REGINA AND MONTREAL
PILE O’ BONES
Cree hunters roamed over what is now southern Saskatchewan to find bison. They and their families followed the giant herds, and used nearly every part of the animals they killed. They made huge mounds of the bones near a creek and named the area Oskana kaasateki, which means “the bones that are piled together.”
As settlers started to move in, the area’s lieutenant-governor pushed for a treaty with the Cree, Saulteaux and Assiniboine people who had used the land for thousands of years. Treaty 4 was signed in 1874. It gave First Nations people about 260 hectares of land for each family of five, the right to hunt and fish on unoccupied government land and five dollars a year. In return, the First Nations gave up a huge territory — roughly the southern one-third of what is now Saskatchewan.