1870  - 1879

Indian religious services are classified as illegal

"You have taken our land and made us outcasts"
Sitting Bull aka Tatanka Iyotake


  INDIAN HISTORY 1880 - 1899

INDIAN HISTORY Return to INDIAN 1700 - 1999  INDEX



Bishop Vital Grandin of Edmonton

"When they graduate from our institutions,
the children have lost everything Native except their blood"

"we instill in them a pronounced distaste for the Native life"
so that they will be humiliated when reminded of their origin."



There is a legend in southern Alberta about an Indian maid of awesome beauty whose name is Chinook.  One cold winter day she wandered into the Stoney Mountains and did not return.   A search party of brave warriors hunted and called in vain until all are half-frozen and near exhaustion.  Suddenly from over the mountains came a warm caressing breeze.  The snow and ice began to melt and the warriors, now happily warm, gazed at each other in wonder and whispered: 'it is Chinook's breath; all is well with her."  The legend of Chinook's breath is still observed to the present day.

The Blackfoot who discovered 'the nest of the Crow' close to the Stony Mountains, on a horse-stealing raid, while hiding in the pass  they killed every Crow.  Thereafter the place is called Crowsnest Pass.

A smallpox epidemic hit Alberta, and particularly Fort Edmonton, hard, killing more than half the native population.

About this time the American Congress was seriously debating whether the United States could wrest the West away from the Indians, or whether it would be better to give the idea up as hopeless. They concluded the key to the situation was the buffalo (bison).  Kill the bison (buffalo) and the Indians will starve.

The United States Army is ordered to strike the Indians hard.  A Peigan village is attacked and 173 mostly women and children are massacred.  The army stole 300 horses.  They later discovered that they had attacked the wrong village as these People were friendly and were suffering from smallpox.  The folks of Montana however viewed the massacre of the savage Indians, friendly or not, as necessary for the advancement of civilization.

January 23:  On the Marias River in Montana, Major Eugene M. Baker led a cavalry out of Fort Ellis and massacred 33 men, 90 women and 50 children of the Piegan, Blackfoot Nation, as they ran from their lodges in disbelief. Their chief Red Horn was cut down.   The pretext is the alleged theft of a few mules from a wagon freighter.  At this time the Piegan village was hit by a smallpox epidemic.


The Ojibwa pressured the Government to enter into treaties to protect their interests.

Treaty #1, Red River South, signed by the Ojibwa (Chippewa) and Swampy Cree (Muscagoe) August 3rd at Stone Fort (Fort Garry).  The Lakeland Saulteaux who live between Lake Superior and Red River would not sign.

Signed by : Miskookanaw or Red Eagle (Henry Prince)
      Kakokapenais or Bird for ever William Pennefather
      Mashakepenais or Flying Down Bird
      Nanawana or Centre of Bird's Tail
      Ke-we-tay-am or Flying Round
      Wanowum or Whip-poor-will
      Oozawekum or Yellow Quill

Treaty #2, North and South West of Red River, signed by the Ojibwa and Cree August 21 Fort Garry.

These two treaties provided reserves and a small cash gratuity and annuity and prohibition of alcoholic beverages.  The Saulteaux, Yellow Quill ban turned back settlers who tried to go west of Portage La Prairie.  Most Indians refused to enter into agreement this year.  It is finally ratified in 1875 after the Government included the demands for farm animals, horses, wagons, farm tools and equipment.

Major Richard I Dodge traveling along the Arkansas River reported he encountered a great herd of bison (buffalo). It took five days for the herd to pass a given point and was not less than 50 miles wide as viewed from a high vantage point.


The ink was hardly dry on the Dakota Sioux United Nations Treaty when the United States Government said they wanted the timber rights of the Black Hills which the Indians said only their complete annihilation would they give up the Black Hills.  They actually wanted the gold to cover the cost of war.  First they had to rile up the Dakota settlers and focus the retired soldiers.

The U.S. Army was ordered to remove by force if necessary the Modoc people from their ancestral lands to a reservation.  They burned the Modoc village.  War broke out November 29. 1872   The Government troops numbered 600 against no more than 60 Modoc.  The first attack numbered 300 soldiers against 50 Modoc who inflicted heavy losses on the soldiers who fled in panic leaving their wounded, weapons and ammunition.  The death count was 53 U.S. Soldiers, 17 civilians and 5 Modoc killed in battle that lasted until June 1, 1873.  General Canby and Reverend Thomas were killed after being warned by Toby a Modoc woman not to attend a peace meeting.  The Modoc had fortified themselves in Lava Beds National Park, California.

