Cree Chief Minahikosis (Little Pine) signed an adhesion to Treaty 6 in 1879 near Fort Walsh, and though the band traditionally resided in the Cypress Hills region they were moved and settled at the foot of Bluehill along the Battle River. In the winter of 1883–84 Little Pine and Lucky Man camped near Poundmaker’s reserve; although Big Bear, Little Pine, Lucky Man and Poundmaker wished for adjoining reserves, they were refused. Little Pine died in 1885 and his people were scattered. As part of the government’s policy to keep all Indians on their respective reserves, a reserve was surveyed for the remnants of the Little Pine and Lucky Man bands in 1887. Their allotted acres did not correspond to what was entitled through treaty: this led to the May 29, 1997, settlement of a century’s injustice. Through the settlement, the band has been able to purchase land and initiate other economic endeavours. The Little Pine First Nation continues to define its inherent right to self-government through its Government Act (Constitution, 2001), which allows for basic structure within the band and offers provisions for the Lands and Resources Management Act and the Election Act. Developmental projects include the Little Pine First Nation Racetrack, the Little Pine First Nation Cattle Venture, and a gas and convenience store. The band’s facilities include the Little Pine Health Clinic and Medical Taxis, the Elders’ Hall, the Chief Little Pine School, a band office, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment (two constables working and residing on the reserve), and the Little Pine Daycare. The 17,567-ha reserve is located 53 km northwest of North Battleford; it has a population of 1,578, with 702 people living on reserve.

Christian Thompson