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WATERHEN LAKE RESERVE (SASKATCHEWAN)

The Waterhen Lake Reserve is located in northwestern Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan may be a prairie province, but this area is close to woodland; mostly poplar, spruce and pine. It is also located on a lake which a river runs into. Both are called Waterhen. The band name and that of the lake originates from the thousands of waterhens that once lived there. They have cold, long winters, mild springs and hot summers.

The Woodland, Swampy and Prairie Cree live here. The population of Waterhen is all Cree, except for the teachers and other employees enlisted by the Band. This reserve has a store, an arena, a water treatment facility, a school, a clinic, and Band and postal offices. There are transportation services for medical visits to the nearest town or city when needed.

The Cree people were a hunting and gathering society, separated in bands of people that moved all over the territory. The form of government does not differ very much from history. They still have a chief who works with six councilors to oversee the different aspects of the band.

Community members hold different kinds of jobs but most work with cutting trees because there are so many. Hunting, fishing and trapping are still traditional pastimes. These people are determined to see that the old ways should not pass away.

This article was written by Roberta Fiddler a Grade 12 student from Waterhen Lake Reserve, edited by Melanie Gray.

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