The Indians who traded the Saskatchewan this year are counted by the Hudson Bay Company and are:


Carlton           239
Assiniboine                                        46
Fort Pitt         600
Jasper                                                                                      71
L. La Biche    128                                                 76
L. St. Anne                                       188
L. Slave Lake 784
Pigeon Lake                                       549
R. Mtn House                  1,500                                                               200       1,500        150
St. Albert        175                              203
Victoria           650
Whitefish L.     225

Two Hundred and fifty tents of Stoney are excluded because they trade at Touchwood Hills, Swan River District and seldom at Carlton or Fort Pitt.  The Blackfoot who trade on the British (Columbia) side is three hundred tents, the Sarcee thirty tents, the Piegan forty tents and the Blood three hundred tents.  The census is made this January 1, 1872 by (II)-W. J. Christie Metis (1824-1899).

The bison (buffalo) population is estimated at 7 million down from 15 million in 1865 and from over 50 to 100 million before the European's arrived. This year began the gathering and selling of bison (buffalo) bones for eastern fertilizing plants. Langdon, Alberta became a gathering point for bison (buffalo) bones mainly skulls.

John Mooar a bison (buffalo) hunter with brother Wright Mooar obtain all the ammunition he required from the army. The government policy was to provide free ammunition to all bison (buffalo) hunters. Upon receiving his free ammunition he said what am I supposed to do with this ammunition, kill Indians. The high ranking plains officer said you just kill bison (buffalo), we'll take care on the Indians. He explained that the Army philosophy either the bison (buffalo) or the Indians must go. There isn't any other way. Only when the Indians become absolutely dependant upon us for his every need will we be able to handle him. Every bison (buffalo) you kill now will save a white man's life. Thousands of other tough young men entered the killing spree. Wright Mooar claimed to have killed 20,000 bison (buffalo) in nine years of hunting. The Nebraska dentist who starred in the Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show claimed to have killed 30,000 bison (buffalo) during his hunting career.

Walking Coyote, an Indian in Montana, saved four bison (buffalo) calves and they are the foundation of the bison (buffalo) herds of today.  Canada would but their descendents in 1905.

A stone mammoth is discovered near Doylestown, Buck County, Pennsylvania and a second smaller piece was found 1881.  There are human figures and the sun carved on the stone but the age or who did the carving is unknown. 

December 15:  A 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit the Washington-British Columbia border.


The American economy was near depression and President Ulyssess S. Grant (1822-1885) was president (1869-1877) saw gold as their savior.  He was a corrupt infamous president.  General Phillip Sheridian authorized a army gold finding expedition.   General Armstrong Custer to find the gold.

The Indian population in the North West Territories is estimated as between forty nine thousand to sixty eight thousand.

The bison (buffalo) slaughter reached it peak in 1872-1873 when the railways hauled 1,250,000 hides out of Kansas alone. The hunters considered for every hide shipped 5 were wasted by poor skinning or pleasure hunters.

The Nez Perces had 6 lodges at Cyprus Hills having traveled 1,500 miles and arrived in deplorable condtion, worn out, no shoes, no cloths, no food and almost all were wounded.

March 3:  The Pembina Ojibwa is removed to the White Earth Reservation.

May:  The American Woofers, headed by John Evens of Fort Benton, Montana, are in pursuit of horse thieves.  It mattered not the the alleged stolen horses were found.  

May 22:   Captain Jack (Kintpuash) a leader of the Modoc resistance movement (1872-1873) surrendered his army of 80 men against 1056 men of the American regular army.  The Modoc once occupied the area between California and Oregon.

June:   The Woofers after heavy drinking advanced on a group of Assiniboine camping near Moses Solomon's trading fort.  They massacred the Indians at Little Soldier's North Assiniboine camp.  The Americans raged into the camp at Cypress Hills and killed Little Soldier, cut off his head, and set it up on a pole.  They raped the women and slew the children along with the adults, killing thirty men, women and children in all.  Some suggested 25 to 80 are massacred.  Others suggest it was closer to 200 and still others less than 20. It is noteworthy that Little Soldiers party had nothing to do with the horse stealing.  The Irish Fenians in Fort Benton are all in favor of the massacre as it was necessary to keep the Indians in order.  James Hughes, George Bell and Philander Vogle are captured when they come to Canada and are sent to Winnipeg for trial.  In June 1876 they are acquitted of the massacre and rapes. It is obvious the Canadians didn't really care about the Indians either.  Some suggest that half the woolfers involved were or would become Canadians.  It is suggested that the government of John A. MacDonald is outraged over the tragedy and created the North West Mounted Police.  This is likely not correct or the criminals would have been hunted down and retried.  It is more likely they were concerned the Americans might annex the West. 

