Plains Cree Disallowed Selection of Desired Reserves


Concerned about the creation of a strong united Cree community in the Battleford area, Canadian government officials—most notably Edgar Dewdney—did not grant various Cree communities reserves where they desired, and attempted to obstruct a Thirst Dance (Sun Dance) on the Poundmaker Reserve that brought together all Cree communities from the surrounding region.

To legitimize Dewdney’s actions, the Canadian government passed an order-in-council to make it a criminal offense for a band to refuse to move to a reserve site the Indian Commissioner suggested. This measure was in direct violation of the respective treaty agreement that dictated that Bands could choose their reserve lands.