Keeseekoose First Nation
Keeseekoose First Nation is a Saulteaux First Nation reserve located in Kamsack, Saskatchewan, Canada. It is located next to the Coté First Nation reserve. The Keeseekoose were originally set aside the Swan River First Nation of Manitoba but flooding forced a relocation away from Manitoba, to where the Coté lived. They are a Saulteaux band who spoke the Saulteaux Dialect of the Ojibwe Language.
Reserve and Population
It has 24 Reserves and share the Treaty Four Reserve Grounds 77 with many other Treaty Four First Nations. Total on-Reserve population is 679. Off-Reserve population is 1,564. Total population is 2,243. When including the Coté First Nations whom they share the same Reserve with, the total population is 5,726. The area covered by the Keeseekoose Reserves is 8,475 hectares or 20,942 acres. When including the Cote, the area increases to near 41,000 acres or 16,567 hectares.
Originally the Keeseekoose Ojibways lived on the plains of Manitoba and probably the forest to the north. Their food supply was largely buffalo which pemmican was prepared from. They also hunted the forest for deer, moose and other wild game. Their country was teaming with incredible numbers of waterways which they utilized for more food. They probably harvested the wild rice that grew on the waterways of Manitoba. In fact, wild rice was probably one of their major food sources. Chief Keeseekoose saw that his subjects were going hungry in the early 1870s and put their welfare first and signed treaty four on September 15, 1874. An event occurred after the Swan River First Nation of Manitoba was established for the Ojibways under Chief Keeseekoose's leadership, after treaty four was signed which forced the Keeseekoose Ojibways to reluctantly relocate to the Cote First Nation of Saskatchewan. Flooding hit the Reserve and caused an exodus towards the Cote Ojibways where they still live.