the northern parts of the land but returned to the Pasquia Hills and ultimately settled in 1876 with the signing of Treaty 4.
Due to a clerical error many years ago, Kinistinís name was written incorrectly, thus the reserve was called Kinistino. Today the error has been ratified, and has become Kinistin.