The Wood Mountain Reserve consists of 2,376.2 ha of rolling prairie near the village of Wood Mountain. The nomadic Dakota camped in the borderland between the United Stated and Canada in the mid-1800s, establishing a degree of permanency in the territory between Jean-Louis Légaré’s Wood Mountain trading post and Moose Jaw Creek by 1876. Joined by Sitting Bull in his flight from the US Cavalry, many of his people remained at Wood Mountain when he returned to the United States in 1881, supporting themselves through traditional subsistence and wage labour. On October 29, 1910, a temporary reserve was created for them near Wood Mountain, and although the Lakota never signed treaty with the Canadian government the Wood Mountain Reserve was recognized by an Order-in-Council on August 5, 1930. The band’s thirty-seven founding families declined in number, in part from marrying into the surrounding non-First Nations community. There are 209 registered band members, only twelve of whom live on the reserve.

Christian Thompson