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LITTLE PINE - Two Indians bands have joined forces in commemorating the signing of Treaty 6 made by Chief Papaway and Chief Minahequosis. Little Pine and Luckyman Indian bands located about 50 miles west of the Battlefords have once again unwrapped the sacred stem used by its great leaders when survival of its people forced them to accept the treaty.
According to former treaty researcher Roderick Okemow, (exactly 100 years ago on July 2, 1879) the adhesion to Treaty 6 was signed by the two Indian leaders. The signing of the adhesion ended a period of time which the chiefs considered the terms of Treaty 6 to be insufficient in view of what had been given up by the Plains Indians.
Little Pine and Luckyman had by tradition called the Cypress Hills their home-grounds. These two bands had come out of Chief Big Bear's band, where they were headmen.
With the coming and settlement of the Europeans, the two Indians leaders continued their search for buffalo further south of the border.
History relates that Little Pine and Luckyman were forced to move to the Battleford area when the American government threatened to move the Indian people if the Canadian government didn't move them. This move thus denied Little Pine and Luckyman from settling in the Cypress Hills area.
It was in the spring of 1883 that Little Pine tried to get the Indian Chiefs living in the Treaty 6 area to form an Indian confederacy which would have the government listen and act for them. He also visited Chief Crowfoot of the Blackfeet tribe to tell the leader of his plan.
Little Pine and Luckyman wanted their reserves to be side by side but this was denied by the Indian Commissioner. He forced Luckyman to camp beside Chief Poundmaker, where reserve land was surveyed for him and where Luckyman Reserve is located today.
During the spring of 1885 the rebellion broke out at Batoche. The Indian Commissioner, Hater Reed, also informed Ottawa that the Indians were forming a confederacy sending the soldiers to attack the Indians and fighting back in defence the Indians were labelled rebels.
Chief Okemow stated that the two Indian bands are at the present time negotiating for land promised to their former leaders under treaty.
Acting Chief, band councillor Johnson Kakum representing Chief Casey Kennedy of Little Pine addressing the crowd emphasized the importance of the government fulfilling its commitments as promised under treaty signed 100 years ago.
Education playing a major role in the life of Indian people to survive in the non-Indian society, "The government of today must be prepared to pay the cost of it, no matter what it costs for it was paid for a long time ago. The government must also realize the importance of education to our young people to live on or off the reserve," said Kakum.
Another area of concern to
Concluding Kakum said, "When he (Chief Minahequosis) signed the treaty, he understood that he was setting aside land for himself and his band, and that reserve land was to provide one square mile for each family of five members.
"It has been 100 years since our chief signed the treaty with the government of Canada and it is now time for the government to fulfil these treaty rights."
Other dignitaries attending the historical occasion included band members Rev. Adam Cuthand and Rev. Smith Atimoyoo; former educator Dr. Ahab Spence; Jack Boggust, mayor of Paynton and long-time acquaintance of the Indian people; Aldo Delfrari, reeve of Cutknife; Bob Long, MLA, Cutknife-Lloydminister; Alex Pinter, district manager of Indian Affairs; and Dr. Owen Anderson, director general of Indian Affairs for the province of Saskatchewan.
In conjunction with the historical occasion was the official opening of its band office and also its band owned store.
PRESENTS PORTRAITS OF LEADERS
Alex Pinter, district manager of Indian Affairs, presents portraits of its Chiefs to band councillor Johnson Kakum during the commemoration of Treaty Six held at Little Pine Indian Reserve.
RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY:
Dr. Owen Anderson cuts the ribbon held by band councillors Johnson Kakum on the left and John Frank on the right with MC Alex Kennedy looking on to officially open the band office.