1880 - 1899
The term person means an individual other than Indian
"I never do wrong without cause"
"I think I am a good man, but all over the world they say
I am a bad man"
Geronimo a martyr of the People and prisoner of war.
INDIAN HISTORY 1900 - 1999
INDIAN HISTORY Return to INDIAN 1700 - 1999 INDEX
INDIAN INDEX Return to Main INDIAN INDEX
DIRECTORY Return to MAIN HISTORY INDEX
Canada creates the Department of Indian Affairs to control the assets, culture and religion of the First Nation Canadians (Indians).
Indian men (First Nation) are finally recognized as a person under the 1880 Indian Act this however does not include Indian Women. They were not allowed to vote until 1960.
A riot broke out at Fort Walsh when the farming instructor refused to give rations to the starving Indians. The Indian Act made it very clear "the term person means an individual other than an Indian." This simple provision allowed Canadians to treat Indians as animals. The Indians are effectively removed from all basic human rights. A Mohawk summed up the Indian Act this way; "the Indian Agent's duties are becoming more and more like the commander of an internment camp of a defeated enemy." Each Indian, like any prisoner of war is given a treaty number that over time became like a surname. His movements are restricted and governed, he could not buy or sell the products of his labor, he could not practice his religion nor raise his children in his religious tradition. The Indian Act failed to completely subjugate the People and religious ceremonies are conducted in isolated places. These Canadian ghettos became a model for the justification of the German ghetto for the Jews. The only difference is the Jew is deemed civilized but killers of Christ whereas as the Indians are savage.
(I)-John A. MacDonald (1815-1891) authorized 11 residential schools by 1880. So begins 90 years of cultural genocide, physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and sexual abuse. All the horrors of the European tradition were inflected upon innocent children.
Some believe the Residential School System started this year as a Canadian Government assimilation policy. This however is not true, the Residential School System began in Early New France by the Roman Catholic Recollects & Jesuit Order. The Government and Churches were well aware that these early attempts in New France and New Brunswick were abysmal failures. The Anglican and Methodist institutions in Upper Canada instigated Residential Schools from the 1830's onward. The residential Schools were in fact more like reform farms were the children were forced to spend half the days toiling in the fields to provide cheaply run schools. The food provided to the prisoners was low in quality, of poor quality and did not meet minimum substance standards.
Geronimo's Resistance (1881-1886) the Government fielded 5,000 men to capture 24 Apaches. Geronimo aka Goyaathle (one who is wawning) died a martyr and prisoner of war in 1909. He said "I never do wrong without cause", "I think I am a good man, but all over the world they say I am a bad Man".
The Supreme Court of the U.S.A. ruled they had no jurisdiction over crimes committed on Indian Reservations.
The Federal Government had a policy " feed the Indians one day, starve them on the next day" the result was that 10% died the first year of operation.
Smallpox ravaged the Chipewyan tribe near Fort Chipewayan.
The Wind Caves of the Black Hills of South Dakota were discovered by Jesse and Tom Bingham, the Indians were aware of the caves but didn’t enter them. The caves eventually proved to contain 131 miles of caves, and is 4th largest in the world, and only lie beneath one square mile area of land.
The first person to enter the
January 13: The good citizens of Edmonton passed a resolution to relocate the Papaschase (Pap-pa) Cree Band in violation of Treaty #6. Big Bear and Little Pine plan a Grand Council in Montana for all western Indians. The American Government is warned and they prevent most Canadian Cree and Assiniboine from entering Montana. They seized their horses, guns and carts forcing them back into Canada. The Canadian Government responded by closing Fort Walsh and all facilities in Cypress Hills to force the savages into dispersing. They had lost all guns, horses and provisions to the Americans and are forced to disburse. In February 100 citizens of Yellowstone went out after bison (buffalo) hides. One local firm reported they had 4,000 hides and other firms had an equal number.
The government of Canada formalizes its partnership with religious organizations to run the residential schools.
The Ten-Cent Treaty that eliminated many mixed bloods from the tribal rolls is enacted on the Turtle Mountain Ojibwa. A reservation is established in Rolette County, Dakota and the Government would continue to discourage its existence. The Ojibwa of Turtle Mountain have a tenacious ability to survive continuous Government attacks on their integrity.
The winter of 1881-82 was severe cold and deep snow in Montana. H.F. Douglas shipped 25,000 bison (buffalo) hides to market. The largest herd in the northern plains is estimated at 75,000 head. Smaller bunches were reported scattered here and there throughout the Montana territory.
The Canadian Government continues to force the Indians to settle north of Qu'Appelle, Battleford and Fort Pitt. Piapot tried to adapt but returned to Cyprus Hills with stories of mistreatment. He is convinced the Indians will completely lose their autonomy if they move.
