Saskatchewan - South West

CCF Creates Métis Colonies


During the 1940s, the CCF created Métis ‘colonies’ at Crooked Lake, Lestock, Crescent Lake, BalJennie, Willow Bunch, Duck Lake, Glen Mary, Green Lake, and Lebret of which contained about 2500 Métis residents. These colonies were introduced by Tommy Douglas’ CCF government as a colonization project that they felt would ‘deal’ with socioeconomic struggles Métis, particularly Métis in the southern part of the province, were facing as a result of westward expansion and land loss. Colonies were intended to integrate and assimilate Métis peoples into western social and economic ideals that embraced the free market and prepared them for settler society. Schools established in Métis colonies were used to prepare Métis children for the ‘workforce,’ instill a community identity that based itself upon the cultural collective (White society), while simultaneously undermining cultural Métis knowledge and identities.



Colonies, however, provided very little to ebb the widespread poverty that many Métis at this time experienced, as land, livestock, and resources obtained in the ‘colonies’ were not owned by any Métis. CCF officials rationalized this by believing that the Métis were incapable of caring for themselves or their land. This belief was firstly, unfounded, and second, predicated on years of land dispossession and colonial interference across the prairies that robbed Métis from wealth and resources they formerly had access to. In doing this, the CCF continued to perpetuate the same behaviour as federal agents wherein Métis peoples were disadvantaged and assumed to be ‘incapable.’ 

Barron writes,

“Colonies, as a rehabilitation scheme for the Métis, were entirely in keeping with this thinking because they were seen as a way of making the Métis competitive in mainstream society. By removing the Métis from the road allowances and grouping them into distinct settlements, the government would be able to manipulate the environment to maximize local community development. The understanding was that, if the Métis could not integrate individually, they might do so collectively through the creation of economically viable, self-sustaining communities. Through proper training, self-actualization, and cooperation, they would evolve as a community of farmers contributing to the regional agrarian economy.”


Barron, F.L., Walking in Indian Moccasins: the native policies of Tommy Douglas and the CCF, 40-50.





Star Blanket

Historical and Alternate Community Names

Achacoosacootacoopits, Ah hacoosseecootacoopit, Ahcacoosacootacoopits, Ahchacoosacootacoopits, Ahchacoosacootapit, Athacoosacootacoopits, He Has the Stars for a Blanket, Puascoos, Reserve no. 083, That Has the Stars for a Blanket, The One who Has a Star for his Blanket, Wapiimoosetosus, White Calf

Reserves, Settlements, and Villages

Atim Ka-Mihkosit Reserve, Star Blanket Indian Reserve No. 83 (various), Treaty Four Reserve Grounds No. 77, Wa-Pii-Moos-Toosis (White Calf) Indian Reserve

Hatchet Lake

Historical and Alternate Community Names

Lac la Hache, Thomas Benaouni

Reserves, Settlements, and Villages

Lac La Hache 220

General Information

Hatchet Lake is a Denesųłiné (Dene) First Nation located far to the north-east of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. They are signatories to Treaty 10, which the group signed in 1907.  As of 2022, Hatchet Lake has a registered population of 1,947.

English River First Nation

Historical and Alternate Community Names

William Apisis, Grassy Narrow Dene 

Reserves, Settlements, and Villages

Cree Lake Indian Reserve No. 192G, Dipper Rapids 192C, Elak Dase 192A, Barkwell Bay Indian Reserve, Beauval Forks Reserve 1, Cable Bay Cree Lake Indian Reserve, Flatstone Lake Indian Reserve, Leaf Rapids Reserve, Mawdsley Lake Reserve 1, Slush Lake Reserve 192Q, English River Indian Reserve No. 192H, Grasswoods Indian Reserve No. 192J, Lake Ile à la Crosse 192E, Knee Lake 192B, La Plonge 192, Primeau Lake 192F, Wapachewunak 192D

Canoe Lake Cree First Nation

Historical and Alternate Community Names

John Iron, Reserve no. 165c

Reserves, Settlements, and Villages

Canoe Lake 165, Canoe Lake 165A, Canoe Lake 165B, Eagles Lake Indian Reserve No. 165, Onikahp Sahghikansis Indian Reserve No. 165E, Roadside Indian Reserve No. 165F, Wepuskow Sahgaiechan Indian Reserve No. 165D