Rocky Boy Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana
Canoe Lake First Nation
Located about 110 miles north of the Jackfish Lake Saulteaux Community of Saskatchewan, is the Anishinabe Canoe Lake First Nation, which is one of the many settlements of the Chippewa Treaty 11 Reservation. Historically, their ogimak (leaders) signed treaty 10 on September 19, 1906, which established their First Nation. The population is 936. Though their ogimak signed treaty 10 on September 19, 1906, it is known that ogima LIttle Bear was negotiating with Canadian leaders around the same time period for the landless Montana Chippewa's. Quite a few of the landless Montana Chippewa's probably migrated up to the Canoe Lake region after 1906. They continued to live off the land until the year when the Saulteaux First Nation commenced to negotiating for signing adhesions to treaty 6 in 1954. What brought about the negotiations for signing adhesions to treaty 6 was Canada establishing the Primrose Lake Air Weapons Range. This is the event which led to the Anishinabe people who were non status of Saskatchewan, signing adhesions to treaty 6. The land used for the Primrose Lake Air Weapons Range is extensive. It is now known as the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range.
Big Bear's Reserve
After ogima Big Bear signed treaty on December 8, 1882, he obviously petitioned the government of Canada for a large Reserve in the Cypress Hills, which are located in southeastern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan, about 90 miles directly north of Rocky Boy Reservation. Ogimak Big Bear, Joseph (chief Joseph), and Sitting Bull led 10,000s of Montana Chippewa's up to the Cypress Hills region in 1877. Other Anishinabe leaders who also petitioned the government of Canada for the large Reserve in the Cypress Hills, were Little Pine, Lucky Man, and Poundmaker. At the time, the Saulteaux Chippewa's were still living in extreme northern Montana, and the adjoing region of southern Alberta and southern Saskatchewan. After the whites massacred around 30 Chippewa's during the Cypress Hills Massacre, the whites built Fort Walsh in 1875. They built the fort specifically for the 1876-1877 Black Hills War.
Certain treaty maps in Canada, show a large area in southeastern Alberta as being a part of 1894 Treaty 4. It extended from just west of Pakowki Lake and south of Medicine Hat, to the Saskatchewan border. Though i have not found the 1894 Treaty 4 map of Saskatchewan, i assume the 1894 Treaty 4 area in Saskatchewan extended as far east as Eastend or Shaunavon. The northern part of this Reserve may have been located where Highway 515 is in southeastern Alberta and Highways 274 and 614 in southwestern Saskatchewan. The southern border was the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana. The Cypress Hills Reserve may have extended from west to east 100 to 120 miles and from north to south about 50 to 55 miles. It may have covered over 5,000 sq. mi. Canada did not honor the December 8, 1882 treaty agreement and commenced to force the large Chippewa population living on the Cypress Hills Reserve, to relocate to southeastern Saskatchewan and north central Saskatchewan. In response, the Saulteaux Chippewa's prepared for war. The 1885 Northwest Rebellion followed in 1885. Jackfish Lake became a vital location during the short conflict in 1885.
Three principle routes were used by the whites during the 1885 Northwest Rebellion. The main one was located at what is now Swift Current, Saskatchewan which was probably around 30 to 35 miles northeast of the Cypress Hills Reserve. It was used to force the Chippewa's living at the Cypress Hills Reserve, to relocate to the Crooked Lakes Reserve and Qu'Appelle Reserve, and also north to where the Saulteaux Chippewa Reserves are located near Battleford, Saskatchewan. From Calgary, the Chippewa's living at the Cypress Hills Reserve, were forced to relocate to the Samson Reserve which includes Ermineskin, Louis Bull, and Montana Reserves, and the Reserves near Edmonton and east of Edmonton. From Qu'Appelle, the Chippewa's were also forced to relocate to the Reserves to the north including near Prince Albert. The battles of the 1885 Northwest Rebellion, extended from Frog Lake, Alberta to Batoche, Saskatchewan.
They are 192 miles from each other. Right in the middle was Jackfish Lake which was ogima Big Bear's military command center. The last battle of the 1885 Northwest Rebellion was fought at Loon Lake which is 68 miles northwest of Jackfish Lake. During the Battle of Loon Lake, ogima Big Bear gave the orders to retreat to the north. That be to Canoe Lake, Cold Lake, Ile A La Crosse, La Loche, Waterhen Lake, and Witchekan Lake. Before the Battle of Loon Lake, ogima Big Bear led his soldiers to victory at the Battle of Frenchmen's Butte which is 60 miles northwest of Jackfish Lake, but Big Bear and his subjects were fleeing to the north. White soldiers from Calgary and Edmonton were approaching from the west and other white soldiers were approaching from the south and southeast. These 1885 events are why the Saulteaux Chippewa's remained non treaty from Jackfish Lake to Witchekan Lake to Waterhen Lake. The Saulteaux Chippewa's in Alberta, were a mixture of native and renegades of the 1885 Northwest Rebellion with many actually fleeing to British Columbia.
