Overview

The PBCN Treaty territory covers a vast area of land, 454 km north of Prince Albert and 508 km east to the Manitoba border. As of October 15th, 2013 the population for the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation was 11,259 (Administrator statistics - Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation Registry October 15th, 2013). It is one of the two largest First Nations in Saskatchewan, and is a multi-community Band, comprised of eight separated communities. These communities, namely Pelican Narrows, Sandy Bay, Deshcambault Lake, Southend, Kinoosao, Denare Beach, Sturgeon Landing, and Kiskaciwan, are spread through a traditional territory of approximately 51,000 square kms. This would make it larger than a number of tribal councils, both in population size and geographic area, however PBCN is funded only as an individual Band in most of Health Canada's funding formulas, making it financially difficult because of the large, remote geographic area of service and the number of communities served.

The Woodland Cree culture of the Peter Ballantyne was historically based on the subsistence bush economy of hunting, fishing and gathering. This traditional lifestyle and economy saw the establishment of communities along major water routes that were "highways" prior to colonization and subsequent routes for the fur trades. The cultural values of respect, sharing and spirituality developed as a way of life with families working together on the land as means of survival in a harsh environment. Hunting and trapping still remain foundational in the cultural values.

The Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation signed an adhesion to Treaty #6 on September 3, 1878. This is the only numbered treaty that has a "medicine chest" clause and it was given in response to request made by the people for medical care. This treaty relationship between the Crown and First Nations of Canada remains as the foundation upon which the PBCN Health Transfer Agreement was signed in April 1995 and in all agreements since.

In 1919 there are records of approximately 433 member by 1976 there were a little over 2000 members. By 1995 there was more then 5,700 members, this significant increase was mostly due to repatriation, through Bill C-31, of members that had become disenfranchised. Although band members are spread across Canada, the majority of the population resides in the eight communities, throughout the traditional territory. Significant populations also reside in the communities of Prince Albert, Lac La Ronge, Regina and Saskatoon.