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Witchekan Lake First Nation

These Saulteaux Ojibway's live on Witchekan Lakes westside and are within Carlton Reserve. We know from history, that they are Saulteaux Ojibway's. They were among chief Big Bears Saulteaux Ojibway's that evaded treaty after 1885's Northwest Rebellion. After 1885's War, these Ojibway's continued to live life as they had always. Fishing and hunting was how they subsisted, with occasional trade. Chief Big Bear never signed treaty ceding his Reserve after 1885's War. In 1913, Witchekan Lake First Nation Reserve's original boundaries included land well east of Witchekan Lake. They requested for Reserve in 1909. In 1909, Canada was up to no good and demanded of Saulteaux Ojibway leaders at Moosoomin/Thunderchild Reserve, that they surrender their Reserve. Canada reached an agreement to relocate Saulteaux Ojibway's that lived at Moosoomin/Thunderchild Reserve, to Jackfish Lakes region. In response to an influx of Ojibway People to land around Jackfish Lake, Canada then set aside land adjacent to Witchekan Lake, for Saulteaux Ojibway's from Jackfish Lake and sent many to Pelican Lake Reserve. In October of 1912, chief of Witchekan Lake Saulteaux Ojibway's, Kawkaykeesick, sent letter to James McKay for support in getting a Reserve for his subjects. He told McKay that non treaty Saulteaux Ojibway's had lived in that region for about 40 years. This aligns with an Ojibway Exodus from Montana to Canada, in 1876. Supposedly chief Kawkaykeesick was one of four sons of an Ojibway leader named Osawapisk. It is thought that chief Osawapisk traveled by horse from an east location, to Witchekan Lake. Their on-Reserve population is 335 according to 2016's census. They have 80 dwellings with 73 lived in. Average household size is 4.6 persons per household. Around 110 speak Corrupted Ojibway Language which is what Lewis and Clark called Cree Language.


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