The Washatanow (or Hollow Hill Creek) Indian Reserve 126 along the north bank of the North Saskatchewan River was originally surveyed in May of 1889, in settlement of the claims of the Cree band of Chief Muskegwatic, or Bear’s Ears.
The band was small, numbering only 40 in 1890. By 1891, numbers had further declined, as some members moved to the larger Saddle Lake Reserve, and Chief Muskegwatic, an elderly man, passed away. Four families remained, including the Chief’s widow and family, and the family of his brother, named Matoosk. The land was good, and Matoosk was able to sell some of his surplus hay to travellers on the Victoria Trail.
However, in 1896 the Reserve was surrendered back to the Government of Canada in exchange for an equal area of land adjoining Saddle Lake Indian Reserve 125, known today as the "Cache Lake Addition" of the Saddle Lake Indian Reserve 125, about 60 miles to the east. The former Reserve land was then opened up for settlement in 1904.
If you have additional information about the Former 'Bear's Ears' Reserve 126, please contact Smoky Lake County Planning & Development at 780-656-3730.