Born near what is now the border of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Payipwat was originally named Kisikawasan, or Flash in the Sky. Along with his grandmother, Payipwat was kidnapped by the Sioux as a child. He grew up among his captors, learning their medicine. At fourteen, Payipwat was captured during a Cree raid and returned to his own people. He was given the name Payipwat, literally Hole in the Sioux, in recognition of the knowledge he had gained while living among the Sioux. His name is often translated as “One Who Knows the Secrets of the Sioux”
Chief Piapot (Payepot) became chief, in about 1846. After this last battle Piapot made his home in the Qu’Appelle Valley. In 1874, when Treaty 4 was negotiated, Piapot was not present: he was away hunting, and as a result did not learn of the negotiation until after it had been signed. In 1875 he met with Treaty Commissioner William Christie, and after seeking guarantees that he would receive farm instructors, mills, more tools, and medical assistance, he signed an adhesion to Treaty 4.
Piapot was part of a group of chiefs who wanted a large reservation surveyed for them in the Cypress Hills area. Canada, however, feared the concentration of a large Indian population in one area, and refused. As a result, Piapot was eventually forced to select a home in the Qu’Appelle Valley, where a reserve of fifty-four square miles was surveyed—well short of the 110 square miles his band was entitled to under the Treaty. Throughout the rest of his life Piapot continually challenged the Canadian government by holding ceremonies and by fighting to have Treaty rights recognized. He died on his reserve in 1908.
Chief Piapot (Payepwat) signed an adhesion to Treaty 4 on September 9, 1875, originally seeking a reserve in the Cypress Hills region. After much persuasion he reluctantly moved to what was to be his original reserve (which is now known as Carry the Kettle) in August of 1883. After a disastrous winter in which 1/3 of his people died, it confirmed his reluctance to live there and he abandoned that reserve. In September 1884 he moved to an area 29 km north and 11 km east of Regina where Piapot First Nation is today.