Rocky Boy Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana

Driftpile First Nation & History

Located in north central Alberta, around Lesser Slave Lake, the Anishinabe Driftpile First Nation has been corrupted as has the Kapawe'no, Sawridge, Sucker Creek, and Swan River First Nations. They all live around Lesser Slave Lake but have been forced by the whites to distant themselves from each other. Up to 1910, they were one people. It could be an indication that the whites forced many Montana Chippewa's to settle in the Lesser Slave Lake region, when they forced them to relocate to the Montana Reservations, particularly the Blackfeet Reservation, in 1909. Chief Little Bear often negotiated on behalf of the Montana Chippewa's. In history, it is known the Montana Reserve of Alberta and Onion Lake Reserve of Alberta and Saskatchewan, became home to many Montana Chippewa's. In 1929, Canada commenced to deal with the Lesser Slave Lake Anishinabe people as five distinct bands. One is the Driftpile First Nation. There is only one Reserve which makes up the Driftpile First Nation. It covers 6,355 hectares or 15,073 acres. The population of the Driftpile Reserve is 863. Below is a link to a map of the Driftpile Reserve.

They apparently signed the 1899 treaty 8. The nearby Whitefish Lake First Nation, which is 30 miles to the north, has their history telling about treaty 6 and civil strife. Some of the citizens of the Lesser Slave Lake First Nations may be descended from Anishinabe refugees from the 1885 Northwest Rebellion. They are from the Woodland branch of the northern Ojibwa's who are also known as the Muskego or Muskegowuk, which means Swampy People in Anishinabe. The whites call them Woodland Cree. The Plains Cree are also a branch of the northern Ojibwa's. They have lived in that region of Alberta for probably over 1,000 years. Many of the Ojibwa's from Manitoba who followed the Seven Fires Prophecy and migrated westward into the region in British Columbia where the Saulteau First Nation is, settled down with these Anishinabe people of the Lesser Slave Lake First Nations of Alberta, as did many landless Montana Chippewa's.


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