Rocky Boy Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana
Sunchild First Nation & History
These Ojibwa people are very traditional and have proven that for quite a long time. Unlike the other Ojibwa's of Alberta, they have kept their Ojibwa Nationality. Many originally lived in Montana in the 19th century but after the Black Hills War they followed the Seven Fires Prophecy and migrated up to central Alberta where they merged with the Chippewa's around the Rocky Mountain House region. Their leaders signed Treaty 7 (it was not Treaty 6) on either August 21, 1877 or on September 25, 1877. On August 21, 1877, a number of Indian leaders led by ogima (chief) Alexis, reached a treaty agreement with Canadian representatives at Fort Edmonton. Land involved included land a few miles east of the O'Chiese-Sunchild and where Buck Lake and Pigeon Lake are located. The Montana Reserve which includes the Ermineskin, Louis Bull, and Samson, may have been originally connected to the region where O'Chiese is located. They are originally from the FOS or Foothills Ojibway Society. More about their history is below.
Likely another band of the Albertan Ojibwa's who participated in the 1885 Northwest Rebellion, the Foothills Ojibway Society of Alberta are currently non status, which means they are landless to the whites but not to the FOS. They are related to the O'Chiese Ojibway's yet quite unlike them, the Foothills Ojibway Society leaders have not gained recognition nor a Reserve in Alberta. Some speculate the Foothills Ojibway Society (FOS) are related to the Ta-twa-sin Ojibways who lived at the Buffalo Lake region of Alberta, which is 100 miles east of the O'Chiese-Sunchild Reserve and 16 miles southeast of the Montana Reserve which includes the Ermineskin, Louis Bull, and Samson Reserves, which all four are really one Reserve. They supposedly left the Buffalo Lake region in 1887, for the Rocky Mountain House region. According to FOS historians, the FOS left the Ontario region in the early 16th century to migrate west which is not correct. We know from the 1832 Edinburgh Encyclopedia, that the Ojibwa's forced their way east to fight the white invaders in the early 16th century. What actually transpired first, was the eastward Ojibwa migration in the early 16th century. They forced their way to Quebec by the mid or late 16th century. European explorers reported that a non Ojibwa or non Algonquian People, lived in the Quebec region, between Montreal and Quebec City, in the early 16th century. When they returned in the late 16th century, they found the Ojibwa's living in the region between Montreal and Quebec City. Later, the Ojibwa's from Quebec and Ontario did follow prophecy and migrated west.
Now, if it is correct that the FOS lived around the Buffalo Lake region, it means the FOS has direct links to the Montana Reserve which means they are largely descended from Montana Ojibwa's who were Deported to the Montana Reserve. What caused them to leave the Montana Reserve was Nationality. They followed prophecy and migrated to the west and north and merged with Ojibwa's native to that region of Alberta. Their goal was to cling to their Ojibwa Nationality. They were living in the Japser region long before the whites invaded. After the whites decided to make the Jasper region a National Park, they forced the Ojibwa's to leave that area. The Jasper area was very important to the Ojibwa's. Chief St. Paul (his real name was Okanese as well as Jean Baptiste Lolo) was from the Jasper region. He eventually moved to the southwest to near Kamloops, British Columbia where he became an important leader among the Shuswap Ojibwa's, whose territory bordered the O'Chiese or FOS Territory on the east.
Apparently the father of chief Paul was Michael Cardinal. His real name was Okanese which means Little Bone. There is a discrepancy because Michael Cardinal was born in 1795 or after. Chief Paul, his son, was reportedly born in 1798. Either chief Paul was the father or something else is wrong. Supposedly, chief Paul was the brother (he was really his father) of chief Louis O'Soup (historians will tell you he was metis and Assiniboine yet Louis O'Soup claimed to be Ojibwa) who was an important Ojibwa leader in Alberta and Saskatchewan (the Cypress Hills). He was coerced into leaving the Cypress Hills region (southern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan) in 1880 or 1881, to the area where the Saulteaux Ojibwa Reserves are located along the Qu'Appelle River. They include the Qu'Appelle Lakes Reserve, Carry the Kettle Reserve, Crooked Lakes Reserve and File Hills Reserve. That could indicate he was living in Montana before the Crooked Lakes Reserve was created or was an important Plains Ojibwa leader in Alberta, Montana and Saskatchewan.
It is known that Louis O'Soup or, his father, was native to the Bow River in Alberta. The mouth of Bow River is less than 60 miles from the Cypress Hills. It is also less than 60 miles from the Blood Reserve. It, Bow River, leads northwest to Calgary. If you read the history of southern Alberta including the Bow River region, white historians ignore the Ojibwa's. That is one of many reasons why so many Ojibwa's refused to sign treaty. Most of the Alberta, Montana and Saskatchewan Ojibwa's stayed in the Cypress Hills after the Ojibwa Reserves were created along the Qu'Appelle River. However, chief Cowessess eventually moved to the Crooked Lakes Reserve. They changed the name of O'Soup Reserve to Cowessess Reserve, after the Ojibwa's who stayed at the Cypress Hills, relocated to the Crooked Lakes Reserve in either 1880 or 1881. Chief Cowessess was the brother of Louis O'Soup. Keeseekoosewenin was the half brother of chief Louis O'Soup.
