There is evidence of First Nations tribes early in the Common Era (A.D.); the Sarcee, Beaver and Blackfoot are believed to have migrated through the area, with the Cree predominately living here most recently. Western Cree themselves have tribal divisions: Plains and Woodlands, with historical subdivisions of River, Beaver and Mountain among others.
The Papaschase Cree signed Treaty 6 on August 21, 1877. They were given a reserve of 25,600 acres, or 40 square miles. This reserve area was once within Strathcona’s municipal boundaries and is now southeast Edmonton. In 1885 the federal government offers scrip to Métis, including band members with treaty status under Treaty 6. The Papaschase reserve was thrown open to homestead entry in about 1888. Most scrip coupons ended up in the hands of speculators who buy land scrip at discounted prices. A small number of Métis took up homesteads and integrated into the community during settlement times, especially near St. Margaret's Catholic Church on the north shore of Hastings Lake. A Cree Bible, published 1895, was found in the belongings of a long-time resident.
The Government of Alberta Métis Settlements Land Registry shows no recognized settlement within Strathcona County's present geographical boundaries.