Saddle Lake Cree Nation

Saddle Lake Cree Nation

The group of Indian communities now known as the Saddle Lake First Nation #125  was formed in 1902 by the forced amalgamation of 4 tribes:

Onchaminahos – (Chief Little Hunter)

Seenum Band – (Chief John Seenum)

Blue Quill Band – (Chief Blue Quill)

Wasatnow Band – (Chief Bear Ears)

The people represented at the 1876 Treaty  negotiations by Seenum and Little Hunter were members of a loosely-connected group of Tribes (Cree, and Assiniboine) which had grown up in the 19th Century along the north side of the North Saskatchewan River, stretching from Lac Ste. Anne (on the West) and to Fort Pitt (on the East).

TIMELINE:

1862 –

Cree camp of Kehkek (Little Hunter) “discovered” at the North side of what is       now called Saddle Lake by Missionary John McDougal

1875 –

Chief Papaschase, the Woodpecker also known as John Gladu-Quinn born 1838 is Chief from 1875 to 1885.  One hundred and ninety five Papaschase tribal members belonged to the Indian Reservation #136.  Some Fort Edmonton citizens claimed the band is made up of Indians from other bands.The Edmonton citizens are not comfortable having Indians as neighbors and commenced a hate campaign to have them removed from their treaty lands.The Papaschase Band  numbers totaled 256 with some members being from the Little Hunter and Lapotac Bands.

1876-

TREATY NUMBER SIX SIGNED:

September 9th at Fort Pitt. Signing for Saddle Lake : Chief Onchaminahos (Little Hunter), and Pakan for Whitefish Lake.

INDIAN ACT COMES INTO EFFECT:

The Indian Act creates Indian Agents who control all areas of Native life,  reservations are patterned after the Jewish Ghetto’s established throughout Europe.  This forced the People into poverty and purposelessness, it:

*Isolated Indians from other cultures

*Led to impoverishment

*Destroyed traditional religion and culture

*The breaking up of families

*Absolute control by Indian Agents

*Sexual exploitation

*Fraud

1880-

1886-

Surveyor J.C Nelson began to lay out lands for the Saddle Lake area bands. Nelson also  surveyed an entirely separate reserve (Whasatnow I.R #126) for Muskegwatic, then returned to Saddle Lake to discuss the choice of land for Little Hunter, Blue Quill, and James Seenum.

It was partly decided at this meeting, that these reserves would be laid out in one block, under Pakan, unless Blue Quill held out against it. Blue Quill was not present, but soon after the meeting he came in from his band’s settlement at Egg (Whitford) Lake (near what is now Andrew). He confirmed that they agreed to abandon their houses and gardens there and to move to Saddle Lake by 1887, where they would take reserve land.

1886-

Survey completed and calculated as follows:

Band                                                                    Number of People

James Seenum’s Band (@ 1879)                                    486

James Seenum’s Band
(from Little Hunter 1879 – 1886) –                                   42

Little Hunter’s band (at 1886)                                           81

Blue Quill’s Band (at 1886)                                               40

Persons absent from  reserve                                              12

NELSON’S TOTAL:                                                          661 People

This figure was then used to calculate the bands’ treaty land entitlement, as  follows:

Total population for all three bands:       661 people

Entitlement per person:   1 square mile / family of 5 or 128 acres

Total land entitlement of the three bands at 1886: 661 x  128 acres (132.2 square miles)

1886-1887-

Papaschase  enfranchised by force, under the name John Quinn or John Gladieu  due to increased pressure from Edmonton. The Papaschase Band remnants combined with the Lapotac to make about 217 people and most migrated south of Edmonton to join the Hobbema Band, but some amalgamated to Saddle Lake.

1896-

Blue Quill accepts the relocation of the Lac La Biche boarding school to his reserve – In Saddle Lake – in exchange he moves his Tribe to Saddle Lake.

1899-

Aug/12
Wasatenow Band recieves 8960 acres in the Cache Lake area of Saddle Lake, in exchange for surrendered reserve #126.

1900-

Jan/05
Saddle Lake, Blue Quill, Wahsatnow and Whitefish Lake amalgamate to share  band interests

1902-

Formal amalgamation at the  registrar of the Indian Agent