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Jackfish Lake Saulteaux Reserve
Below is a map of Jackfish Lake Saulteaux Reserve. When chief Big Bear fled his native Montana in 1876-1877, Canada sent their negotiators to negotiate treaty with Ojibway leaders and their Ojibway Subjects, that fled to Canada as refugees. They numbered in the 10,000's. Though native to Montana, chief Big Bear's power extended far. Treaty 6 and Treaty 7, were quickly arraigned for the 10,000's of Montana Ojibway's that fled to Canada. Canada possibly opted to recognize HBC or Hudson Bay Company hired Ojibway leaders. That was a mistake if they did because when they did that, they in effect refused to deal with Ojibway Nation on a nation to nation level. A nation can't negotiate with leaders of another nation they placed in power. They must negotiate with authentic leaders. Thus, Canada had no choice but to negotiate with chief Big Bear. He was in fear of executions as a result of the war in Montana and asked of Canadian leaders for amnesty. They supposedly refused. However, chief Big Bear told them he would have to return to his Ojibway Subjects far to the south of Fort Carlton, Saskatchewan to debate. A unanimous agreement was reached. They would leave for a location 100's of miles north where a large Ojibway Reserve was set aside. It was located from where Saskatchewan River branches into North Saskatchewan River and South Saskatchewan River. It extended into north central Alberta near where Edmonton is. North Saskatchewan River was it's south boundary. Canada agreed to Ojibway leaders proposal for a large Reserve. Between Edmonton and the Smith Brothers District east of Prince Alberta, Saskatchewan, was a series of Districts of this Reserve set aside for chief Big Bear in 1876-1877. Jackfish Lake Saulteaux Reserve is the Reserves north of North Saskatchewan River, between Debden, Saskatchewan and Glaslyn, Saskatchewan. They are Saulteaux Reserve, Ahtahkakoop Reserve, Big River Reserve, Mistawasis Reserve, Muskeg Lake Reserve, Pelican Lake Reserve and Witchekan Lake Reserve. Jackfish Lake may have been chief Big Bear's headquarters during 1885's War. However, as a result of too many farms, only that portion of Saulteaux Reserve known as Saulteaux 159A and Saulteaux 159EE, are in this Reserve. The Ojibway's of this Reserve are known as Jackfish Lake Saulteaux Ojibway's, Sunchild Saulteaux Ojibway's and Witchekan Lake Saulteaux Ojibway's.
Muskoday Reserve must be located where Saskatchewan River branches. However, chief John Smith was forced to relocate 20 miles or 32.2 kilometers southwest. Today, a land dispute exists at James Smith Reserve as a result of what happened. Chief John Smith's District was chief Big Bear's Reserves eastern boundary. It's western boundary was located 45 miles or 73.3 kilometers northeast of Edmonton. It extended as far north as the Oil Sands of Alberta and Saskatchewan yet did not include them. After signing treaties, chief Big Bear led his Ojibway Subjects 100's of miles north. It took several years. They first reached Fort Pitt, Saskatchewan then each sub-chief of chief Big Bear, led their Ojibway Subjects to land they knew would supply them with plenty of fish and wild game. Chief Big Bear himself approved of the location between Jackfish Lake, Saskatchewan and Saddle Lake, Alberta. His favorite location was possibly Kehewin. These treaties (Treaty 6 and 7) were signed in 1876 and 1877. Within a few years Canada could not control their greed. They demanded reduction in Reserve size or that several much smaller Reserves be created from chief Big Bears vast Reserve. Chief Big Bear refused to sign any treaty ceding his vast Reserve. Most other Ojibway leaders also agreed with him. In fact, they demanded to fight to defend their Reserve. Chief Big Bear did not want war yet his sub-chiefs did. He had no choice but to lead 1885's Northwest Rebellion.
Whites led by Louis Riel, were crossing North Saskatchewan River to settle within chief Big Bears Reserve. Canadian leaders were upset with Louis Riel. He was too eager to initiate white colonies. This is what instigated 1885's war. Ojibway Soldiers from north of Edmonton to the Smith's brothers District, prepared to defend their Reserve by patrolling land near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and north of Duck Lake, Saskatchewan. Whites from that region led by Louis Riel, were instigators. Prince Albert is adjacent to North Saskatchewan Rivers south shores. North Saskatchewan River is 12 miles or 19.4 kilometers from Duck Lake. Whites hid out at Duck Lake. In 1884, Louis Riel was asked to lead whites living between Duck Lake and Prince Albert. He instigated trouble by leading whites into chief Big Bear's Reserve illegally. Canadian leaders were obviously aware of what was going on and possibly prepared a treaty negotiation with chief Big Bear. However, Riel was a troublemaker! Ojibway leaders knew what Louis Riel represented.
Prince Albert had a larger population than Duck Lake and provided more soldiers. However, Ojibway Soldiers forced whites living at Prince Albert to barricade their small town. Ojibway military leaders were reluctant to attack fortified settlements as a result of their inferior weapons. They could only keep Prince Albert under siege. On March 26, 1885 Ojibway Soldiers bravely attacked Louis Riels force which included 53 Northwest Mounted Police and 41 volunteers from Prince Albert. Their total number was near 300. Ojibway Soldiers defeated them and forced them to retreat to Fort Carlton's safety. Louis Riel's force suffered around 18 killed and 15 wounded in the Battle of Duck Lake. Thus, 1885's Northwest Rebellion commenced. Canada did not want this war. If Louis Riel had left for Europe, it would have been different. Instead a short war followed. With a war now in progress, Canada sent over 1,000 of their soldiers to reinforce Canadian Soldiers already in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Their goal was to invade chief Big Bear's Reserve. They did that by crossing North Saskatchewan River. Though defeated, chief Big Bear nor any other Ojibway leader, signed treaty ceding chief Big Bear's Reserve. Canada forced Ojibway leaders that did not have authority to cede Ojibway land, to cede land. Many smaller Reserves were set aside afterwards. Jackfish Lake Saulteaux Ojibway Reserve must be recognized by Canada. They have an obligation to do so!
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