June 16:  The President of the United States issued an Executive Order withdrawing Wallowa Valley, Oregon from settlement by white men.  The Indian Agency tried a different tactic to deal with the Nez Perce.  He established schools and churches to demoralize the people.  Heinmot Tooyalaket Chief of the Nez Perce however refused the establishment of schools and churches in the Wallowa Valley, because the "church teaches us to quarrel about God.  We do not want to learn that.  We may quarrel with men sometimes about things on this earth, but we never quarrel about God.  We do not want to learn that."  It is noteworthy that the Nez Perce have been friendly to the Americans from Lewis and Clarke days until current times.  The Nez Perce met the travelers on the Oregon trail with food and fresh horses. 

September 25:   Chief Lac Seul dreamed of a better future when he said; "the time may come when I will ask you to lend me one of your daughters and one of your sons to live with us; and in return will I lend you one of my daughters and one of my sons to live with you to teach what is good, and after they have learned, (they will) teach us."  "You must remember that our hearts and our brains are like paper; we never forget."  The ignorant Englishmen called it historic however many Canadians remember, "as long as the sun shines and the rivers flow" Canada will honor its commitment to the aboriginal peoples.

October:   Treaty #3, Lake of the Woods, signed October 13 by the Ojibwa and Saulteaux who demanded hunting and fishing rights as well as the inclusion of Treaty #1 and #2 terms.  An ignorant Englishman at the signing of the treaty of 1873 wrote of the Indians:  you can kick them till they are half-dead if you give him one half-pound salt pork after.  He is a loathed cuss abounding in vermin and dirty tricks and I spend most of my spare time trying to swindle the dusky braves.


Treaty #4, at Qu'Appelle in Southern Saskatchewan, is signed September 15, by the Saulteaux (Ojibwa), Cree and Assiniboine.  The Cree demanded assistance in developing a new agricultural way of life as part of the treaty.

The Reverend Stephen Bonnald and Bishop Grandin are crossing the plains when Bonnald recounted that in France they called the Indians les savages. The Bishop agreed these people we saw are savages in the true sense of the word, in essence Bonnald went on to say because of the clothing they wore or lack there of.

One writer contended that the Cree language is the richest and certainly the most universal being spoken from Labrador to the MacKenzie River.  He believed the Cree is the most intelligent of the Canadian Indians, after all, the Plains Indians are steadily dying out but the Swampies (Muscagoe) and Rockies (both Cree) are surely increasing.  Father Bonnald went on to say that after his many years among the Cree he can say confidently that the pagan Indian once truly converted generally becomes a good and steady white man that I did not know they were Indian until told.  It is generally harder to moralize the Indian who has once been a Methodist than a pagan.  The Methodist does not teach the commandments of God but the commandments of the Methodist such as you're not supposed to catch fish on Sunday nor lay off and take a sleep or chew tobacco.  As to the Esquimaux it is not possible for a missionary to live among them as they are so dirty and so immoral and it is seldom, indeed, that there is a true Esquimaux convert.  Father Bonnald is pressing for a residential school as it is difficult to get the children to speak English after they return to their homes but he does not believe the Indians will ever change very radically from their present mode of life.  Father Bonnald echoes a teaching of the Canadian Roman Catholic Church that would remain in vogue for the next seventy-five years or more.

By command of the President through General Phillip Sheridian (1831-1888) a noted racist and genocide military man sent George Armstrong Custerís (1839-1876) an incompetent to confirm gold in the Black Hills .  This illegal activity on the sovereign territory of the United Sioux Nations as to intent was understood by council.  The Sioux made plans to respond.

General Sheridan when challenged concerning the wholesale slaughter of the bison (buffalo) said "let them kill, skin, and sell until the bison (buffalo) is exterminated, as it is the only way to bring lasting peace and allow civilization to advance."  General Sheridan is fully aware of the Indian dependency on the bison (buffalo) and supports the Government genocide program.

