Bigstone Cree Nation
The Bigstone Cree Nation is a First Nations band government in Alberta, Canada. As Woodland Cree, they are a western branch of the larger Cree nation, and are a party to Treaty 8 with Canada. The Bigstone Cree Nation was divided into two bands in 2010, with one group continuing under the former name, and the other becoming the Peerless Trout First Nation.
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, butt 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.
The Bigstone Cree First Nation host the annual Treaty Days Festivities in August of each year, celebrating their culture, language and achievements.
- First Nations in Alberta
- List of Indian reserves in Alberta
- List of First Nations peoples
- Indian Act
- List of Aboriginal communities in Canada
- Municipal District of Opportunity No. 17 (2008-10-08). "Bylaw 2008-10 To establish the hamlet boundaries for Wabasca, Alberta". Retrieved 2010-10-13.
- Municipal District of Opportunity No. 17 (2008-10-08). "Bylaw 2008-8 To establish the hamlet boundaries for Sandy Lake, Alberta". Retrieved 2010-10-13.
- Municipal District of Opportunity No. 17 (2008-10-08). "Bylaw 2008-7 To establish the hamlet boundaries for Calling Lake, Alberta". Retrieved 2010-10-13.
- Bigstone Cree - Population table
- Alberta Municipal Affairs - 2005 Official Population list - Indian Registered Population. December 2005. Retrieved on 24 September 2006
- Aboriginal Peoples of Alberta: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (PDF). Alberta Aboriginal Relations. November 2013. ISBN 978-1-4601-13073. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
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