Officials say nine people have died in a house fire in an aboriginal community in northwestern Ontario.

Robert Nault, the member of Parliament for the area that includes Pikangikum First Nation, said Wednesday the dead include three children and all are believed to be from the same family.

Ontario Provincial Police Const. Diana Cole says fire broke out late Tuesday night in the remote community near the Manitoba-Ontario border.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, and police remain on the scene.

Joeseph Magnet, a constitutional law professor at the University of Ottawa who has worked with Pikangikum in the past, said he has been in all the houses in the community of about 2,100 and says they are overcrowded.