In St. Paul Hamlin Russell said you could buy a beautiful fur robe overcoat, well made and lined with flannel for $10.00.

The Americans spend $20 million annually fighting the Plains Indians whereas Canada only spends $400 thousand on the RCMP.  The RCMP however did not protect the rights and interests of the indigenous population, but rather collaborated closely with Ontario interests, business interests and church interests.  The RCMP considered the Indians as always lazy, a dirty nuisance and are judged as inferior.  This attitude is generally held by the white community.  As an example Inspector Morrison of the RCMP reported that when an Anglican Missionary was asked by an RCMP Officer for permission to marry a native woman, the missionary declined, saying, "he would prefer reporting to Ottawa that the officer had blown his brains out, though he did not at all protest the current relationship." 

This marks the beginning of the creation of special offences applicable only to Indians.  The assumption by the churches and government is that Indians are considered children of the State.   



McGillycuddy reported finding two deserted mining operations, one near the future Rapid City and one near Sundance of the Black Hills .  He also found a long abandoned cabin at Elk Creek, with a pine tree growing through the roof. 

Treaty #5, Northern Manitoba is signed September 20 to 24 by the Swampy Cree (Muscagoe) and Saulteaux (Ojibwa).  Manitoba is named by the Cree Manito-wapow and Ojibwa Manito-baw meaning the strait of the Manito or spirit.  The Assiniboine called it Mine-toba meaning the water or lake of the prairies.  

Tom Nixon on the head waters of Bluff Creek in western Kansas killed 2,173 bison (buffalo) between September 15 and October 20th this year.

By the close of the bison (buffalo) hunting season the great southern herd was completely annihilated. Millions of animals were completely gone. Expensive bison (buffalo) expeditions in 1876 were unable to find a single animal.

Crazy Horse (Tashunca Uitco (1849-1877) joined forces with Sitting Bull's Hunkpapa Sioux.  This is the war of the Sacred Black Hills (1875-1877). 

David Pharaoh the last full-blooded chief of the Montauk People died.  The originally lived on the extreme eastern end of Long Island, New York.  Their main village was located at Ft. Pond near Montauk Point.  These People were closely related to the Massachusetts People.

The Haida Indians of the B.C coast are still practicing slavery.

September 29:   American Horse an Oglala Sioux chief is killed at Slim Buttes, South Dakota, he fought with Sitting Bull in the Sioux resistance movement.

November:  President Ulyssess S. Grant (1822-1885) made the decision to begin a pre-emptive strike against the United Nations of the Sioux in the winter, the sooner the better, to whip those Indians into submission.  The Government was determined to create war at any cost, including it's integrity and constitutional guarantees.  The United Nations of Lakota (Sioux) Cheyenne, Arapaho only wanted freedom, liberty, justice, security and to ensure tranquility of its people.  It's interesting to note that justice has not been achieved by 2010 for the forceful confiscation of Indian lands.  

Between 1875-1878 three towns sprung up in the Black Hills of Dakota, Deadwood, Central City and Leads.  Smaller settlements sprang up around these main towns. 


The Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho of the Black Hills of Dakota were defeated and the United States Government illegally confiscated the Indian lands in violation of the Sioux treaty of 1868.  June 30, 1980 before the Supreme Court in United States vs. Sioux Nation of Indians proposed a settlement of $122.5 million for lands illegally taken by the American Government.  The United Sioux Nations refused payment and demanded return of their lands.

The United States Government violated the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 by invading and taking the Black Hills and opening up 7.7 million acres (31,000 Km2) for homesteading and private mining interests.  The army said they couldnít stop the thousands of prospector who were trespassing on the Dakota Sioux lands. This was a blatant lie, the army created the problem and incited the Dakota settlers and army men to invade. This had Army and Presidential support.   The first settlers arrived Deadwood this year by the thousands.  

The Indian Act creates Indian Agents who control all areas of Native life of Indian Bands and Status Indians.  The Indian Reservations are patterned after the Jewish Ghetto's established throughout Europe. 

It was concluded that 'The Indian Act' forced the People into poverty and purposelessness, it:

Despite these findings the Government and Religious leaders tenaciously hung on to their power base.

