A BRIEF HISTORY & PROFILE OF THE RED EARTH CREE NATION
Red Earth or Mihkoskiwakak is situated along the Carrot River in northeastern Saskatchewan. The Red Earth Indian Reserve (IR) 29 and Carrot River Indian Reserve 29A are located approximately 77 kms east of the Town of Nipawin. The Pas, Manitoba, lies approximately 140 kms east of Red Earth. In the 1800s, the Shoal Lake Crees had marriage ties with The Pas Band, while the Red Earth Crees associated with the Crees at Fort à la Corne.
The ancestral lands of the Red Earth Crees encompass tracts of lands and waters to the east into parts of Manitoba, from thereon back into Saskatchewan along the southern foothills of the Pasquia Hills and west towards the Township of Nipawin and back east just above the EB Campbell Hydro Station Transmission Line. The ancestral lands are shared with the Shoal Lake Cree Nation.
There is one paved access road into the Red Earth Cree Nation. This is on Highway #163 north of Highway #55 east. Hwy 163 is the only access road in and out of Red Earth, is open year-round and subject to a variety of weather conditions.
The reserve lands of the Red Earth Cree Nation are situated in the middle of the Cumberland Delta, along a natural levee of the Carrot River waterway, surrounded by wetlands, lakes and the fringe of the boreal forest. The reserve lands are basically situated in a flood plain and annual and seasonal flooding does occur. Annual and seasonal floodwaters arise primarily from the natural spring melt and run-off from the lands and waterways to the north, south, east and west. One of the earliest recorded major floods to hit Red Earth happened in May 1921, resulting in the death of most of the livestock for the owners of the period.
A brief history
1876 Adhesion to Treaty 5
The Pas Band signed the 1876 Adhesion to Treaty 5, and in subsequent years when reserves were being set aside for The Pas Band under the treaty, Red Earth and Shoal Lake were considered to be part of The Pas Band, along the Carrot River at the Pas Mountain.
Treaty No. 5
Treaty No. 5 was entered into by the Saulteaux and Swampy Cree on September 20, 1875. The Treaty covers the central region of Manitoba. Treaty 5, like Treaties 1 and 2, provided for reserves to be set apart for the signatories, to the extent of 160 acres for each family of five, or 32 acres per person. Unlike Treaties 1 and 2, however, Treaty 5 specifically made reference to the setting apart of reserves for “farming lands” and “other reserves” for the benefit of the Indians.
Families of Cecim and families of Potikat were identified as the three founding family men in 1876.
Red Earth becomes own band
Starting in 1903, Red Earth and Shoal Lake each had their own playlist which they were called the “Red Earth Band” and the “Shoal Lake Band.” Thus, when The Pas Band signed the 1876 Adhesion to Treaty 5, and in subsequent years when reserves were being set aside for The Pas Band under the treaty, Red Earth and Shoal Lake were considered to be part of The Pas Band, along the Carrot River at the Pas Mountain.
Flute Creek relocated
July 1st, 1893, Flute Creek is approved to be moved north of Red Earth reserve and renamed Carrot River 29A. By the end of the 1800s, the Red Earth and Shoal Lake Crees had grown closer socially and through intermarriage, which in turn resulted in fewer ties with Fort à la Corne and The Pas.