Birch Narrows First Nation
Birch Narrows Dene Nation is a Dene First Nation band government in the boreal forest region of northern Saskatchewan, Canada. It is affiliated with the Meadow Lake Tribal Council. As of January 2021, the Nation had 440 members on reserve and a total of 416 living off-reserve or on other land. Birch Narrows Dene Nation has territory at three sites; Turnor Lake 193 B with 296.70 hectares, Churchill Lake 193 A with 159.80 hectares, and Turnor Lake 194 with 2445.90 hectares.
Birch Narrows is a signatory to Treaty 10. Chief Raphael Redshildkze and 45 members signed the treaty with the Crown on August 28, 1906, as a means of preserving their traditional way of life in the face of encroaching settlers and mineral exploration. This established the Clear Lake Band. On September 17, 1906, 110 members from Clear Lake signed onto the treaty, bringing the Band to 159 total members. In 1965, most members of the Clear Lake Band relocated to Turnor Lake, English River, and Buffalo River.
In 1972, the community at Turnor Lake had a population of 150 and was recognized by the federal government as Turnor Lake Band. In 1976, they enacted their own Election Act, with their government including one chief and four councilors. The first Administration office for the band government was built in 1977. In 1986, the Meadow Lake Tribal Council was created from the Meadow Lake District Chiefs. In 1990 the Turnor Lake Band changed its name to Birch Narrows Dene Nation.
Birch Narrows Dene Nation is a Dene First Nation band in the boreal forest region of northern Saskatchewan, Canada.