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Pelican Lake First Nation

This Cree band signed Treaty 6 in 1889 and continued to hunt and fish. In 1901 they were considered part of Kenemotayoo’s band, but lived separately on the shores of Pelican Lake for many years before choosing a reserve on Chitek Lake. Mention of a reserve being surveyed for them in 1898 can be found in department records, and in 1902 it was noted that the Pelican Lake people were under the same chief and headmen as Kenemotayoo’s Band, sharing in the ownership of the Big River Reserve. The first chief was Louis (later changed to Lewis) Chamakee. There were not many non-Indian people in the area until the early 1930s, when a settlement began to develop next to the reserve. Some band members began to farm, but found that money could be earned faster through trapping or selling wood. Their economic base today includes forestry, tourism, agriculture, fishing and trapping, the band has a social development office, band office, workshop, two schools, fire hall, health clinic, apartment complex, Treaty Land Entitlement office, and maintenance outbuildings. Businesses include the Chitek Lake Indian Development Company Ltd., Chamakese Summer Resort, Chitek Lake Houseboats Ltd., Pelican Lake Trucking Ltd., Junior Farms Ltd., Penn General Store Ltd., and Pelican Lake Mini-mall. Their reserve covers 9,076 ha, the most populated area of which is located 68 km southeast of Meadow Lake (Chitek Lake Number 191). Currently there are 1,205 band members, 784 of whom live on the reserve.

Christian Thompson

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