First Nations in Saskatchewan

Last updated

First Nations in Saskatchewan constitute many Native Canadian band governments. First Nations ethnicities in the province include the Cree, Assiniboine, Saulteaux, Lakota, Dene and Dakota. Historically, the Atsina and Blackfoot could also be found at various times.


"In 1992, the federal and provincial governments signed a historic land claim agreement with Saskatchewan First Nations. Under the Agreement, the First Nations received money to buy land on the open market. As a result, about 761,000 acres have been turned into reserve land and many First Nations continue to invest their settlement dollars in urban areas." [1]

List of band governments

Treaty 4

NationMain reserves Population (2019) [2]
TotalOn reserveOn other landOff reserve
Carry the Kettle Nakoda First Nation 2,92189202,029
Cote First Nation 4,0611,07402,987
Cowessess First Nation 4,29584603,449
Day Star First Nation 5301700360
Fishing Lake First Nation 1,84250801,334
George Gordon First Nation 3,7521,19102,561
Kahkewistahaw First Nation 2,10560701,498
Kawacatoose First Nation 3,2501,15712,092
Keeseekoose First Nation 2,52571101,814
Kinistin Saulteaux Nation 1,0893390750
Little Black Bear First Nation 5922120380
Muscowpetung Saulteaux Nation 1,47533001,145
Muskowekwan First Nation 1,96357901,384
Nekaneet Cree Nation 5412151325
Ocean Man First Nation 5611460415
Ochapowace Nation
Okanese First Nation
Pasqua First Nation
Peepeekisis Cree Nation
Pheasant Rump Nakota First Nation
Piapot First Nation
Standing Buffalo Dakota Nation
Star Blanket Cree Nation
The Key First Nation
White Bear First Nation
Wood Mountain Dakota Sioux Nation
Yellow Quill First Nation
Zagime Anishinabek

Treaty 5

NationMain reserves Population (2019) [2]
TotalOn reserveOn other landOff reserve
Cumberland House Cree Nation 1,7499120837
Red Earth Cree Nation 1,8921,5860306
Shoal Lake Cree Nation 1,1198741244

Treaty 6

NationMain reserves Population (2019) [2]
TotalOn reserveOn other landOff reserve
Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation 3,6701,87631,791
Beardy's and Okemasis' Cree Nation 3,5381,35402,184
Big Island Lake Cree Nation 1,2668870379
Big River First Nation 3,6182,45101,167
Flying Dust First Nation
Island Lake First Nation
James Smith Cree Nation
Lac La Ronge Indian Band 11,1776,8181794,180
Little Pine First Nation
Lucky Man Cree Nation
Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation
Mistawasis Nêhiyawak
Montreal Lake Cree Nation
Moosomin First Nation
Mosquito, Grizzly Bear's Head, Lean Man First Nations
Muskeg Lake Cree Nation
Muskoday First Nation
One Arrow First Nation
Onion Lake Cree Nation
Pelican Lake First Nation
Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation
Poundmaker Cree Nation
Red Pheasant Cree Nation
Saulteaux First Nation
Sweetgrass First Nation
Sturgeon Lake First Nation
Thunderchild First Nation
Wahpeton Dakota Nation Wahpeton 94
Waterhen Lake First Nation
Witchekan Lake First Nation

Treaty 8

NationMain reserves Population (2019) [2]
TotalOn reserveOn other landOff reserve
Black Lake Denesuline First Nation 2,2551,6380617
Clearwater River Dene Nation 2,30998601,323
Fond du Lac Dene Nation 2,1281,1330995

Treaty 10

NationMain reserves Population (2019) [2]
TotalOn reserveOn other landOff reserve
Birch Narrows Dene Nation 8334390394
Buffalo River Dene Nation 1,4997980701
Canoe Lake First Nation
English River First Nation 1,6257780847
Hatchet Lake Dene Nation

See also

Related Research Articles

Saskatchewan Province of Canada

Saskatchewan is a prairie and boreal province in Western Canada, the middle of the three prairie provinces. Nearly 10% of Saskatchewan’s total area of 651,900 square kilometres (251,700 sq mi) is fresh water, which is composed mostly of rivers, reservoirs, and the province's 100,000 lakes. English is the primary language of the province, with 82.4% of Saskatchewanians speaking English as their first language.

Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations

The minister of Crown–Indigenous relations is a minister of the Crown in the Canadian Cabinet, one of two ministers who administer Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC), the department of the Government of Canada which is responsible for administering the Indian Act and other legislation dealing with "Indians and lands reserved for the Indians" under subsection 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867. The minister is also more broadly responsible for overall relations between the federal government and First Nations, Métis, and Inuit.

Treaty Five is a treaty that was first established in September, 1875, between Queen Victoria and Saulteaux and Swampy Cree non-treaty band governments and peoples around Lake Winnipeg in the District of Keewatin. Much of what is today central and northern Manitoba was covered by the treaty, as were a few small adjoining portions of the present-day provinces of Saskatchewan and Ontario. The Treaty was completed in two rounds. The first was from September 1875 to September 1876. The Crown intended in 1875 to include only "the Indians [east and west] of Lake Winnipeg for the surrender of the Territory uncovered by previous treaties" including "the proposed migration of the Norway House band". Pimicikamak territory was north of the lake. It was included by accident or design of Tepastenam attending the Norway House signing. Additional peoples and groups signed on between 1908 and 1910.

The Métis Nation—Saskatchewan is an organization that represents the approximately 70,000 Métis people in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada. It is affiliated with the Métis National Council. Glen McCallum was elected as president in 2017.

The George Gordon First Nation is a First Nations band government located near the village of Punnichy, Saskatchewan, in Canada. The nation has an enrolled population of 3,752 people, 1,191 of whom live on the band's reserves. Chief Byron Bitternose leads the First Nation. Their territory is located on the Gordon 86 reserve, as arranged by Treaty 4.

Muskoday First Nation

The Muskoday First Nation is a First Nation band government in Saskatchewan, Canada, composed of Cree and Saulteaux peoples. The First Nation has a registered population of 1,828 people as of September 2014, of which approximately 623 members of the First Nation live on-reserve, and approximately 1204 live off-reserve. Muskoday's territory is located in the aspen parkland biome. It is bordered by the rural municipalities of Birch Hills No. 460 and Prince Albert No. 461.

Métis in Alberta

Métis in Alberta are Métis people, descendants of mixed First Nations/native Indian and white/European families, who live in the Canadian province of Alberta. The Métis are considered an aboriginal group under Canada's Constitution Act, 1982 and separate and distinct from First Nations, and have different legal rights. Different Metis groups attempted to combine the joint influences of the Manitoba Metis Federation, the Metis Nation of Alberta, and the Metis Nation- Saskatchewan. This was done in hopes that the Metis peoples’ of Alberta would receive land and resource rights. In Alberta, unlike in the rest of Canada, Métis people have negotiated certain lands to be reserved for them under the Métis Population Betterment Act of 1938, known today as the Eight Métis Settlements. These Métis Settlements Federated in 1975 to protect existing Métis Settlement lands following the Alberta Governments dissolution, by Order-In-Council of four Métis Settlements from 1950-1960. Following legal challenges by the Federation of Métis Settlements in 1975 for the loss of natural resource against Alberta, the Crown in Right of Alberta settled out of court for a suite of legislation that would see self-government, land, and money transferred to the newly formed government of the Métis Settlements General Council (MSGC), Canada’s only Métis self-government. The Métis Settlements General Council is the legislator of the Federation of Métis Settlements. MSGC is the second largest land owner in the Province of Alberta.

Numbered Treaties Series of treaties between the Government of Canada and the First Nations

The Numbered Treaties are a series of eleven treaties signed between the First Nations, one of three groups of Indigenous peoples in Canada, and the reigning monarch of Canada from 1871 to 1921. These agreements were created to allow the Government of Canada to pursue settlement and resource extraction in the affected regions, which include modern-day Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and the Northwest Territories. These treaties expanded the Dominion of Canada with large tracts of land in exchange for promises made to the indigenous people of the area. These terms were dependent on individual negotiations and so specific terms differed with each treaty.

In Canada, band, sometimes referred to as a First Nation band or simply a First Nation, is the basic unit of government for those peoples subject to the Indian Act. Bands are typically small groups of people: the largest in the country, the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation had 22,294 members in September 2005, and many have a membership below 100 people. Each First Nation is typically represented by a band council chaired by an elected chief, and sometimes also a hereditary chief. As of 2013, there were 614 bands in Canada. Membership in a band is controlled in one of two ways: for most bands, membership is obtained by becoming listed on the Indian Register maintained by the government. As of 2013, there were 253 First Nations which had their own membership criteria, so that not all Status Indians are members of a band.

