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Paul First Nation History

"Anthropologists believe that the Stoney Nakoda of the Paul First Nation in Alberta are descendants of the Assiniboine's in their “... most northwesterly penetration into the foothills of the Canadian Rockies ...”, Probably sometime in the early or mid 1700s."

- Donna Gordon / Treaty and Aboriginal Rights Research  (Ottawa) 1981

Man's Shirt (Assiniboine/Stoney)

Place: Jack Pine; Alexis Reserve, Wabamun Reserve (Paul First Nation); Alberta; Canada, This item is currently in the possession of the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), Smithsonian, Washington DC. Collected in 1926 by Donald A. Cadzow (1894-1960, MAI staff member) during fieldwork sponsored by MAI.

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Paul Band Origins

The ancestors of the Paul First Nation adhered to Treaty 6 at Edmonton in 1877, when Chief Alexis signed the adhesion. About half his band lived at Wabamun, on the east shores of White Whale Lake, under the leadership of Headman Ironhead. Eventually, the department recognized this group of Stoney people as a separate band, and after Peter Ironhead’s death in 1887, Paul Firebag assumed leadership and the Band became known as Paul’s Band. Around this time another group of Nakota, the Chepoostequahn Stonies, otherwise known as the "Sharphead Band" were being pressured by the federal government to surrender their reserve after they had suffered a massive population decline due to a severe epidemic of sickness and influenza. The Methodist Church who was competing for territory against the Catholics had also played a part in convincing the Sharphead Stonies to relocate from their reserve which was situated along the Battle River and Wolf Creek near present day Ponoka, Alberta. In 1890, about 70 members of the Sharphead Band went to live with the Paul Band.

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Museum and Artifacts

Photo Above: Bow Painted Red and two bone pointed arrows with red painted decoration. [Assiniboine]  - Jackpine, Alexis and Wabamun Reservations (Paul First Nation), Northern Alberta, Canada. Collected in 1926 by Donald A. Cadzow (1894-1960, MAI staff member) during fieldwork sponsored by MAI (Museum of the American Indian).

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Wabamun 133A, Historical Documents

Reserve Maps, Canada Census Records, Treaty Annuity Paylists

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Videos and Recordings

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Wabamun Lake, Alberta, Canada


Wabamun Lake, a traditional fishing and hunting area, had been selected by Chief Ironhead as a desirable area for his band. Wabamun is a Cree word meaning mirror or looking glass. The lake was once referred to as White Whale Lake. The Stoney people called it Wihnemne (glass looking glass). Reserve lands Wabamun 133A and 133B, surveyed in November 1891 by John C. Nelson, were established through an Order in Council on June 16, 1892 (ICC 2007a).

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Paul First Nation

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