Chief Okanase

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Chief Okanase's Geni Profile

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About Chief Okanase


An Ojibway First Nation, this history is provided by our Indigenous 'Oral Tradition'

Chief Okanase aka Chief Michel Cardinal, is the son of Old Old Chief George Okanase aka Old Old Chief George Bone and his wife Kookoo Cardinal. His alternative surname Cardinal was inherited from his mother, rather than his father given to him through the Sacred Pipe ceremony. Government agents translated Okanase as Bone and assigned it as a surname under the Indian Act authority. Old George Bone had sons and grandsons who were named after him, and he has many descendants with the name.

Our People of Riding Mountain House

Our People of Riding Mountain House by Walter Scott; Chief Okanase's band lived and hunted and trapped in the Riding Mountain. Area of Lake Audey, Clear Lake, White Water Lake, Kinnis Creek, Shoal Lake, Bone Lake, and all areas of the Riding Mountain the decendants of first original Nation of this area.

The Okanase band lived a good life, documented in the early 1800's in the winter months they lived in the Riding Mountain around Lake Audey. The west end of Clear Lake aka Wasagaming where Chief Pat Bone had his village, and North and on the present day Golf course. There was food, buffalo, moose and elk where very abundant, fuel and shelter at its best.

One of their home sites was along the west shore of Wasagaming aka Clear Lake near the Okanase Cemetary. Another home site was the entire area of the present day Golf course where the Lake comes in like a bay. Also, home site Lake Audey, Kinnis Creek. Fish and game birds were very plentyful, on their other home land Lake Audey known to the Okanase Nation as Poneeakesakaekun which means in Ojibway "bird landing lake".

In the spring they would journey to their spring home land in the area of the Riding Mountain known now as McCreary for the making of Maple Syrup which was stored in weegwass mukkuk which means birch bark containers. The weegwass mukkuk were sealed with spruce pitch.

In the summer the Okanase Nation would hunt Buffaloo on the Plains on the south west side of the Riding Mountain. There the Buffaloo chase and the drying of meat, kaskkeewuk which was later pounded into nokkeewaquanuk, then mixed tallow and wild fruit called pemeekkesegun or pemmican. Stored in skin bags of hide or birch bark containers.

The Okanase Nation lived a rich, a good life with plenty of food, clothing and are the keepers of the Traditional Medicine of the Riding Mountain and its four boarders.

Chief Okanase was burried on a hill about 1/2 mile south of the Hudson Bay Post The Riding Mountain House.

Marriage 1

Okanase married Sarah (Otherwise Sally).

Marriage 2

Okanase married Lizette Slater. She is said to have been a French-Salteaux woman, although her surname also suggests that she had an Orkney ancestry.

Children of Marriage 2

(1) Keeseekoowenin [Dictionary of Canadian Biography: Keeseekoowenin]

Marriage 3

Okanase married an Assiniboine woman.

Children of Marriage 3



LAC LA BICHE, 21 AUGUST 1886: WILLIAM CARDINAL; address: White Fish Lake; claim no. 710; born: 1849 at Riding Mountain; father: Michel Cardinal (Métis); mother: Lizette Slater (Métis); married: 1866 at Riding Mountain to Mary; children living: 9 (names on application); scrip for $160.00 = Cardinal, William; résidence: White Fish Lake; no de réclamation 710; né(e): en 1849 à Riding Mountain; père: Michel Cardinal (Métis(se)); mère: Lizette Slater (Métis(se)); marié(e): 1866 à Riding Mountain à Mary; enfant(s) vivant(s): 9 (noms inscrits sur la demande);certificat au montant de 160$.00. [Library and Archives Canada: North West Territories Metis Scrip Applications, reference RG15-D-II-8-c. Volume/box number: 1340. Copied container number: C-14957]


I William Cardinal make oath and say that the within answers given by me are true in every particular. So help me God. William (his X mark) Cardinal We Charles Whitford & Francois Larroque make oath and that we know the written answers given by William Cardinal. Nos 1 to 6 inclusive are true and that we believe the remainder to be true in every particular. Sworn before me at Lac La Biche Mission this 21st day of August, A.D. 1886 having first been fully explained (signed) Chas Whitford (signed) Fracois (his X mark) Laroque. Commissioner

Declaration given by William Cardinal son of Okaness to participate in the N. W. half breed grant:

  1. My P.O. is White Fish Lake
  2. I was born at Riding Mountain in 1849
  3. My father’s name was Michel Cardinal, a half breed. My father was called in Indian Okanase
  4. My mother’s name is Lizette Slater, a half breed
  5. I lived until seven years ago at Riding Mountain when I left that place to the N.W.T. and since I have been residing at the following places South (Brand), Thick Wood Mountain, Victoria, White Fish Lake and Lac La Biche. On 15th July 1870 I was living with my parents at Riding Mountain
  6. I am a (fur) hunter
  7. I was married about 1866 to Mary at Riding Mountain
  8. I have nine children living namely: George 17 years of age (A....?) 15 years Isabelle 13 years Job 11 years John 7 years Jamima 5 years William 3 years Bella nearly ( ?) years Marguerite nearly one year
  9. I have no children who have died
  10. My father was called in Indian Okaness
  11. I have never received script or land as a half breed
  12. I now produce my discharge
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Chief Okanase's Timeline

Bow River Region, Manitoba, Canada
Red Pheasant Indian Reserve, Saskatchewan, Canada
Manitoba, Canada
February 1846
Manitoba, Canada
Riding Mountain, Manitoba, Canada
Manitoba, Canada
Manitoba, Canada