Saddle Lake Cree Nation | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Saddle Lake Cree Nation

The Saddle Lake Cree Nation (onihcikiskwapiwinihk in Cree) is located in central Alberta approximately 180 km northeast of Edmonton. Saddle Lake Cree Nation is signatory to Treaty 6, which was signed at Fort Pitt, Saskatchewan, on 9 September 1876. Saddle Lake is a forced amalgamation of four tribes: Onchimanhos/Chief Little Hunter, Seenum Band/Chief John Seenum, Blue Quill Band/Chief Blue Quill and Wasatnow Band/Chief Bear Ears. The traditional language of the Saddle Lake peoples is Plains Cree.

The governance at Saddle Lake is unique in that it has two separate councils and chiefs governing their two reserves — Saddle Lake Cree Nation and the Whitefish Lake First Nation (often called "Whitefish (Goodfish) Lake First Nation" to distinguish it from a similarly named group in Manitoba). According to the Indian Act, the two have a shared government and are considered to be one nation.

As of February 2022, the registered population is 11,285 with the majority of members living on-reserve (6,757).

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