Chief Seekaskootch’s band signed Treaty 6 at Fort Pitt on September 9, 1876, while other River Cree signed an adhesion to Treaty 6 in 1878 as the Makaoo Band. The bands received adjacent reserves in 1879. In 1885 they were accused of participating in the Frog Lake Massacre and listed as “rebel Indians.” The federal government refused to recognize a chief for these two bands until 1914, when they were told to amalgamate as the Onion Lake Band. The Onion Lake First Nation has educational facilities, a modern health centre, and indoor/outdoor sports facilities. There are both band-owned and privately owned businesses on reserve, providing the community with essential services and employing both residents and non-residents. Currently, 2,408 of the band’s 4,003 members live on the 57,737.5 ha of reserve land, situated 50 km north of Lloydminster. The Onion Lake Reserve straddles the Saskatchewan-Alberta border, making it Canada’s only border Cree Nation.

Christian Thompson