This town is beside the Indian Reservation for the Cree, who settled there after signing Treaty Six with the Canadian government. The town is also home to the Maskwachees Cultural College which is the only degree-granting institution spcializing in teaching native cultural values. The town was immortalized by W.P. Kinsella in his book Dance Me Outside: More Tales from the Ermineskin Reserve (he also wrote the screenplay for Academy Award winning “Field of Dreams”).
The town was named in 1891 by the Canadian Pacific Railway after the Dutch landscape painter Meyndert Hobbema, who lived 1638-1709, whose works were collected by CPR President William Van Horne. In 2014, the town was renamed from Hobbema to Maskwacis, meaning “bear hills” in Cree.