Introduction to our Community

History

Born in 1816, Chief Ahtahkakoop, meaning Starblanket in Cree, rose to be a respected and tactical leader of the Cree Nation in the latter part of the 19th century. At the onset of his leadership, the plains buffalo herds were more than abundant, providing the mainstay of social and economical balance so vital to the survival of its people. The arrival of the European settlers would irrevocably alter this delicate balance, forcing Chief Ahtahkakoop to seek alternate means of survival for his own. In 1876, he and his cousin, Chief Mistawasis, were the two leading Chiefs to sign Treaty 6 at Fort Carlton, agreeing to relocate his members to 67 square miles of land, now known as Sandy Lake, near present day Prince Albert. He died on December 4, 1896 at the age of 81. Despite the hardships and gruelling decisions face by Chief Ahtahkakoop, he remained revered by the Cree Nation, enough so for the reserve land that he is buried on to bear his name to this day.

Geography

  • A member of the Fort Carlton Agency Council Treaty 6, Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation lies 72 kilometres northwest of Prince Albert,    Saskatchewan covering an area of 17,347 hectares.
  • Nestled along the shores of Sandy Lake, Ahtahkakoop is surrounded by meadows and lush, rolling parkland, ideal for hunting and    fishing. The rich, fertile land also lends itself well to farming and ranching.
  • Arts and Culture

  • Crafting as an expression of past and present tradition and culture is an integral part of the First Nations community.
  • Artists produce an array of creations including birch bark baskets, tanned leather and bead-work gloves, mittens and moccasins, hand-   sewn clothing, cushions, handbags, blankets and pillows, elk and moose horn carvings, drums, paintings and pow wow regalia.
  • Achievements and Progression

  • The Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation is a progressive one, with an emphasis on education and opportunity:
  • 1971: Sandy Lake Chiefs hockey team capture title at the Saskatchewan Indian Hockey Championship.
  • 1988: Official opening of the on-reserve Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment.
  • Cree Nation Treatment Centre opens.
  • 1994: Official unveiling of the historic flag designed to symbolize the Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation
  • First high school built and opened, adjoining the existing elementary school
  • 2000: Band-owned Ahtahkakoop Publishing Company publishes acclaimed historic book titled: `Ahtahkakoop: The Epic Account of a    Cree Head Chief, His People, and Their Struggle for Survival, 1816-1896`
  • 2001: Ahtahkakoop Justice Program formed, including Youth Justice, Youth Intervention and Justice Worker/Court Worker    representatives.
  • 2003: Grand opening of the Ahtahkakoop Health Centre.
  • Members of Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation also have full access to a Child and Family Services Agency, daycare facilities, adult education    programs, three churches, fire hall, band office, arena, sports grounds, gymnasium and Lonesome Pine Store,providing groceries and    fuel and a variety of First Nations artefacts.
  • Current Statistics by 2006 Statistics Canada Census

    2006 Population: 1,101
    2001 Population: 1,099
    Popluation Increase: 0.2%
    Land Area (square km) 177.10
    Population Density (per square km) 6.2
    Total Private Dwellings 321
    Total Population 15 years and older 705
    Knowledge of Aboriginal Language 37.4%

     

     

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