Shawakalcoosh son of Chief White Bear at Manor, Saskatchewan approached Edward Pierce for the hand of his daughter. He is willing to exchange his rifle for her hand. Pierce is indignant driving the young man away, leaving the Indian perplexed not knowing what he had done wrong.
The total annihilation of the southern bison (buffalo) drove the bison (buffalo) men deep into the northern region. It it is estimated that 5,000 hunters were eliminating the northern bison (buffalo) herds.
The old man River in Southern Alberta gets it name from the Blackfoot name Napi meaning The Old Man (God) who made the world and every thing in it. The name appears to date from about this time.
This year marks the annihilation of the northern bison (buffalo).
Ottawa again closed Fort Walsh forcing the Indians north. Little Pine and Lucky Man moved their people to Battleford next to Poundmaker. Big Bear and his people went to Fort Pitt. Piapot moved to Indian Head concentrating some one thousand Indians and called for General Council of all tribes. Commissioner Dewney thwarted Piapot's plans by threatening to cut off rations and arrest and dispose any chief who attended. Big Bear and Little Pine called for Grand Council in 1884 and sent messengers to Fort Edmonton, Carlton and Duck Lake. Lawrence Vankoughnet, District Superintendent General of Indian Affairs and a friend of John A. MacDonald cut Indian assistance in retaliation. At Battleford students rations are cut from a pound and a half of beef per day to a quarter pound. The reserve policy is to feed them one day and to starve them the next day. At Crooked Lake the Farm Instructor is ordered to feed only the aged and sick. Five hundred and sixty seven men, women and children are cut from rations and the winter is a severe one.
Montana's biggest bison (buffalo) herd of over 10,000 animals are exterminated in just a few days. Sharpshooters guarded every water hole during the burning summer hours and by firelight at night. When the thirst maddened animals charged to get water, not a single animal escaped. This slaughter was for the sake of the hides alone. The meat was left to rot. Vick Smith claimed he bagged 5,000 bison (buffalo) this season.
At Fort Pitt, Edmonton and Crooked Lake the Farm Instructors are assaulted and Government storehouses broken into and rations taken. John A. MacDonald's final solution is failing. Commissioner Dewney concluded that the Government policy of starving the Indians into submission is not the means to break their will and control them.
The Sarcee numbering about seven hundred are camping along the banks of the Oldman River, near Fort MacLeod. Some Blood and Blackfoot are among them when the chief is asked what land he wanted for his followers and generations to come. His reply is, we want from the foot of the Rocky Mountains to where the Elbow flows into the Bow. Their Reserve is set aside this year but does not include downtown Calgary.
Many traditionally elected Indian leaders are deemed unsatisfactory as being incompetent, immoral or intemperate and are dismissed under the Indian Act. These men are immediately reelected thereby thwarting the intent of the Act. The Act is amended to prohibit persons deposed from office from standing for re-election. Commissioner Dewney asked the Government to pass an order in Council to increase his power to make it a criminal offense for a band member to move to a reserve of his choice. This effectively eliminated the tradition of the man leaving his tribe to join the tribe of his wife. This encouraged tribal incest an European tradition. Commissioner Dewney used the Mounted Police to arrest Chiefs who did not conform to civilization policy. Dewney is promoted to Lieutenant Governor besides being the Indian Commissioner. He is given the power to arrest any Indian who is on another band's reserve without the Indian Departments permission.
Duck Lake Council is called to list Treaty violations for redress from the Government. The conclude the remedies must be concluded by summer 1885 or they will take whatever measures necessary, short of war, to get redress. Dewney immediately ordered guns and ammunition normally allocated for hunting to be withheld. Indian Councils are prohibited and additional Government recruits are called up. Elaborate spy networks are established in every band including the employment of the Religious Priests and Ministers to act as a spy. The Oblates established a permanent mission at Hobbema this year.
Missionary William Duncan wrote about Potlatch: "by far the most formidable of all obstacles in the way of Indians becoming Christians or even civilized". Others suggested it was "a worse than useless custom", a wasteful unproductive activity, and "not of civilized values".
