Rocky Boy Tribe
Chippewa Indians of
Sapotaweyak First Nation
To learn about the history of the Sapotaweyak and Wuskwi Sipihk, we have to research the Saulteaux Ojibwa's known as The Key. When Treaty 4 was signed between the Saulteaux Ojibwa's and Canada, in 1874, ogima Ow-tah-pee-ka-kaw (his name means key) agreed to the treaty by signing an adhesion to Treaty 4 on September 24, 1875. Below are several google earth photos of Sapotaweyak communities. In history, the Saulteaux Ojibwa's of The Key, originally came from the Shoal River and Lake Winnipegosis region in Manitoba, to live at The Key First Nation in Saskatchewan. Their original territory included land around the northern shores of Lake Winnipegosis, down to Swan River Valley into Saskatchewan, where the Keeseekoose Ojibwa's live, and as far west as where the Yellow Quill Ojibwa's live. Their territory was 150 miles in width and about 110 miles in length. It may have covered between 15,000 to 20,000 sq. mi. Chief Keeseekoose may have been the Gitchi Ogima of the Saulteaux Ojibwa's of this region between the Yellow Quill Ojibwa's and Lake Winnipegosis.
Historians claim a relocation happened in 1882, or about 8 years after the treaty was originally signed. Their Reserve now, is located in southeastern Saskatchewan, just south of Norquay. Originally, a Reserve was set aside for the Ojibwa's who lived between Dawson Bay and Swan River Valley, Manitoba. Historically, it was known as the Swan River Reserve and also Shoal River. Today, the Swan River Reserve or Reserves, are yet at the same location in Manitoba but are now known as the Sapotaweyak and Wuskwi Sipihk Cree. In other words, the Saulteaux Ojibwa's were forced to lose their nationality. That possibly led to the Saulteaux Ojibwa's from the region between Dawson Bay and Swan River Valley, to relocate to the southwest, to where the Cote, Keeseekoose and The Key Reserves are located in Saskatchewan. Though Canada appointed four leaders to lead these Ojibwa People, chief Ow-tah-pee-ka-kaw and chief Keeseekoose (his name means Little Sky) were the real leaders. That enraged them and also contributed to the Ojibwa's relocating to Saskatchewan.
The Original Swan River Reserve (aka The Key Reserve & Shoal River Reserve)
As mentioned, a Reserve was set aside in the domain of these Saulteaux Ojibwa's led by chief Keeseekoose and chief Owtapikaagaa. Of course, their domain was located where the Sapotaweyak and Wuskwi Sipihk Reserves are now. However, the Saulteaux Ojibwa's of Sapotaweyak and Wuskwi Sipihk, have lost their nationality. In 1877, David Laird asked the chiefs where they wanted their Reserve. They requested that land be set aside adjacent to Swan Lake. Land from the mouth of Woody River to the west of the same waterway, and land from the mouth of Swan River to the west, was actually set aside for the Saulteaux Ojibwa's known as The Key including the Cote and Keeseekoose. Today, the Sapotaweyak and Wuskwi Sipihk Reserves are located there. The original Swan River Reserve supposedly covered an area of 31,300 acres. They estimated that 37 families colonized the Reserve. Their population in the late 1870s was near 200. It didn't take long for Ojibwa leaders to learn they had been lied to and that the four appointed leaders were being bought by Canada to rule for life.
For the Saulteaux living further north where Dawson Bay is, they were fortunate. Their land was not suited for farming. Chief The Key was set aside around 47 sq. mi. at several locations in Manitoba including Dawson Bay, Steep Rock Point, Swan Lake, Woody River and Birch River. Today, the villages of Dawson Bay, Pelican Rapids, Shoal River and Steep Rock Point are located there. They have lost their Ojibwa Nationality. They'll (the Sapotaweyak and Wuskwi Sipihk) will tell you they are Cree yet we know from history, they are Ojibwa. To learn more about Sapotaweyak, we have to research Jacques Cardinal and Keeseekoose who was probably related to him.