After the 1885 Northwest Rebellion, which may have been fought as a result of Canada breaking treaty, many of the Plains Ojibwa who relocated to the Reserve along the Qu'Appelle River, fled to the northwest. Canada probably set aside a large Saulteaux Ojibwa Reserve along the Qu'Appelle River which included the Carry the Kettle-Piapot Reserve, Crooked Lakes Reserve, File Hills Reserve and Qu'Appelle Lakes Reserve. After the 1885 Northwest Rebellion, they fled west to the Buffalo Lake and Rocky Mountain House region of Alberta.
Of course, there are other theories about the FOS including the FOS being native to the region in Alberta between Saskatchewan River Crossing and Grand Prairie which is true. We know the family of Michael Cardinal and chief St. Paul, were native to the Jasper region. Much of the FOS Territory extends into adjacent British Columbia, where the mouth of McGregor River meets Frazer River, and follows the Rocky Mountain Trench south of Kinbasket Lake, to a location 40 miles southwest of Saskatchewan River Crossing.
Many Montana Ojibwa's fled up to Alberta in 1877. They obviously make up a large percentage of the population of the O'Chiese including the FOS. While some of the O'Chiese Ojibway's signed an adhesion to Treaty 6 in 1954, many other O'Chiese Ojibway's led by John O'Chiese, refused to take treaty and migrated northwest to the Hinton, Alberta region. They feared their children would be stolen by the whites and forced to live at white boarding schools where the whites would brainwash them. There was already many non status Ojibwa People living west of Rocky Mountain House, Drayton Valley, Edson, Whitecourt, and Grand Prairie. Their land is located near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and in the Rocky Mountains. If these non status Ojibwa People, sign adhesion to Treaty 6 or another treaty, they may ignore their Ojibwa heritage and claim to be Cree, Iroquois or another tribe. It's about the Seven Fires Prophecy. We will act (govern them) on their behalf if that happens. We will continue to claim their land. Below is a map of the territory of the FOS and Nakcowinewak Nation. They, the Nakcowinewak, are also Plains Ojibwa. The Plains Ojibwa are also known as the Nakawe. The correct pronunciation of the Nakcowinewak is Nakawenin. We don't use the "g and k" plural ending. Only the "n plural."
Their, the FOS, population is currently around 250 around the Hinton, Alberta region. However, that does include all of the non treaty Ojibway's who live between Rocky Mountain House and Grand Prairie. They are also related to the Nakcowinewak Nation of Canada who are another non treaty Ojibwa organization in Alberta. Another one is the Aseniwuche Winewak Nation. They are already claiming to be non Ojibwa. They have land near Grand Cache.
The Sharphead Chippewa's Stolen Land
In 1890, Canada forced the Sharphead Chippewa's who lived around Pigeon Lake (the Montana Reserve), Wolf Creek Chippewa's, and the Chipos Ostikwan Chippewa's to leave their land around Pigeon Lake which is a part of the Montana Reserve. They were forced to relocate to the Paul Reserve. Ogima Paul may have led them to the Paul Reserve. Thus, the name change from Alexis to the Paul First Nation. The O'Chiese-Sunchild Chippewa's are from these Pigeon Lake Chippewa's. However, the O'Chiese Chippewa's refused to accept the illegal agreement. The Foothill Ojibway Society are continuing to refuse to accept the illegal eradication of the vast Chippewa Treaty 7 Reserve or Chippewa Montana Reserve. By the 1940s, some of the O'Chiese Chippewa's (the Sunchild) made the decision to sign an adhesion to Treaty 6. Then in 1950, other O'Chiese Chippewa's also signed an adhesion to Treaty 6. However, Treaty 6 has nothing to do with this predicament. In eastern southern British Columbia, the Chippewa Kootenai are continuing to refuse to accept the illegal eradication of the Chippewa Treaty 7 Reserve or Chippewa Montana Reserve.
Total population of the O'Chiese First Nation is 789. The Sunchild total population is 783. That does not include the O'Chiese-Sunchild Chippewa's who live in white communities. O'Chiese-Sunchild Chippewa land is situated where the Rocky Mountains commence their turn towards Alaska. During the winter months, Chinook Winds help to keep the region a bit warmer than other locations to the east at the same latitude. It is not uncommon for winter high temperatures to be well into the 30s and 40s. Their land is on the fringe (foothills) of the Rocky Mountains. The Rocky Mountains are about 25 miles to the west. Their land is covered by a beautiful forest.
The O'Chiese and Sunchild First Nation are right in the middle of a nearly isolated region. The Rocky Mountains are only 25 miles from the O'Chiese and Sunchild Reserve. The population of the O'Chiese-Sunchild communities is 1,572. That does not include those O'Chiese and Sunchild Chippewa's who live in white communities. Below is a link to a map of the O'Chiese-Sunchild Reserve. You must remember that the map is a map of both the O'Chiese and Sunchild Reserves. Both are connected.