Big Bear at Fort Pitt extracted a promise from Alexander Morris that non-Indian hunting would be regulated before all the animals are killed.  Big Bear wanted none of the Queens presents.  He knew that a treaty is a trap but that he would have no alternative and would be eventually forced to sign.

Treaty #6, Central Saskatchewan and Alberta is signed August 23, at Fort Carlton by the Chipewyan, Wood Cree, Plain Cree and Assiniboine.  Alexander Morris following Government Policy of Assimilation pressured Spyswaykus to wear red coats to show he is a subject of the Queen.  The RCMP freely admitted the Indian treaties were actually determined before they negotiated their treaties.  The treaties were never explained to the Indians nor were they ever made a subject of negotiation.

From 1857 to 1876 only a handful of Indians applied for enfranchisement and only one application, that of Elias Hill is accepted.  Indians lost their treaty status and rights if they became doctors, lawyers or ministers.  The English strategy to keep any power from Indian hands is working very well.  The Indian Act changes basically incorporated previous legislation with a new twist on assimilation called location tickets.  If Indians became more civilized he would not only receive a piece of the reserve but would be enfranchised after three year's probation.  The Western Indians however are excluded as they are not considered advanced enough to participate.  The fear is that aboriginal people in the west many form a substantial voting block and must be kept in their place.  The Act also attacked traditional Indian sexual, marriage and divorce mores including criticizing illegitimate children.  Non-band members are not allowed on reserves after sundown or to cohabit with Indians and Indian woman in public places.  Indian agents are given justice of the peace powers relating to vagrancy that is used as a catch all for any undesired activity.  The Indians hereby lost all remaining rights and all Indians east and west rejected the Indian Act.

The Indian Act attacked the family by reversing the historic status of Indian women by taking away some of their basic rights as status Indians.  The intent is to restrict Native women from marrying white men.  Indians men who marry white women would however retain their status.  This action is an attack on the maternal based society in an attempt to align them to the European Paternal beliefs.  This is a fundamental teaching of the European Churches where Indian women would no longer be regarded as special people but are to be regarded as property, subordinate to men.  Many Indians are unaware of this gradual erosion of their fundamental beliefs and values.  Church and State would continue their relentless grinding and humiliation of the Aboriginal people with special emphasis on the women as they represented the greatest deviation from civilization.  By 1985 only two percent of the 13,000 Native women would regain their Indian rights.  The Indian Men would learn the evil European ideals to discriminate.  Band Councils would block the womenís return to political decision making for decades.

Bishop Vital Grandin wrote with pride requesting more Indian schools.  "When they graduate from our institutions, the children have lost everything native except their blood."  "They have forgotten their mother tongue and, in this way, cannot live native life anymore; we instill in them a pronounced distaste for the native life so that they will be humiliated when reminded of their origin."   Sitting Bull aka Tatanka Iyotake in 1875 had a different perspective "We will yield to our neighbors, even our animal neighbors, the same right as we claim to inhabit the land.  But we have now to deal with another breed of people.  Love of possessions is a disease with them.  They would make rules to suit themselves.  They have a religion that they follow when it suits them.  They degrade the land with their waste.  We cannot live the way of these people-they have little respect for Nature and they offend our ideals."   "You have taken our land and made us outcasts".  

Chief Papaschase, the Woodpecker also known as John Gladu-Quinn born 1838 Lesser Slave Lake, Alberta married Julia Batoche is Chief from 1876 to 1885.  One hundred and ninety five Papaschase tribal members belonged to the Indian Reservation #136 south of the Garneau holdings in Strathcona.  Some Fort Edmonton citizens claimed the band is made up of worthless Indians from other bands, and the old squaws and pensioners of the Hudson Bay Company.  The Edmonton citizens are not comfortable having Indians as neighbors and commenced a hate campaign to have them removed from their treaty lands.

This year the Canadian Government suppressed the cultural and religious ceremony of the West Coast Indians, the Potlatch Ceremony is banned.  Eventually all religious services of the Indians would be classified as illegal.  This religious persecution is fueled by the European Churches desire for religious monopoly and economic benefit.

Chief Sitting Bull and his followers took refuge in Canada following the defeat of General Custer at the Little Big Horn.  The majority would return to the United States but some would remain and settle at Wood Mountain, Saskatchewan.

This years Sundance ceremony attracted 12,000 people of which 6,000 were warriors.  This religious ceremony would be banned as part of the assimilation policy. 

