Rocky Boy Tribe
Chippewa Indians of
Swan River First Nation & History
Located in north central Alberta, around Lesser Slave Lake, the Anishinabe Swan River First Nation has been corrupted as has the Driftpile, Kapawe'no, Sawridge, and Sucker Creek First Nations. They all live around Lesser Slave Lake but have been forced by the whites to distant themselves from each other. Up to 1910 they were one people. It could be an indication that the whites forced many Montana Chippewa's to settle in the Lesser Slave Lake region, when they forced them to relocate to the Montana Reservations, particularly the Blackfeet Reservation, in 1909. In 1929, Canada commenced to deal with the Lesser Slave Lake Anishinabe people as five distinct bands. One is the Swan River First Nation. There are two Reserves which make up the Swan River First Nation. It covers 4,294 hectares or 10,610 acres. The population of the Swan River Reserve is 375. Below is a link to a map of the Swan River Reserve.
They apparently signed the 1899 treaty 8. The nearby Whitefish Lake First Nation which is 30 miles to the north, has their history telling about treaty 6 and civil strife. Some of the citizens of the Lesser Slave Lake First Nations may be descended from Anishinabe refugees from the 1885 Northwest Rebellion. They are from the Woodland branch of the northern Ojibwa's who are also known as the Muskego or Muskegowuk, which means Swampy People in Anishinabe. The whites call them Woodland Cree. The Plains Cree are also a branch of the northern Ojibwa's. They have lived in that region of Alberta for probably over 1,000 years. Many of the Ojibwa's from Manitoba who followed the Seven Fires Prophecy and migrated westward into the region in British Columbia where the Saulteau First Nation is, settled down with these Anishinabe people of the Lesser Slave Lake First Nations of Alberta, as did many landless Montana Chippewa's.