Onion Lake Cree Nation

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Onion Lake Cree Nation
Band No. 344
TreatyTreaty 6
HeadquartersOnion Lake
Land area585.711 km2
Population (2019)[1]
On reserve3954
On other land1
Off reserve2520
Total population6475
ChiefHenry Lewis[2]
Two members of Onion Lake Cree Nation in 1946

The Onion Lake Cree Nation (Cree: ᐑᐦᒉᑲᐢᑯᓰᐏᓵᑲᐦᐃᑲᓂᕽ, wîhcêkaskosîwi-sâkahikanihk) is a Plains Cree First Nations band government in Canada, straddling the Alberta/Saskatchewan provincial border approximately 50 km (31 mi) north of the City of Lloydminster.[3]

It is within Alberta's County of Vermilion River and Saskatchewan's Rural Municipality of Frenchman Butte No. 501 at the intersection of Highway 17 and Alberta Highway 641/Saskatchewan Highway 797.[4]

The Makaoo 120 reserve is located within both provinces while the Seekaskootch 119 reserve is wholly within Saskatchewan. Both reserves once maintained separate band governments, combining to form Onion Lake in 1914. With all reserves combined, the Onion Lake Cree Nation has a total land area of 585.711 square kilometres (226.144 sq mi), and has 6,475 registered members (as of August 2019).[1]

The Onion Lake Cree Nation has five schools within the community: Sakāskohc High School, Eagleview Middle School, Chief Taylor Elementary School, Pewasenakwan Primary School, and Kihēw Waciston Cree Immersion School.[5] A widely seen First World War propaganda poster shows Moo-Che-We-In-Es of the Onion Lake Cree Nation making a $1.50 donation to the Canadian Patriotic Fund with a cover letter in Western Cree syllabics.[6]


Onion Lake is a translation of Wicekikaskosîwi-sâkahikan, "Wild Onion" smelly plant, a nearby body of water where the plant was abundant. When referring to the community today, though, Cree speakers typically use wîhcekaskosîwi-sâkahikanihk, "[domestic] onion lake".[7]

Onion Lake, Saskatchewan[edit]

The unincorporated area of Onion Lake is located within the Saskatchewan portion of the Onion Lake Cree Nation[8] at the intersection of Highway 17 and Alberta Highway 641/Saskatchewan Highway 797.[4]


  1. ^ a b "First Nation Detail". Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. Government of Canada. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  2. ^ "Chief and Council – Onion Lake".
  3. ^ "About Us". Onion Lake Cree Nation. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
  4. ^ a b "GeoSearch2006". Statistics Canada. 2009-02-16. Archived from the original on 2007-11-16. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
  5. ^ Onion Lake Cree Nation Schools
  6. ^ "Posters: Canadian Patriotic Fund". Imperial War Museums. Retrieved 1 October 2021.; Winegard, Timothy C. (3 November 2011). Indigenous Peoples of the British Dominions and the First World War. Cambridge University Press. pp. 220–221. ISBN 978-1-107-01493-0.
  7. ^ Barry, Bill (2005). Geographic Names of Saskatchewan. Regina, Saskatchewan: People Places Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-897010-19-2.
  8. ^ "Geographical Names of Canada – Onion Lake, Saskatchewan". National Resources Canada. 2011-06-03. Retrieved 2011-08-19.

External links[edit]