The History Of The Driftpile Cree Nation

Prereserve Period

Treaty Commissioner McRae visited the Lesser Slave Lake area in the summer of 1900 and laid out temporary Indian Reserve Boundaries for the Driftpile Band and other surrounding communities.

The first survey of the Driftpile Indian Reserve No. 150 took place in 1901. The survey identified a landmass of approximately 13,504 acres for the Chief Kinosayoo, Councilor Wechewasis, and their immediate followers, at the southwest end of Lesser Slave Lake and along the Driftpile River. An additional 2,460 acres were later surveyed and allocated in 1912 for those members who were missed on the original Annuity Pay list in 1901 for a total of 15,964 acres.

By Order in Council dated January 8, 1904, 21.10 square miles comprising ‘Driftpile River reserve No. 150’ were ‘confirmed’ and subjected to ‘the jurisdiction of the Department of Indian Affairs’.

Reserve Period


The Driftpile Cree Nation has one (1) Chief and nine (9) Councillors who serve a two (2) year term.


The Driftpile Cree Nation is located in the north-west central part of Alberta, and approximately 74 kilometers west of the town of Slave Lake, and 50 kilometers east of High Prairie along primary Highway #2. This community is located about the middle of and on the south shore of the Lesser Slave Lake.


Access to the Driftpile Cree Nation is via a primary Highway #2 and a railway (Rail links). This community is also accessible by water (which is no longer used for transportation purposes) from the Lesser Slave Lake and Driftpile River.


The community of Driftpile continues to develop in a dynamic fashion. Many projects continue to develop this vibrant community, bring benefits to its members. As part of the Regional Council and the ‘take over’, the Driftpile Cree Nation provides various program administration and service delivery functions.

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