Stanley “Buddy” Bird.
Eldon Henderson (PA Urban)
Fred Halkett (Little Red)
P.O. Box 210
Montreal Lake, Sask.
Ph: 663 5349
Montreal Lake Cree Nation are members of the Woodland Cree. They signed adhesion to Treaty 6 in 1889, and were formerly known as the William Charles Band. Currently, it is comprised of two communities, number 106 and 106B, which includes the Little Red Reserve.
Through oral teachings, our Elders continue to speak of the historic occupation and traditional use of the lands within the Prince Albert National Park region. A nomadic people, the Montreal Lake Cree Nation made use of the land through traditional life sustaining practices such as, hunting, trapping, fishing, the gathering of berries and medicines, shelter, and participating in spiritual and ceremonial gatherings.
Montreal Lake Cree Nation has demonstrated their leadership and commitment to the implementation and advancement of the ´Indian control of Indian Education´ policy. As we seek to restore First Nations jurisdiction over education, our community will continue to administer an education system that supports our community philosophy and principles.
Grad 2004 – The Montreal Lake School recorded the highest number of high school graduates of 2004, with 16 females and 8 males sharing their special day with family and friends at the Montreal Lake Gymnasium. This is truly a message to the educators and parents who have supported and encouraged their children and youth to stay in school because education is the key to the future.
With the continuous extra-curricular activities, sports involvement and community development, the students are receiving exceptional learning opportunities.
Each year, the Montreal Lake Cree Nation membership gathers at the Molanosa Cultural Camp for five days. This has become an important community event for Montreal Lake and surrounding district, due to the historical significance of the land. This is the site, where adhesion to Treaty 6 was signed, and it is here we take the time to honour our ancestors.
The youth are encouraged to interact with our Elders. Various recreational activities are planned for the week such as hunting, fishing, rabbit snaring, blueberry picking, story telling, out door games, water sports, nature walks and family time.
The Cultural Camp is concluded with a ´special day,´ a visit to the ancestral lands and resting sites, that is tied into a scheduled clean up and mending of the fences.
A four day provincial track & field athletics clinic was hosted in Montreal Lake Cree Nation in partnership with Saskatchewan Athletics.
The education program in cooperation with the Sports and Recreation program, sponsor the Montreal Lake athletes. Charmaine Naytowhow proved to be an excellent Role Model for our youth by excelling in both athletics and archery at both the provincial and national levels. She has received top placing and recognition in both events, so congratulations Charmaine!
The William Charles Health Centre (WCHC) continues to provide exceptional programs and service to the Montreal Lake Community. WCHC staff have placed an emphasis on the promotion of living a healthy lifestyle and disease prevention within our community. To support this initiative, the Health Centre held a health fair in conjunction with Treaty and Cultural Day celebrations, in order to distribute relevant information. The annual community-wide spring clean-up was followed up by a community barbecue. The programs offered through the health centre follow a holistic approach.
The Health Centre continues to struggle with the under funded medical transportation program. Access to service delivery continues to be a priority for our health staff.
The Health Program lead in the annual out-of-province trip for the Elders of the Montreal Lake Cree Nation. The purpose of the trips is to give the opportunity to our elders to see the other provinces, the prairies, the mountains, the lakes other than the Woodland Cree regions. The elders are an integral part of our community and have earned the respect and opportunity to travel abroad at least once a year.
A self-government taxing system has been adopted by the Montreal Lake Cree Nation to assist with minor and major capital projects through payroll deduction of all salaried band officials and staff members. This arrangement has enabled projects such as the local arena, recreational facilities and other band infrastructure to be constructed without Federal Funding Initiatives.
Montreal Lake continues to be involved in special projects and new initiatives with the thought of community advancement and development.
Search and Rescue Team
The Montreal Lake Search and Rescue have shared 2,200 hours with other volunteers in the search of young Tamra Keepness who went missing from her inner city home in Regina. Prior to this search, they began their well-organized search for a local Montreal Lake man who was later located in another Province. The Search and Rescue Team are seriously looking into developing a permanent Team and will proceed with the development of certified Training.
The Timber Surrender Research has been completed and has been submitted as a Special Claim. The legality aspect has been finalized and the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations has looked into it. This claim is now awaiting court decision. The Dept. of Justice have looked at it and it is now a matter of waiting for the legal response.
Prince Albert National Park
The Research into the Prince Albert National Park Claims have been completed. It is being put into a legal document for the Courts to review. This is regarding the of loss of land, hunting, fishing, and trapping rights within the Park. This claim should be complete by October 2004. At the time of surrender, promises were taken out of the original agreement which the PANP had with the Montreal Lake Cree Nation.
Treaty Annuity Payments
Another Special Claim on Treaty Annuity Payments will be coming before the courts. This includes the treaty promises of agricultural products, gardening tools, fishing supplies, horse and cart, flour, ammunition, tobacco, and the list goes on.
A two year Community Healing project has commenced in collaboration with all other Prince Albert Grand Council First Nations. Two Community Facilitators have been selected, one for each of the Montreal Lake Cree Nation Reserves. These facilitators will take one-week training modules once every month offered by the Training Centre in Prince Albert. The information from the training workshops will then be taken back to each of the First Nation´s membership. Community Healing workshops will be held with community groups and organizations, youth, elders and students who have suffered from the legacies of the residential school systems.