THE POTLATCH CERMONY
The Potlatch is a Chinook Jargon word meaning 'to give away' and was practiced by the Haida, Nuxalk, Tlingit, Tsimshian, Nun-chuh-nulth, Kwakwa'wakw and coast Salish. It was a religious ceremony of gratitude, celebration of life, marriage and death. Most repugnant to the Christians was the 're-distribution of wealth' or 'reciprocity of wealth' an early Christian Principle that was long lost among Christians. It was not uncommon for the richest man of the tribe to give away all he owned to other tribal members during Potlatch. "The faithful all lived together and owned everything in common; they sold their goods and possessions and shared out the proceeds among themselves according to what each one needed." Acts 2, 44-45
The Federal Government banned the Potlatch Ceremony among the coastal Indians of British Columbia. “Every Indian or other person who engages in or assists in celebrating the Indian festival known as the "Potlatch" or the Indian dance known as the "Tamanawas" is guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not more than six nor less than two months in a jail or other place of confinement; and, any Indian or other person who encourages, either directly or indirectly an Indian or Indians to get up such a festival or dance, or to celebrate the same, or who shall assist in the celebration of same is guilty of a like offence, and shall be liable to the same punishment.” This ban was not lifted until 1951.
April 19: The Federal Government this year banned the potlatches ceremony from 1884 to 1951. The main reason for the ban was it demonstrated that the People did not place the same high value of material goods as did the Europeans. The potlatches was a religious, political and theatrical demonstration of the Peoples culture. Great potlatches could take years in the planning and were mainly conducted in the Northwest coast. The act reads: Every Indian or other person who engages in or assists in celebrating the Indian festival known as the "Potlatch" or the Indian dance known as the "Tamanawas" is guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not more than six nor less than two months in a goal or other place of confinement.
June 7: the Papastayo Reserve hosted a Thirst Dance that extended Thursday to Saturday. Admission is a plug of tobacco to a pound of tea. The dance is for the sick chief’s daughter Opetaquash who is not expected to live. Sixty to seventy families are in attendance. The Shining Elbows Dance held on Sunday is well attended by the town and is a financial success.
Commander Dewney fully believed an Indian uprising is possible. In February he publicly admitted that the Government had violated every treaty and ordered delivery of all goods that the treaty stipulated and a dramatic increase in their rations. He said if this fails to placate them that he will arrest all their leaders. John A. MacDonald supported Commander Dewney and agreed to bring pressure on the Magistrates to impose long prison terms for any Indian convicted of incitement. Jim Seenum became Chief Pakan meaning tough nut, hard to crack when he refused to join Riel. In March Riel provided Commander Dewney the opportunity he is waiting for to declare open war on the Indians. Commander Dewney, privately, reported to Ottawa, that the events at Battleford and Frog Lake are an act of desperation by starving people and is unrelated to what the Metis are doing. Publicly Commander Dewney proclaimed the Indians are part of the Metis uprising. He intends to incite general support to justify any future action the Government takes against the savages. History concluded the Canadian Government is unjustified and had incited the Indian and Metis peoples to rebel against massive discrimination and violation of basic human rights.
The Federal government had other ideas to incite an Indian uprising by passing the Indian Act that prohibited their religious Sun Dance ceremony. This would be equal to telling the Roman Catholics they could no longer celebrate mass. It would hopefully cause an uprising. It didn't and the Act was not repealed until 1951. Old timers told me they just went into remote places to conduct their ceremonies just like the early Christian did in the Roman catacombs. This is very ironic that every Catholic was taught every year about the persecution of the early Christians, by the Romans and these same Christian Canadians does the same thing to its native peoples. Even if you know the Roman atrocities, history has a tendency to repeat itself. The Christians are indeed a stiff necked people.
May 2: Lieutenant Colonel William Ottor with 300 soldiers marched on the Cree and Assiniboine. The Battle of Cut Knife took place 40 km west of Battleford, Saskatchewan. War chief Fine Day with a limited number of men surrounded and pinned down the army for 6 hours. Eight of Ottor's men died and 5-6 of Cut Knife's men also were killed. Chief Find Day finally pulled his men back to allow Ottor to retreat with some dignity. Some say 8 Whitemen are massacred, what do they call it when 100 Indians are killed, "genocide"?
The Mohawk of the Caughnawaga Reserve are trained in high steel construction work on a bridge across the St. Lawrence River. They came to this trade by accident, when a Dominion Bridge official noticed them using the narrow girders on a bridge under construction near their reserve as a short cut. They had no acrophobia, fear of high places, and a legend is created.
Papaschase enfranchised under the name John Quin or John Gladien in 1886-7 due to increased pressure from the 'good' citizens of Edmonton. The Papaschase Band remnants combined with the Lapotac to make about 217 people and most migrated south of Edmonton to join the Hobbema Band.
"The hunger and thirst of the white men for Indian's land is almost equal to his hunger and thirst after righteousness," so remarked President Grover Cleveland.
The United States of America dissolved First Nations Governments ending over 50,000 years of self government.