Lord Dufferin toured British Columbia and encountered a little Pacific smelt used by the natives and said "candle fish; so full of oil that it can be lighted at one end and used as a candle".  The natives called the candle fish, oolichan. 

May:;  Spotted Tail, Red Cloud and Lone Horn went to Washington D.C. to convince President Ulyssess S. Grant (1822-1885) to honor the Sioux United Nations treaty of 1868.  President Grant however was determined to gain control of the Black Hills and was determined to go to war over the issue.  These United Sioux Nations joined Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull to make war plans.  The Americans it was said later "They made us many promises, more than I can remember - they never kept but one; but the promise to take our land, and they took itĒ.  Red Cloud a Lakota.  

June 17:   Crazy Horse (Tashunca Uitco (1849-1877) joined forces with Sitting Bull's Hunkpapa Sioux and their warriors defeated the US Cavalry at the Battle of the Rosebud, in Montana. Eight days later he helped annihilate Custer's cavalry at the Little Bighorn.
June 25, At the Valley of the Greasy Grass (Little Big Horn) Crazy Horse (1849-1877) gathered his army to defend against the American Government encroachment.  General Custers invading army of 264 men are unaware the Dakota has fielded 1,000 men.  The battle didnít last long enough to light a pipe and the Blue Coat army is destroyed.

September 9:   Crazy Horse (Tashunca Uitco (1849-1877) is defeated by Cook at Slim Buttes.

Between mid October and mid December Brick Bond killed 5,855 bison (buffalo), that is an average of 100 per day and he employed five skinners. The carcasses were left to the wolves, even the tongues were not removed.


Treaty #7, Southern Alberta is signed September 22, by the Blackfoot, Blood, Piegan, Sarcee, Stony, Chipewyan and Assiniboine.  The treaty provided farming equipment so that the Indians could return to farming.  Little Pine saw the treaty as basically enslaving his people.  The entire Indian population of Saskatchewan, this year received two ploughs, two harrows, thirteen spades, eighteen axes, forty-one hoes, four oxen, one bull and one cow.
Out of the eleven Indian Treaties signed in Canada the Ojibwa Nation signed nine of them.

Crazy Horse (1840's-1877) is bayoneted in the back by a soldier while under the protection of the American Blue Coat army. This infamous act turned Crazy Horse into an Indian martyr and icon. He was quoted as say, "one does not sell the Earth upon which the people walk. A Dakota prophet summarized the situation better, "the whites are like bees, first one then the swarm.

The Sioux claim their origin to the Black Hills which the US Government illegally seized this year.  In 1980 the Supreme Court awarded compensation to eight Sioux tribes but they refused insisting on the return of at least 1.3 million acres.

Joseph Hinmatowyalahtqit (thunder coming up over the land) the chief of the Nez Perce says in his long career he cannot accuse the government of one single act of justice.  My heart is sick and sad.

January 7:   General Miles destroyed Crazy Horse (Tashunca Uitco (1849-1877) village at Wolf Mountain.

May 6:   Crazy Horse (Tashunca Uitco (1849-1877)  is among the last of the Lakota Nation to surrender to the American Government at Red Cloud Agency near Fort Robinson (Crawford), Nebraska.

June:   Joseph's band of Nez Perce are forced from their lands and the settlers stole their livestock especially their horses.  Some Nez Perce from another band attacked and killed 19 white settlers in frustration.  Joseph's band was not involved and they returned to White Bird Canyon. 

June 15:   General Howard a very incompetent man at Lapnai sent Captain David Perry with an army of 110 men to deal with the Indian problem.  At White Bird Canyon the Nez Perce sent several men under white flag to explain they had nothing to do with the white killings.  Before they could discuss the issue. David Perry ordered his troops to fire on the diplomats.  The Nez Perce only had 65 men, some very old, 1/3 armed with bow and arrow and many with old muzzle-loaders as they were not considered an aggressive Peoples.  The Nez Perce routed the 110 man army, cut them into sections and one 19 man group were pinned down and destroyed.  Over all they killed 34 soldiers, wounded 4 while only suffering 2 wounded themselves.  David Perry's men threw down their weapons and supplies and fled in in panic.  The Nez Perce gathered up 63 much needed rifles and a large amount of ammunition as the soldiers fled.  It is noteworthy that there was no scalping, mutilation or theft from the dead as the Nez Perce were a civilized People.  Meanwhile General Howard intent on creating a war ordered Captain Whipple to attack the Nez Perce on the Indian Reservation who were not even remotely involved in the resistance movement killing 4 people and destroying their village.  General Howard's rational is that they might join the resistance movement.  As a result of this barbaric action 200 reservation warriors joined the 65 George Nez Perce warriors.

