sipiwiyiniwak Ward: The River Cree SEE-PEE-WIN-EE-WOK

In the late 1880’s, Enoch Cree Nation was an area of 44 square miles that stretched from north of Big Island to present day Stony Plain Road. The North Saskatchewan River was at its eastern boundary, and to the west it reached beyond Highway 60. 

Enoch members were known to other tribes as the River Cree—in the Cree language, sipiwiyiniwak—because of their proximity to the river. There are many stories and oral histories of celebrations, gatherings and hunting activities in the river valley. 

In 1884, Chief Enoch Lapotac signed Adhesion to Treaty 6. From 1902 to 1908, vast amounts of Enoch land were forcibly surrendered, including their land near the North Saskatchewan River and areas within the current-day ward. Well over half of Enoch land was lost during these involuntary land surrenders. It is being actively disputed if the Enoch people received fair market value for the land taken from them. 

The Enoch Cree Nation has more than  2500 proud members. Prominent members include:  Ashley Callingbull-Burnham, the first Indigenous woman in Canada to win the Mrs. Universe title; Bill LaForge, famous ice hockey coach; and, Crystle Lightning, Indigenous activist, actress, musician and DJ.

The Enoch First Nation is situated on Treaty 6 Territory in central Alberta, bordering the west side of the city of Edmonton. 

sipiwiyiniwak ward map