According to a report by J.A. Rowland in 1916, the Jackfish Lake Saulteaux, Witchekan Lake Saulteaux, and Waterhen Lake Saulteaux were without treaty. Rowland also mentioned in his report that the Moosomin, Thunderchild, and Waterhen were a mixture of Ojibwa and northern Ojibwa or Muskegowuk or Swampy People who are called the Cree by the whites. Rowland recorded the Jackfish Lake and Witchekan Lake Bands as being Saulteaux, which means a discrepancy about the Witchekan Lake community is now being utilized by the whites because the Witchekan Lake is now considered Cree. Rowland also mentioned in his report, that all communities were expanding farming operations except the non status Saulteaux who were, of course, living off the land. The new Thunderchild settlement was recorded to not be conducive to agriculture which means Rowlands information about the new Thunderchild Reserve, is quite off.
The Moosomin. Saulteaux, Thunderchild, Waterhen, and Witchekan Lake communities are Saulteaux or Ojibwa. The whites have forced the Ojibwa's of all those First Nations to lose their Nationality, except the Jackfish Lake Saulteaux. Their motivation, the Seven Fires Prophecy. However, we have historical records which prove they are in fact Saulteaux or Ojibwa. At the current time there is a movement in Saskatchewan by the Saulteaux or Ojibwa of Saskatchewan, to regain their Anishinabe Nationality. They face a tough struggle because the leaders of the Saskatchewan First Nations will most likely ignore them. The Ojibwa's of Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon must also take action to regain their Anishinabe Nationality. In Alberta, at least three groups are clinging to their Anishinabe Nationality. They are the O'Chiese, of course, and the Foothills Ojibway Society, and the Asiniwuche Winewak. The Foothills Ojibway Society are the O'Chiese Ojibways. The Asiniwuche Winewak are from the Saulteau First Nations of British Columbia. The Asiniwuche Winewak have been negotiating with the whites and now claim to be primarily Cree and Iroquois.
The first Cochin treaty 6 adhesion signing on August 18, 1954, was signed by Ojibwa representatives from the Jackfish Lake Saulteaux of Saskatchewan. That is clearly written in the treaty agreement. The second Cochin treaty 6 adhesion signing on May 15, 1956, is quite the opposite. It was signed by the Saulteaux Indian Band of Saskatchewan. It did not mention a First Nation nor a Reserve, which does indicate the adhesion was signed by non status Ojibway's. The information at that website is probably very reliable. Some 6 non status Ojibwa families signed an adhesion to treaty 6 and that led to the establishment of the current Jackfish Lake Saulteaux community. Long before that occurred, the Moosomin First Nation had relocated to where the Saulteaux First Nation is. The Moosomin were treaty Ojibwa's who signed away their Anishinabe Nationality. On November 25, 1950 a number of Saulteaux or Ojibwa leaders from Witchekan Lake, signed an adhesion to treaty 6 and also signed away their Anishinabe Nationality. That occurred at Witchekan Lake. They numbered 14 families or between 75 and 100 people. The information below will be helpful.
In 1909, the Thunderchild Reserve was supposedly eradicated and the citizens forced to move where the present day Jackfish Lake Saulteaux community is and about 35 miles to the northwest where a new Reserve was set aside. It wasn't just the Thunderchild who lost their Reserve in 1909, the Moosomin Reserve was also eradicated and their citizens forced to relocate with the Thunderchild, to the location where the present Jackfish Lake Saulteaux are. What really happened was the forced relocation of 100s of Montana Chippewa's to the area where the Jackfish Lake Saulteaux are. Ogima Little Bear negotiated for them while in Montana. Before 1909, both the Moosomin and Thunderchild Reserves were connected or the same. The Reserve was located about 15 miles southwest of the present day Jackfish Lake Saulteaux and was probably very large. The whites not only wanted to reduce the size of the Reserve, they also wanted to relocate many of the landless Montana Chippewa's there. The area was an active location during the 1885 Northwest Rebellion.