June 17:  The American army descended upon the Nez Perce near White Bird Grade and were greeted with a party under a white flag of truce.  Shots were fired and the Nez Perce truce party fled.  However the main force of Nez Perce were not far removed and war was declared.  When the dust settled 100 army lay dead, the troops dropped their weapons and supplies and fled in terror in total confusion.  Not one Nez Perce was killed.

July 11:   General Howard with his shoot first policy called in another 400 soldiers, 180 scouts, teamsters and packers to fight a war he had created.  He surprised the Indians at Clear Water, Idaho  by opening fire with a howitzer and two gatling guns.  Toohoolhoolzote without hesitation took 24 men and dashed across the river and up the bluffs to hold off the 580 man army while his fellow warriors swing around Howard's flank and rear.  The pinned Howards army down for a day killing 13 and wounded another 23 (others suggest the wounded numbered 40).  The Nez Perce lost 4 killed and 6 wounded.  R. Pernell wrote: the opposing forces were about equal (580 to 265), the troops had the advantage in numbers as well as position.  The Nez Pearces retreat was masterly, deliberate and unmolested, leaving us with a victory barren of results.

July:   The Nez Perce crossed the Bitterroot Mountains and encountered Fort Fizzle with 35 soldiers and 200 hundred volunteers who had been told the Indians were about to attack their settlements.  When the Nez Perce told the 200 volunteers that they had no quarrel with anyone but General Howard and would harm no one if permitted to pass.  The volunteers knew the Nez Perce well and favorably from their common bison (buffalo) hunting trips and knew them as honorable men of their word, so they disbanded and returned to their homes.   This is noteworthy that the settlers did not consider the Government as being honest nor honorable men.  Fort Fizzle only had 60 men to stop the Nez Perce as ordered by General Howard and wisely let them pass without incident.

July 17:   David Perry with 100 soldiers attacked the Nez Perces in Whitebird Canyon, Idaho suffering a humiliating defeat losing 34 soldiers and only wounding 2 Natives.  The Nez Perces had sent a peace commission under white flag to avoid blood shed but they were fired upon by the Perry troops.  Only 50 Nez Perces had guns the remaining 20 were armed with bow and arrow.  This sounds like another version of the June 15 incident.

July:   The Nez Perce entered Stevensville settlement to purchase supplies, not molesting anyone in the town.  The merchants had raised prices sky high for the occasion feeding on other peoples misfortune.  

August 9:   The Nez Perce thought they were now safe.  Colonel John Gibbon from Fort Shaw had assembled a 200 man army and attacked the sleeping Nez Perce village.  Women and children were gunned down, even babies heads were kicked or clubbed by rifle or so an army officer reported.  The soldiers occupied in pillage didn't see themselves being out flanked resulting in 33 dead and 38 being wounded.  The slaughter only stopped with the arrival of General Howard's army.  The army claimed 89 savages were killed, 12 men and 77 women and children.  Meanwhile during the fighting the Indian camp was being moved to safety.  The Indians also took time to burry their dead but General Howard the uncivilized barbarian allowed his men to dig up and scalp and mutilate the dead.  It is noteworthy that Colonel Gibbon had ordered the massacre of women and children and not General Howard although its possible this was a general order.  Another account reads Gibbon attacked the Nez Perces at Big Hole losing 208 soldiers and 40 were wounded, 89 Nez Perces are reported killed but they failed to report that 70 Nez Perces killed were slaughtered women and children in an undefended village.  General Howard did not stop his men from digging up and scalping the dead Nez Perces.  Historians wrote that judging by all the evidence the Americans came off the Big Hole battlefield with anything but a glorious record.  This shameful practice of body counting by the Americans would continue into the 21 Century, lest we forget Vietnam.

August 20:   The Nez Perce raided General Howards camp driving off his mule herd and scattering his horses thus causing several days delay before they can again take up pursuit.   The Nez Perce fought their way through Yellowstone National Park and near Billings, Montana fought a rear guard action to allow their camp to move to safety. 

