Nipawin is located in north-east Saskatchewan, Canada, on the Saskatchewan River portion of Tobin Lake. The town lies between Codette Lake, created by the Francois-Finlay Dam (built in 1986) and Tobin Lake, created by the E.B. Campbell Dam built in 1963, renamed from Squaw Rapids. The construction of Francois-Finlay Dam earned Nipawin the nickname, The Town of Two Lakes.
Nipawin is a Cree word meaning "a bed, or resting place" which referred to a low-lying area along the river now flooded by Codette Lake where First Nations women and children would camp and wait for the men to arrive.