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The Métis in Western Canada: O-Tee-Paym-Soo-Wuk

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The BeginningsThe People and Their CommunitiesCulture and Lifeways
Lac Ste. Anne

Lac Ste AnneThe history of this lake stretches back to the distant past. Here First Nations families, who in fall had scattered to winter camps and trap lines, gathered in summer for the buffalo hunt. The Cree called the lake "Manito Sakahigan" or "Spirit Lake". Later, white traders referred to it as Devil's Lake, because its storms could quickly become dangerous. The Assiniboine believe that the Creator guided them to the lake. Some of the Métis families who live in the area have a family story of an ancestor having worked at Fort Edmonton, and upon their retirement, settled at Lac Ste Anne. Fort Edmonton included the lake and its whitefish among the resources tapped to feed the growing community.

The Iroquois free-men, who came to the territory as canoe men for the fur trade and stayed to become trappers, included Lac Ste Anne in the territory they carved out for themselves. Their yearly trips included stops in the Jasper area and along the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains.


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