September 5:   Crazy Horse (Tashunca Uitco (1849-1877) although promised limited freedom, he was threatened with imprisonment and then shot, they say, while trying to escape.  Crazy Horse was considered by both sides of the war as a brilliant tactician. 

September 30:   The Nez Perce are spotted just 30 miles from the Canadian boarder and freedom.  Colonel Nelson E. Miles with 400 men attacked the camp.  The first volley saw 2 officers and 22 soldiers dead with 4 officers and 38 soldiers wounded.  The Nez Perce only had 120 men to defend their camp.  The siege continued for the next two days during a blinding snow storm.  Colonel Miles attempted deception under a white flag of truce captured Joseph but the Indians in retaliation captured an army officer and a trade was made.

October 4:   General Howard arrived with his army making the situation hopeless.  Joseph said my heart is sick and sad.  From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.  The American army never fought a more unjust war than the war that General Howard created against the peaceful Nez Perce People.  History has concluded that the American Army is uncivilized, barbaric and without justification for their actions.


The provisions for farming assistance are still not being provided as promised and complaints increased.  One member of the Canadian House of Commons claimed "I do not see how a Sitting Bull can cross the frontier."   The infamous John A. McDonald replied "not unless he rises, then he is not a sitting bull."  No aid is offered not even basic food, clothing and shelter.  Sitting Bull wanted to remain in peace in what he called his Grandmothers land.  John A. MacDonald developed a policy to starve the Dakota Sioux out of Canada and would employ this tactic until 1881, driving most of them out of Canada.  The Edmonton Papaschase Cree signed Treaty #6 at Edmonton September 18, 1878 for Reservation #136.


William Frederick Cody b-1846 Iowa a.k.a. Buffalo Bill, said every Indian outbreak that I have ever known has resulted from broken promises and broken treaties by the Government.

The American Government executed their final solution by burning the prairies not allowing the bison (buffalo) herds into Canada.  General Miles deployed his troops between the bison (buffalo) and the Canadian boundary.  It is estimated that the last of the one hundred and fifty thousand-head herd is exterminated.  By 1884 only three hundred bison (buffalo) would remain and by 1888 the United States Game report stated only six bison (buffalo) are known to exist.  The Blackfoot is reduced to killing their prized horses and are killing gophers and mice for food.  Council is called where Big Bear, Piapot and Little Pine met with Sitting Bull.  They debated the failure of the Government to live up to the terms and conditions of the treaties.  They debate their pending starvation and the extermination of the bison (buffalo).  The bison (buffalo) Skinners said that a bronze metal should be made for each skinner with a dead bison (buffalo) on one side and a discouraged Indian on the other.  The Indian noted that when the bison (buffalo) are exhausted the Whitman shipped the bones east for fertilizer.  When the bones played out they exhumed dead Indian bones and shipped them east to make buttonhooks.  Big Bear and Little Pine reluctantly took their people to the Milk River, Missouri River and most of the others, the Cree and Assiniboine also went with them.  The remaining Cree remained waiting on the promised equipment and provisions facing slow starvation.  The Government finally responds with minimum rations and used them to force land concessions and subjugation or slave labor rights.

It is deemed that some western Indians are still resisting civilization so the Indian Act is revised to allow the Minister to depose any Chief or Counselor, democratically elected or not if they resisted any change by Church or State.  The bands had previously refused to allot reserve lands to individual members thereby thwarting the Governments objective of slow disintegration of reserve lands.  The Minister is given the absolute power to allot Reserve Lands including expropriation powers.

Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce People of Oregon noted that tobacco was not known by his people before this time.  It would appear this was not a trade item this far west.  He also said:
Our fathers gave us many laws:

In 1879 the Papaschase Band alias the Beaver Hills people from Saskatchewan wintered at Beaver Hills.  They often went on the hunt with the Metis of Saint Albert, Edmonton and Strathcona.  Their numbers totaled 256 with some members being from the Little Hunter and Lapotoc Bands.  They also spent part of the year at Trail Creek.

Micholas Flood Davin says residential schools are the most effective means to 'civilizing' the Indian population.  He says to target children because adults could not be freed from their present state of ignorance, superstition and helplessness.  (I)-John A. MacDonald (1815-1891) authorized 11 residential schools by 1880. 
 Back to Top

  INDIAN HISTORY 1880 - 1899

  INDIAN HISTORYReturn to INDIAN 1700 - 1999  INDEX