The vast majority of tribes in Saskatchewan are made up of the Cree, (which are linguistically comprised of Prairie, Woodland and some Swampy [although mostly found in Northern Manitoba]) Dakota, Dene, Nakota and Saulteaux. In pre-colonial era the tribes of the plains were hunters and gatherers. The primary food source was bison along with moose and caribou as well as a variety of fish and other waterfowl, plants like roots, tubers, and berries rounded out the diet of these groups. Trade was thought to have extended all the way to Southern Ontario as archaeological surveys have found objects and artefacts from areas all around central North America.
Treaties were made when first contact was established with Rupertsland and representatives of the Queen of England. Treaties 2, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 make up the treaties in this area. The treaties in central Saskatchewan were signed to protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples throughout Canada, however this was done in bad faith in hopes to expand colonization and settler opportunity. This lead to anger and loss for the Indigenous Peoples, caused by famines and death. Louie Riel’s rebellion as well at the battles of 1885 (Cut Knife and Fish Creek) came after his perceived mistreatment of the Métis. This lead to the creation of the RCMP who were a policing force that was made directly to ensure the cooperation of Indigenous Peoples across the nation.
Culture and spirit are alive within the prairies with more and more ceremonies emerging again after the age of oppression had passed. First Nations, Métis and Inuit have begun to connect to their heritage and culture again. There has been an emergence from this generation, speaking their languages and attending pow wows and ceremony across Turtle Island. Through that resilience and with the age of reconciliation events open to the public and the continued interest in the culture can bring an age of harmony and understanding.