Anishinabe
History


Rocky Boy Tribe
of
Chippewa Indians of
Montana








Cowessess First Nation


It is one of four Ojibway communities located around Crooked Lakes. Cowessess has a population of 540 according to a 2016 census. Below are several google earth photos of Cowessess and Kahkewistahaw. Population does not include Cowessess citizens living in white communities. Since they are surrounded by numerous white communities, most Ojibways have moved to white communities. Kahkewistahaw, Ochapowace, and Sakimay are those other three communities. Below is a map of Crooked Lakes Reserve. Below that is more information about Crooked Lakes Reserve. Saulteaux Ojibway ogima (chief) Cowessess signed Treaty 4 on September 15, 1874 on behalf of his Saulteaux Ojibway subjects. Their history has links to a Chippeway Exodus out of Montana, during 1877. They settled around Cypress Hills region of Alberta and Saskatchewan. White leaders coerced many to relocate to Crooked Lakes, where they merged with Ojibway People known as Ochapowace and Sakimay, who are both native to southeastern Saskatchewan.



To learn about Crooked Lakes Reserve history, we have to include Alberta's and Saskatchewan's Cypress Hills. In 1874, Canada needed to do something about large numbers of Ojibways relocating to them Cypress Hills from Montana. Two leaders were of importance to Crooked Lakes Reserve. One was chief Kakisheway and another was an Ojibway chief named Chacachas. It's chief Chacachas were interested in. Ojibway chief's Cowesses and O'soup were yet living in them Cypress Hills. Both were Ojibway chiefs who really didn't want to leave them Cypress Hills. However, they did. Chief O'Soup was among them first Montana Ojibway's to settle at Crooked Lakes Reserve. Later, his brother chief Cowessess settled there. They named a Crooked Lakes Reserve District after him. As for chiefs Kakisheway and Chacachas, they kept in contact with Cypress Hills Ojibway's. When they agreed to relocate to their districts at Crooked Lakes, they were not pleased to find out both had been placed on a same Reserve. It may not seem of importantce yet chief Starblanket was included with Crooked Lakes yet his district is located at File Hills Reserve and also Ahtahkakoop. Ojibway leaders warned Canada not to Cross South Saskatchewan River in 1876. I suspect Ojibway leaders considered South Saskatchewan River to extend from it's mouth 12.5 kiliometers or 7.8 miles northwest of James Smith Reserve. They included Qu'Appelle River to be South Saskatchewan River. That be to it's mouth at Assiniboine River in Manitoba. They included Birtle River to Waywayseecappo, to be their east boundary. Riding Mountain National Park was included within their Reserve. From Riding Mountain National Parks south boundary, it extended east to Lake Manitoba. Their Reserves east boundary then extended north along Lake Manitoba's west shores to Saskatchewan River at The Pas, then back to South Saskatchewan Rivers mouth at Saskatchewan River. Ahtahkakoop (chief Starblanket) subjects lived within this vast Ojibway Reserve.



Cowessess From Road

Cowessess From Road

Cowessess From Road

Cowessess From Road

Cowessess From Road

Cowessess From Road

Cowessess From Road

Cowessess From Road

Kahkewistahaw From Road

Kahkewistahaw From Road

Kahkewistahaw From Road

Kahkewistahaw From Road

Kahkewistahaw From Road

Kahkewistahaw From Road

Map of Crooked Lakes Reserve


Total size of Crooked Lakes Reserve is 73,555 hectares or 735.5 sq. km. or 181,758 acres or 284.0 sq. mi. However, that is their original Reserves. Land added on brings it's size to 92,473.6 hectares or 924.7 sq. km. or 228,507 acres or 357.05 sq. mi. Cowessess is their largest District. It covers 37,865.8 hectares or 93,566 acres. Cowessess has a population of 540. That does not include off Reserve population. Population of Crooked Lakes Reserve is 1,615. Crooked Lakes Reserve's Indian population is declining. Their leaders must change that. Many citizens of Crooked Lakes Reserve can trace their origins back to Montana, where they originally lived but were driven out by whites, after 1860-1881 Mullan Road War. Ogimak Big Bear and Sitting Bull, led them up to Canada.



Their land is scenic and beautiful. It has few farms and an abundance of trees and lakes. To their north, are Crooked Lakes. In northwestern portion of Sakimay District, their land surrounds Crooked Lakes southern, western, and northwestern areas. Area around Marieval is almost surrounded by mountains. Their northern most land areas, are just south of Highway 247. South of Highway 247, a valley is beautiful and shielded by bluffs or small mountains. Much of their land is mountainous. They (mountains) were created by Crooked Lakes. Most of their farm land is located in Cowessess and Sakimay Districts. In their east, in Kahkewistahaw and Ochapowace Districts, their land is heavily forested. In their south, their land is more flat or level, than to their north, where it is more mountainous. They obviously have strong feelings about their mountains. More Indian communities need to be created. Other Saulteaux People will love this beautiful Reserve which is one of their more beautiful nations. If their leaders want a rebirth of an Anishinabe Nation, they then need to attract Saulteaux Ojibway People to their nation. Place your detectives at this Ojibway Nation. Their leaders are allowing whites to invade and colonize their nation. Sakimay is allowing whites to build housing units and currently there are more housing units owned by whites at Sakimay than owned by Ojibway's. Sakimay has 192 housing units with 92 lived in. We know whites will return asking for more. If their leaders do not stop what is going on, they will not be allowed to live again. That is law. Preordain 19th century Ojibway Traditionalists to commence migrations to their north and northwest, to avoid what happens.



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