Gabriel Cote’s Cree-Saulteaux band signed Treaty 4 on September 15, 1874, and a reserve was surveyed in 1877. In 1904, land was surrendered for the Canadian Northern Railway station and the town site of Kamsack. Between 1905 and 1907 additional land was surrendered, the northern sections of which were returned to reserve status. In 1913 a further two-mile strip of land on the southern boundary was surrendered, but returned in 1915 when concern was raised that the band had lost too much of their best agricultural land. In 1963, further acres surrendered in 1905 were also reconstituted as reserve land. The interest in and surrender of land from the reserve’s southern boundary—nearest the Kamsack town site—resulted in part from speculation of its value for settlement. The surrender and then reconstitution of the reserve’s land hardly produced an environment favourable to the community’s economic development. Of the 2,819 registered band members, 721 live on their 8,088-ha reserve just north of Kamsack. The band has a day care centre, band office, community hall, health station, and arena, as well as the Saulteaux Healing and Wellness Centre, Cote United Church, and Chief Gabriel Cote Education Complex.

Christian Thompson