Chief Paul or Chief Okanese?
Neither. According to historians, chief Jean Baptiste Lolo (aka chief Paul or St. Paul) was an off-spring of chief Michael Ooskins Cardinal or chief Okanese. However, they reported that chief Paul was born in 1798. They reported that chief Michael Ooskins Cardinal or chief Okanese, was born sometime between 1795-1837. His father was Jacques Cardinal. He moved west in the late 18th century with Northwest Fur Company and Hudson Bay Fur Company. He settled down to live in what is now the Jasper National Park region of Alberta including land in British Columbia and along Bow River in Alberta and also where the O'Chiese Ojibwa's live. That includes land where Blood and Piikani Reserves are, in southern Alberta. After Northwest Fur Company went out of business, HBC then became attractive to chief Paul and chief Okanese. Chief Paul moved to near what is now Kamloops, British Columbia and was considered chief by HBC who used him or bought him. Chief Okanese moved from the Bow River region in Alberta with his Saulteaux Ojibwa subjects, to southwestern Manitoba. They settled down near what is now Riding Mountain (it's really Rocky Mountain House) National Park or Jasper National Park. He kept business with HBC or was bought by HBC. He was considered chief by HBC. However, Ojibway leaders did not recognize any of the off-spring of Jacques Cardinal as chiefs. Below are the off-spring of Jacques Cardinal:
Jean Baptiste Lolo (aka chief Paul or St. Paul, Lolo and Okanese)
Michael Ooskins Cardinal or chief Okanese (it means Little Bone in Ojibway)
Keeseekoowenin (chief of Valley River or Totinaowaziibeeng)
Red Pheasant (he led the Ojibwa's from Red Pheasant Reserve including Grizzly Bears Head, Lean Man and Mosquito)
Wuttunee (he was originally considered head chief by HBC yet he let his brother chief Red Pheasant, assume that role)
As mentioned, none of them were recognized by Ojibway leaders as chiefs. What Ojibway leaders recognized, was each one worked for HBC or the whites who used them to corrupt the Ojibway Nation. Chief Paul was recognized as leader of the British Columbia Ojibwa's (the Shuswap) by HBC but not Ojibway leaders. Chief Paul's influence extended down to near what is now Lolo, Montana which is named after him. Chief Paul along with the other idiotic Paul's of Montana, are traitors. HBC considered chief Paul the leader of the Ojibwa's from California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alberta, British Columbia up to Yukon and Northwest Territory. Chief Okanese was considered chief of the Ojibwa's from Montana, North Dakota, Saskatchewan, Manitoba up to Northwest Territories, by HBC. Since each worked for the whites, they certainly did not fight the whites. Worse, they were strict Christians which enraged Ojibway Traditionalists. These idiotic Paul's actually signed treaties on behalf of HBC which means none of those treaties are valid.
Chief Yellow Quill or Chief Kinistin?
