The first inhabitants of the area that became the town of Walden were the First Nations who arrived around eleven thousand years ago. The ancestors of the present day Ojibway came to this area around 1000 A.D.
The traditional lands of the Whitefish Lake Band of Ojibway ran from the Vermilion River Valley on the west, to the Wanapitei and Sturgeon rivers, and from Lake Penache on the south to the watershed.
With entry of the French explorers into the area in the mid-seventeenth century, life for the First Nations underwent profound changes. The first Europeans, the Jesuit missionaries, have documented the Ojibway living in the area since the mid 1600's.
In 1824, the Whitefish Lake post of the Hudson's Bay Company was established on the lands that would become the Reserve. It was a sub-post of the LaCloche post and in turn, the Whitefish Lake post supervised a short lived post at Wahnapitae and another just north of the Vermilion River at Larchwood.
The lands of the Reserve were established by the Huron-Robinson Treaty of 1850. Chief Shawenakeshick signed the treaty on behalf of the band. The trading post remained on the reserve and a section of land was claimed by the Company for firewood for the post.
In 1883, the railway came through what would become Walden. The Hudson's Bay post was relocated in 1887 from the Reserve to a section just south of the railway line. Faced with competition from the growing town of Sudbury, the post closed in 1896.