Treaty 10 was an agreement established beginning 19 August 1906, between King Edward VII and various First Nation band governments in northern Saskatchewan and a small portion of eastern Alberta. There were no Alberta-based First Nations groups signing on, but there were two First Nation bands from Manitoba, despite their location outside the designated treaty area. It is notable that despite appeals from peoples of unceded areas of Northern Manitoba and the Northwest Territories for treaty negotiations to begin, the government did not enter into the treaty process for almost 20 years. In 1879, Natives of Stanley, Lac la Ronge, and Pelican Narrows petitioned for a treaty due to the threat of starvation. In 1905, the granting of Saskatchewan with Provincial status galvanized the government to settle the issue of land rights in order to free up land for future government use. The Canadian government signed Treaty 10 with the First Nations. The territory covered almost 220,000 square kilometers and included Cree and Chipewyan First Nation tribe population. Like the other treaties, it requires the First Nations to surrender their Aboriginal Title for land claim and rights.

Waterhen Lake First Nation is a Cree First Nation band government located in northwestern Saskatchewan, Canada. As of October 2018 the total membership of the Waterhen Lake First Nation was 2,053. There were 983 members living on reserve, 2 on Crown Land and 1,068 members living off reserve. The First Nation is a member of the MLTC Program Services, a regional tribal Chiefs' Council. The First Nation is also a signatory to the Adhesion to Treaty 6 in 1921.

An urban Indian reserve is land that the Government of Canada has designated as a First Nations reserve that is situated within an urban area. Such lands allow for aboriginal commercial ventures which enjoy the tax exemptions offered to traditional reserves. They may be located within either a municipality or, in the case of Saskatchewan, a Northern Administration District.

Fishing Lake First Nation is a First Nation of the Saulteaux branch of the Ojibwe nation. The band can trace their origins to central Canada, and were pushed westward to avoid encroachment by European settlers. The First Nation was originally part of the Yellow-quill Saulteaux Band, a Treaty Band named after a Treaty 4 signatory Chief Ošāwaškokwanēpi, whose name means "Green/Blue-quill." However, due to "š" merging with "s" in Nakawēmowin, this led to a mistranslation of his name as "Yellow-quill"—"yellow" being osāw-, while "green/blue" being ošāwaško-. The band was given three reserves, at Fishing and Nut Lakes and Kinistino, Saskatchewan. The Fishing Lake Indian Reserve 89 was approximately 22,850 acres (92.5 km2). Soon after the death of Chief Ošāwaškokwanēpi, the Band divided into three groups, the Fishing Lake First Nation, the Yellow Quill First Nation, and the Kinistin Saulteaux Nation

Okanese First Nation

The Okanese First Nation is a Cree-Saulteaux First Nation band government in Balcarres, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Pelican Lake First Nation is a member of the Federation of Saskatchewan First Nations, the body that represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan.

Treaty Four Reserve Grounds 77 Indian reserve in Canada, Held collectively

The Treaty Four Reserve Grounds 77 are an Indian reserve in Saskatchewan, Canada, shared by 33 band governments from Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The Reserve Grounds are located adjacent to and west of Fort Qu'Appelle. In the 2016 Canadian Census, they recorded a population of 15 living in 6 of their 8 total private dwellings.

Indigenous or Aboriginal self-government refers to proposals to give governments representing the Indigenous peoples in Canada greater powers of government. These proposals range from giving Aboriginal governments powers similar to that of local governments in Canada to demands that Indigenous governments be recognized as sovereign, and capable of "nation-to-nation" negotiations as legal equals to the Crown, as well as many other variations.

Muscowpetung Saulteaux Nation

The Muscowpetung Saulteaux Nation is a Saulteaux band government in southern Saskatchewan, Canada. Their reserves include:

The Lucky Man Cree Nation is a Cree First Nation in Saskatchewan, Canada. After spending more than a hundred years amalgamated into the Little Pine First Nation, the band was awarded the Lucky Man Reserve, on the eastern border of the RM of Meeting Lake. The re-established nation has the smallest membership in Treaty 6.

Indigenous Specific Land Claims in Canada, also called specific claims, are long-standing land claims made by First Nations against the Government of Canada pertaining to Canada's legal obligations to indigenous communities.


  1. "Treaty Land Entitlement – The English River Story, Saskatchewan" Archived 2012-07-14 at the Wayback Machine , Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, accessed 25 November 2011
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "First Nation Profiles". Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. Retrieved September 10, 2019.