The Papaschase are a group of Cree people descended from Chief Papaschase's Band of the 19th century, who were a party to Treaty 6 with Canada. A modern-day group of people claims to be the rightful heirs of this historical band, but the Canadian government refuses to recognize them.
The Papaschase signed Treaty 6 on August 21, 1877, and were given a reserve within much of what later became southeast Edmonton, Alberta including all of Mill Woods. The reserve was petitioned by the new settlers to leave sometime around 1891 when the Canadian Pacific Railway's Calgary to Edmonton branch arrived in the nearby Town of Strathcona. The former reserve is now bound on the north by 51 Avenue, on the west by 119 Street, on the south by 30 Avenue SW, and on the east by 17 Street NW. The former reserve was incrementally absorbed in its entirety by the City of Edmonton over a series of seven annexations between December 30, 1959 and January 1, 1982.
As of 2012[update] around 1,000 people claim to be descendants of the historical band, who they argue were illegally evicted from their reserve to give the railway access to their land. Their lawsuit against the Canadian government to recover their lands was thrown out in 2008 on the grounds that the Papaschase were not a recognized band and therefore could not make a claim against the government, and that too much time had passed. Since that time, the group has instead focused its efforts on becoming a recognized band through the federal claims commission, and via political pressure.
A group representing the Papaschase held a partial blockade and information picket on the Queen Elizabeth II portion of Alberta Highway 2 – Alberta's busiest highway – on January 16, 2013, as part of the wider Idle No More movement.
- Elise Stolte (2012-08-17). "Edmonton chief seeks to rebuild Papaschase community". Edmonton Journal. Postmedia Network. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
- "Plan of the Subdivision Into Sections of the Lands Reserved for the Band of Chief Papaschase". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
- History of Annexations (Map). City of Edmonton, Planning and Development Department.
- Jodie Sinnema (2013-01-22). "Open letter by RCMP and First Nations encourages protesters off northern highways". Edmonton Journal. Postmedia Network. Retrieved 2013-03-07.