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Poundmaker Cree Nation

Born in about 1842 near Battleford in central Saskatchewan, Poundmaker was the son of Sikakwayan, a Stoney shaman, and his Métis wife. Poundmaker grew up with his Plains Cree relatives under the influence of his maternal uncle Big Child. He emerged as a political leader during the tumultuous years surrounding the extension of the treaty system and the influx of settlers into present-day Saskatchewan.

 

Poundmaker was recognized as a skilled orator and leader of his people by both native and non-native communities.

 

When news of the Métis success at Duck Lake reached the Poundmaker reserve in March 1885, Poundmaker decided to utilize the unrest and fears of government agents to negotiate necessary supplies. Efforts to open negotiations with the local Indian Agent failed.

 

Hungry and frustrated, some Cree and Stonies began looting the empty homes in the Battleford area, despite Poundmaker’s attempts to stop them. The next day the combined Battleford bands moved west to the Poundmaker reserve and established a large camp east of Cut Knife Creek.

 

Though Poundmaker was appointed the political leader and chief spokesperson for the combined bands, a soldiers' lodge was also erected at the Cut Knife camp.

 

Lieutenant-Colonel Otter attacked the camp in the early morning of  May 2nd, 1885. After seven hours of fighting, the Indians forced Otter to withdraw. At this point Poundmaker stepped in and stopped the Indians from attacking the retreating troops.

 

On August 17, 1885 Poundmaker's trial on the charge of treason felony began in Regina before Judge Richardson. Regarded as second in importance only to Riel's, the trial lasted for two days. After deliberating for half an hour, the jury returned a guilty verdict; he was sentenced to three years in the Stony Mountain Penitentiary in Manitoba.
 
The Poundmaker Cree Nation offers a historical centre and teepee village. Hours vary - please call ahead.

 

Cutknife SK
Ph: (306) 398-4971

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