Ancestors of the Wahpeton Dakota Band hunted the borderland between the United States and Canada before moving into the Prince Albert area in 1878 under Chief Hupa-yaktao. Without treaty, an Order-in-Council reserved 80 acres for every five people in 1894, with additional acreage added in 1917 and 1930. Over time the original four encampments of Dakota blended their memberships, and political boundaries diminished. By the late 1970s the band neared commercial-scale beef and grain production, but insufficient land and operating capital limited further growth. The entrepreneurial spirit of the band translates into the management and administration of modern programs in education, health, and social development, as well as a number of business investments. They own shares in the First Nations Bank of Canada (Saskatoon), a walk-in Health Clinic (Prince Albert), and are part of a joint venture with the Prince Albert Development Corporation. In partnership with the Meadow Lake Tribal Council and the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation, the band also owns three Super 8 Motels. The 1,547 ha of the Wahpeton Dakota Reserve lie in two holdings approximately 50 km northwest of Prince Albert; of the 428 registered band members, 270 live on the reserve.

Christian Thompson