AHTAHKAKOOP NO.104 is located 72 Km Northwest/North of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. This First Nation Reserve is located between 50 and 350 Km from the nearest service center to which it has year-round road access.
Ahtahkakoop (also known as Sandy Lake or Hines’ Mission) is one of the historic charter parishes of the Diocese of Saskatchewan. The congregation predates both Treaty 6 and the arrival of the first bishop, John McLean. Its Chief John Ahtahkakoop (Starblanket), and first priest Reverend John Hines, were delegates at the first Synod of the Diocese.
The village of 1,200 is nestled along the shores of Sandy Lake, surrounded by meadows, hills and lush parkland. This is the heart of what was once buffalo country, where the prairies rise up to meet the northern boreal forests.
When settlers decimated the great buffalo herds that sustained the Plains Crees, these semi-nomadic people were forced to survive by farming often-inhospitable land. In 1877 they signed Treaty 6, giving up their vast hunting territory in exchange for a 67-square-mile reserve and $5 a year “per head.”
Signing on behalf of the Crees was the legendary Chief Ahtahkakoop, whose name the community adopted as its own.
The promised future of pastoral bliss never came. Crops failed; starvation and tuberculosis ravaged the community; Indian Affairs agents physically abused hungry Crees who asked for food.
Through the hardship, one of the constants was the Ahenakew clan and its dominance over the community. An Ahenakew has been chief for 85 of the past 90 years.
Land area: 177.53 square km
Principle Community: North Battleford