The Fur Trade, Treaty No. 5 and the Fisher River First Nation


The Ochekwi Sipi (Fisher River) Cree First Nation is located in Treaty No. 5 territory, in present-day Manitoba. Wheeler discusses points of contention within the Treaty 5, demonstrating that the Federal Government invested little effort to consult with the Cree, Anishnabe, and Saulteaux whose homelands the government sought.  Other areas of concern were dedicated lands for hunting, fishing, and agriculture, which members of the Ochekwi Sipi First Nation expressly intended to pursue. Wheeler illustrates this disregard through numerous historical examples; the Ochekwi Sipi Nation desired reserve lands at Grassy Narrows, but were denied this request because Icelandic settlers were given priority. Fisher River Cree First Nation is located near present day Norway House. 

"Before Treaty No. 5 in 1875 and the reserve survey in 1878, the region was a hunting, fishing and trapping commons, a migration corridor shared by Muskego-wininiwak, Swampy Cree Peoples, from the north and Anishnabe or Saulteaux Peoples from the south, many of whom were related through marriage or through social and economic ties with the HBC. The majority of the Cree people who settled the region came from Norway House on the northernmost tip of Lake Winnipeg. A handful of Saulteaux and Saulteaux-Cree people came from Netley Creek or St. Peter's Reserve on the Red River to the south, and others came from the islands and eastern shores of Lake Winnipeg." (Page, 209-210). 

Publication Information

Wheeler, Winona. "The Fur Trade, Treaty No. 5 and the Fisher River First Nation," In Papers of the Rupert's Land Colloquium 2008. Ed. Margaret Anne Lindsay and Malory Allyson Richards. Winnipeg: The Centre for Rupert's Land Studies, 2010. 209-22.

Wheeler, Winona
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