The forerunners of the Bigstone Cree signed onto Treaty 8 in 1899 and were provided with reserved lands based on a population survey. The Bigstone claimed that the lands they were assigned were not large enough based on the 1913 and 1937 population surveys. Banda members settled into five communities all named after nearby lakes: Calling Lake, Chipewyan Lake, Peerless Lake, Trout Lake and Wabasca. The band has six reserves totalling 21,066.6 hectares (52,057 acres). These included 166 A, 166 B, 166 C, 166 D, all in the vicinity of the Hamlet of Wabasca (also known as Wabasca-Desmarais), 166 south of the Hamlet of Sandy Lake, and Jean Baptiste Gambler Reserve 183 surrounded by the Hamlet of Calling Lake. All of these reserves are surrounded by the Municipal District of Opportunity No. 17. In 2007, there were 6,781 registered Bigstone Cree, of which 2,397 were living on reserve.
The people living at Chipewyan Lake, Peerless Lake, and Trout Lake and lived off-reserve on Crown land and did not have access to the same services available to those at Wabasca. The Canadian government accepted the claim in 1998 and negotiations began which resulted in a settlement in 2010, the largest land settlement in Alberta's history. The agreement ended with the separation of the Peerless Trout First Nation from the Bigstone Cree, and new reserve lands for both bands. The Calling Lake reserve was slightly enlarged and a new reserve was created at Chipewyan Lake.