Anishinabe History


Ojibway Tribal Video News
(January 2019)








Okanese First Nation


Located a few miles north and east of Balcarres, Saskatchewan is Okanese 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, Starblanket and Peepeekisis. All four are a same Reserve. According to 2016's census, Okanese First Nation on-Reserve population is 175. They have 69 dwellings with 56 lived in. Average household size is 3.2 persons per household. Ojibway Language is no longer spoken there. Their (File Hills Reserve) principle ogima or chief, was an Ojibway or Saulteaux chief named Okanis. He signed an adhesion to treaty four on September 9, 1875. These Ojibway People were known to have lived in them Cypress Hills which means they were originally from Montana and fled up to them Cypress Hills during 1876-1877's War in Montana. So were Little Black Bear, Peepeekisis and Star Blanket. Chief Okanese supposedly refused to participate in 1885's Northwest Rebellion and actually was forced to flee to United States for some reason. That is good evidence of his involvement in that 1885 War. Chief Okanese was this bands ogima (chief) until 1885's Northwest Rebellion. Many Ojibway Soldiers from this Reserve, did participate in 1885's Northwest Rebellion. They were sent to Batoche and Duck Lake which are some 170 miles or 274 kilometers to their northwest. In Ojibway, Okanese means Little Bone. Little Black Bear has a population of 137. Peepeekisis has a population of 491. Starblanket has a population of 175 also. At all four districts, their population is decreasing. According to 2016's census, total on-Reserve population for File Hills Reserve is 978. File Hills Reserve covers an area of 134.2 sq. mi. or 347.706 sq. km.



Map of File Hills Reserve

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