Background of Sunchild-O'Chiese

Location - The Sunchild & O'Chiese Reserves are located 35 miles from Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies.

History - These two Reserves were formed in 1945 & 1950 when various families of Cree, Saulteaux, and Chippewa Indian people who were living in the area, but had never signed treaties with the Canadian government, came together to form these Reserves. A Mennonite mission had the only schools and churches here for the first 20 years, and in the late 1960's the Mennonite missionaries moved out when a government school was built. After about 4 years of Outreach work, Karen & Rodger Rinker moved into the Sunchild Reserve to establish a mission. In 1980, the Rinkers moved to Old Crow, in the Yukon Territory, and a Native couple took their place, moving on to the neighboring O'Chiese Reserve. In 1986 the Rinkers moved back onto the Sunchild Reserve, after the two Reserves had been left without a missionary for several years. The Canadian Inland Mission organization had been started by Rev. Wayne Aman, a close friend of the Rinkers, and in the early 1990's both the Canadian Inland Mission, and the Rinkers became a part of the Evangelical Bible Mission. This mission is the only church and mission, of any kind, on these two Reserves, of about 3000 people.

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