Rocky Boy Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana






Little Black Bear First Nation


Located just north of Balcarres, Saskatchewan, is the Ojibway Little Black Bear First Nation. Below is a map of this Reserve and google earth photos of File Hills Reserve. You must remember it includes Little Black Bear, Okanese, Starblanket and Peepeekisis. All four are the same Reserve. There's also a photo of chief's Louis O'Soup (chief Okanese son) and Starblanket. Chief Starblanket is seated in front and first on your left, while chief Louis O'Soup stands behind him on his left. In history, ogima (chief) Little Black Bear (in Cree dialect of Ojibwa, his name is kees kee tew mus-coo mus-kwa which don't make sense because the diminutive is placed at the end of the word it's intended for which is bear, so it's kas-ki-tew mus-kos - you noticed the mistake in mus-coo or they did not place the ending "s" so in Ojibwa it's ma-ka-te ma-kos or Black Little Bear - whites didn't know what they were doing or didn't understand) supposedly signed treaty four in 1874 but only around 26 people were a part of his band. That obviously means some kind of discontent over the 1874 treaty existed because ten years later, his band numbered 142 in all. There are a total of two Reserves which make up this First Nation. They cover 7,901.7 total hectares or 19,525 total acres. Total population is 218. That does not include off Reserve population. As mentioned, the Little Black Bear or Black Little Bear Reserve is connected to the Okanese Reserve as well as the Peepeekisis and Star Blanket Reserves. All 4 are the same Reserve. In the 1870s, chief Okanese (in Ojibwa his name means Little Bone and the diminutive is correct which is O-ka-niiz with iiz being the diminutive) was the priniciple leader of the File Hills Reserve which includes Little Black Bear, Okanese, Peepeekisis, and the Star Blanket Reserves.



This Reserve is known as the File Hills Reserve. It could be known as Okanese or Oganiiz Reserve. Ojibway leader chief Okaniiz, was appointed chief by HBC or Hudson Bay Company according to historians. If that's correct, he was not considered legitimate by real Ojibway leaders. Chief Yellowquill was possibly their leader. Chief Okanese (Michael Cardinal) was born around 1790 in the Bow River region of Alberta. Bow River is 62 miles or 99.8 kilometers north of Montana. He was supposedly mixed in race. However, no one knows for certain if whites had reached southern Alberta by 1790. They had reached northern Alberta by 1790. His sons became important Ojibway leaders. They include chief's Cowessess (Crooked Lakes Reserve), Keeseekoowenin, Louis O'Soup, Mekis, Red Pheasant, St. Paul (chief of the Shuswap of British Columbia) and Wuttunee. Chief Okanese migrated east to what is now Manitoba, from Alberta and Montana. They came up from Montana during the 1876-1877 Montana War and settled in the Cypress Hills. Canada wanted the land there because it was ideal farmland. They forced Montana Ojibway's to relocate east and north. Chief Big Bear led 1,000s to the Fort Pitt, Saskatchewan region, while either chief's Cowessess or his brother Louis O'Soup, led 1,000s east to Qu'Appelle Lakes Reserve, File Hills Reserve, Crooked Lakes Reserve and to Riding Mountain Reserve (aka Keeseekoowenin Reserve).



There are only two real communities at File Hills Reserve. One located at Peepeekisis and one at Okanese. Oganiiz is located near this Reserves center, while Peepeekisis is located in the extreme southern part of File Hills Reserve. Little Black Bear District has a population of 218. Okanese has a population of 277. Peepeekisis has a population of 627. Peepeekisis District has less lakes compared to those other districts. They, thus, have more space to expand their housing units to. File Hills Reserves has many lakes. Total on-Reserve population for File Hills Reserve is 1,390. File Hills Reserve covers an area of 134.2 sq. mi. or 347.706 sq. km.







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