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Waterhen Lake First Nation

According to Department of Indian Affairs reports, the Waterhen Lake First Nation signed an adhesion to Treaty 6 in January 1913 under Chief Running Around, and in 1916 a reserve was surveyed for them. The Indian Agent noted that the chief wanted assurance that their traditional way of life would be protected. The Waterhen Lake First Nation hunted and trapped in the area around Lost Lake, and would go as far as Primrose Lake. In 1946 their traditional hunting and trapping areas fell within the regulations of the Fur Act, dividing northern Alberta and Saskatchewan into Fur Conservation Areas and restricting trapping privileges to local residents (primarily First Nations and Métis). In 1954 many of these Fur Conservation Areas became part of the Primrose Lake Air Weapons Range, and therefore subject to a claim launched by several bands in 1975 for compensation for the loss of traditional hunting, trapping and fishing lands. In the case of the Waterhen Lake band, their claim was rejected. The Waterhen Lake (Sîkîp Sâkahikan) Cree Nation is the largest band in the Meadow Lake Tribal Council; 729 of its 1,631 registered members live on the 7,972.2-ha reserve, located 39 km north of Meadow Lake. The economy includes trapping, lumber industry, and tourism; there are a multipurpose office, warehouse, school, teacherage, fire hall, lift station, arena, drop-in centre, and other community maintenance structures.

Christian Thompson

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