Rocky Boy Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana






Okanese First Nation


Located a few miles north and east of Balcarres, Saskatchewan, is the Ojibway 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 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, their ogima, an Ojibwa or Saulteaux chief named Okanis, supposedly signed an adhesion to treaty four on September 9, 1875. These Ojibway People were known to have lived in the Cypress Hills which means they were originally from Montana and fled up to Montana during the 1877 exodus. So were the Little Black Bear, Peepeekisis and Star Blanket. Chief Okanese supposedly refused to participate in the 1885 Northwest Rebellion and actually was forced to flee to the United States for some reason. That is good evidence of his involvement in the 1885 war or he was wanted by Canada or he was native to Montana and wanted to return to his homeland. Ogima Okanis was this bands ogima (chief) until the 1885 Northwest Rebellion. Many of the Ojibwa or Saulteaux Soldiers from this Reserve, did participate in the 1885 Northwest Rebellion.



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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