Chief Kawacatoose signed Treaty 4 September 15, 1874, and two years later received a reserve in the Big Touchwood Hills. The reserve was originally named the Poor Man Reserve, as Kawacatoose is also referred to as Poor Man, although the correct translation is Lean Man or Skinny Man. When Kawacatoose died, his second eldest son Tawequasequape became chief. Band members began to farm with the implements, seed, and livestock provided through treaty, adding to their income by selling wood to the Agency and selling fence pickets and hay to local farmers. A band farm was started in 1949, adding revenue to a general band account; some farmers, however, remained independent. In 1981, the educational administration and control of the band’s day school was transferred from the Department of Indian Affairs, and the building of Phase One of the Kawacatoose Education Complex began. Phase Two was completed in 1983, joined to Phase One by the Kawacatoose Recreation Centre (1980). The Kawacatoose First Nation is located 10 km north of Quinton, with facilities that include a band office, the Education Complex, a health clinic, water treatment plant, and private housing. Of the 2,559 band members, 1,092 live on the 9,672-ha reserve.

Christian Thompson