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Welcome to the
Opaskwayak Cree Nation

History     (read full history)

On September 7, 1876 The Pas Treaty Band signed Treaty No.5. The Band that signed the Treaty consisted of people at The Pas, Birch River and Pas Mountain where the Red Earth and Shoal Lake people lived. The Canadian idea behind such treaties was to clear off the burden of aboriginal title so that orderly and systematic use of the land could take place. On the other hand, the objective of the Indian people of this area was to work out a suitable arrangement, which define and recognize their rights and continuing Relationship between them and the Canadian government.

The main portion of Opaskwayak Cree Nation Band's reserve lands were surveyed in 1882 by W.A. Austin. On August 4, 1906, Opaskwayak Cree Nation (formally known as The Pas Indian Band) surrendered the most Northerly 500 acres in "Block A" of their reserves (less 3 acres to be retained for Indian Agency buildings and a small parcel of the land along the Pasquia River). This Land, in part, became the town site of The Pas on the south bank of the Saskatchewan River. The three acres known as the "Agency Grounds" was surrendered for sale in 1919. After the 1906 surrender the members of Opaskwayak Cree Nation relocated to the north side of the Saskatchewan River directly across from the Town.

The Town of The Pas grew up on the south bank and was incorporated in 1912. The reserve itself saw little development between the 1880's and the 1960's however, they were in frequent contact with the townspeople and many were integrated into the main stream economic system. The conomic system consisted of lumbering, fishing, hunting and agriculture along with related transportation, communication and service industries. This diverse economy continues to the present day.

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