Chief Kinistin was pivotal in leading many Ojibway People from southern Manitoba including near Selkirk and Winnipeg, north to the caribou lands (from Alberta to Manitoba) of the Chipewyan. Chief Kinistin was apparently a sub-chief of chief Yellow Quill. During the late 1860s, chief Yellow Quill stationed many Ojibwa Soldiers at Portage la Prairie to prevent the whites and mixed bloods from Red River Colony, from expanding west. He wanted to negotiate a fair treaty. That happened in the late 1860s yet didn't become formal until August 3, 1871 and August 21, 1871, when treaties 1 and 2 were signed. It's very obvoius that chiefs Yellow Quill and Kinistin, did not accept treaty terms. They signed treaty yet after understanding they were lied to, they followed prophecy. Treaty 4 is actually a treaty that went further to violate treaties 1 and 2. After chief Okanese died in 1870 (chief Paul died in 1868), his son chief Mekis was appointed chief by HBC. Chief Mekis signed Treaty 2 on August 21, 1871. They were set aside land between Dauphin Lake, Duck Mountain National Park and Riding Mountain (aka Rocky Mountain House or Riding Mountain House) National Park or Jasper National Park. A very large Reserve chiefs Yellow Quill and Kinistin negotiated for. However, in response to Ojibway chiefs understanding they had been lied to, England used bribery to force another treaty. That treaty was Treaty 4. Chief Keeseekoowenin, who was chief Mekis brother, took money for that fraudulent treaty signed on September 9, 1875. Chief Mekis was dead before Treaty 4 was signed so HBC used his brother Keeseekoowenin. Chief Yellow Quill and chief Kinistin, obviously rejected English demands. Read Treaty 1 and 2 text. White policy was to bribe Indian leaders to cede Indian land. Many of those Indian leaders had some degree of white blood, as did chiefs Keeseekowenin and Mekis. Below is an excerpt from Treaty 1:
For each Chief who signed the treaty, a dress distinguishing him as Chief. (proof they were not chiefs)
For braves and for councillors of each Chief a dress; it being supposed that the braves and councillors will be two for each Chief.
For each Chief, except Yellow Quill, a buggy.
For the braves and councillors of each Chief, except Yellow Quill, a buggy.
In lieu of a yoke of oxen for each reserve, a bull for each, and a cow for each Chief; a boar for each reserve and a sow for each Chief, and a male and female of each kind of animal raised by farmers, these when the Indians are prepared to receive them.
A plough and a harrow for each settler cultivating the ground.
These animals and their issue to be Government property, but to be allowed for the use of the Indians, under the superintendence and control of the Indian Commissioner.
The buggies to be the property of the Indians to whom they are given.
The above contains an inventory of the terms concluded with the Indians.
So you can detect deceit when deceit is visible. Neither chief Keeseekoowenin nor his brother chief Mekis, had any power to act on behalf of any district of the Ojibwa's of southern Manitoba and southeastern Saskatchewan. What happened in 1871, was England agreeing to set aside a large area of land in southwestern Manitoba and adjacent southeastern Saskatchewan, to be an Ojibway Reserve. White surveyors already knew what the productivity of the land in those locations was. They knew the regions where Riding Mountain National Park and Duck Mountain National Park are, were not suited to agriculture.
Kinistin Band of Ojibway
Cote (Keeseekoose Reserve)
Ebb & Flow
Carry The Kettle (aka Piapot)
Cowessess (Crooked Lakes Reserve)
Crane River (aka O'Chi-chak-ko-sippi)
Day Star (Touchwood Hills Reserve)
Gordon (Touchwood Hills Reserve)
James Smith (originally lived at St. Peters Reserve)
Kahkewistahaw (Crooked Lakes Reserve)
Kawacatoose (Touchwood Hills Reserve)
Keeseekoose (Keeseekoose Reserve)
Little Black Bear (File Hills Reserve)
Muscowpetung (Qu'Appele Lakes Reserve)
Muskoday (originally lived at St. Peters Reserve)
Muskowekwan or Mus-skow-i-gan (Touchwood Hills Reserve)
Ochapowace (Crooked Lakes Reserve)
Okanese (File Hills Reserve)
Pasqua (Qu'Appelle Lakes Reserve)
Peepeekisis (File Hills Reserve)
Peguis (originally lived at St. Peters Reserve)
Piapot (aka Carry The Kettle - Qu'Appelle Lakes Reserve)
Sakimay (Crooked Lakes Reserve)
The Key (Keeseekoose Reserve)
Tootinaowaziibeeng (aka Valley River)
Sapotaweyak (originally a part of Swan River Reserve or Keeseekoose)
Standing Buffalo (Qu'Appelle Lakes Reserve)
Wuskwi Sipihk (originally a part of Swan River Reserve or Keeseekoose)