February 8: The American Government passed the General Allotment Act aka Dawes Act, claiming more Indian lands, the act was amended in 1891 and again in 1906 by the Burke Act. . This is forced subjection of natives peoples and became the American norm under the guise of civilizing. The interesting question is who or what will civilize the U.S.A.?
Residents of Battleford petitioned the Government stating the Indians is raising so much wheat and farm produce that they are taking away markets from white people. Commissioner Hayter Reed responded by implementing a permit system regulating what Indians could buy, sell or transact. The sale of grain in the district is left exclusively to white people. It is further enacted that the Indians are not allowed to use machinery even if they purchased it prior to the issuing of this Government Policy. A Fort Edmonton agent wrote that no white person would attempt to raise grain and cattle using sickles and scythes as the season is so very short. Most agents throughout the region supported the Edmonton Agents position. The Government Policy however stood and formed the bases for the contention that all Native people are lazy, not industrious and inclined to be simple in thought and action. Most Canadians and religious leaders believed this Government created belief and values into the 1970's and beyond.
By this year the Great Plains was cleared of bison (buffalo) and even their bones. It was as though 50 to 100 million bison (buffalo) never existed.
Brazil abolishes slavery this year.
December: Richard Wetherill discovered Cliff Palace in Mesa Verde's, Colorado while searching for lost cattle. In 1889 the Wetherill brothers and Mason explored 182 cliff dwellings.
The Red Lake Ojibwa signed a declaration of Independence and refused to accede to Government allotment plans and thereby maintained the integrity of their reservation. The January 14 Chippewa Commission listed Gorneau or Gerneau as a chief or headman of the Red Lake Band.
Nampa woman is a baked clay figure about an inch and a half high pumped to the surface from a well drilling operation at Nampa, Idaho from a depth of 300 feet. This is a problematical figure with no rational explanation because it was not discovered within its context.
Alvin McDonald explored the Wind Caves of South Dakota and his family blasted open a passage to provide guided tours for a fee. The caves contain 131 miles of caves, is 4th largest in the world, and only lie beneath one square mile area of land. The Indians were aware of the caves but there is no indication they ventured in through the small opening.
Thomas Crosby (1840-1914) an icon and founder of the United Church of Canada and West Coast missionary denounced the coastal native religion of the Tsimshian. He is adamant that the natives give up all their crests, masks and poles, including some of the oldest, most religiously significant artifacts in existence. Anthropologists are shocked to learn that Thomas Crosby and his descendents had collected and sold over three hundred native artifacts. Robert Crosby admitted selling 18 pieces in 1977 for $290,000.
Frank Baum wrote The Pioneer has before declared that our only safety depends upon the total extermination of the Indians. Having wronged them for centuries we had better, in order to project our civilization, follow up by one more wrong and wipe these untamed and un-tamable creatures from the face of the earth. In this lies safety for our settlers. This evil man when on to write "The Wizard of Oz".
Hunkpapa Dakota Sioux is murdered this year, he had led 2,000 people into Canada. He was remembered as saying "I hate all white people. They are thieves and liars."
December 29: Wounded Knee Massacre.
Three hundred and fifty Calvary came to take the Miniconjou Sioux (Lakota) and
Hunkpapa Sioux (Lakota) to Omaha
Nebraska. The Indians had agreed to comply. More than 300
Lakota Sioux, men, women and children are massacred by the 7th
“They made us many promises, more than I can remember - they never kept but one; the promise to take our land, and they took it”. Red Cloud a Lakota (Dakota Sioux).
Inspector Alex McGibbon after touring the west is critical of Reed and the Government Policy stating it is contrary to common sense to ban universally the use of machinery by Indians. Starvation tactics had failed and Commissioner Hayter Reed remains convinced that economic privation is the best civilizing policy.
European barbarism, cruelty and racism was not confined to the native peoples of America.
D'Arcy Island near Victoria, British Columbia (1891-1924) is established as a leper colony primarily for Chinese. Their were no more than nine people on the island, they lived in meager shacks and were basically left to die. One man is known to have survived for 15 months. An American missionary was denied permission to care for the lepers. A supply ship with supplies only visited the Island every three months. The Anti-Asian League fuelled two riots against Chinese. In 1882, a Chinese man discover with leprosy was strangled, stripped naked, hung by his ankles and burned.
Duncan Campbell Scott (1862-1947), of Indian Affairs aims at assimilation of the Indian Peoples. It matters not that the Canadian attempts at assimilation for 250 years did not work. This in essence is a 'cultural genocide Policy'. He was a hypocrite who profited from his romantic writings about Indian culture while at the same time trying to destroy this ancient culture.
Many petitions reach the House of Commons concerning the restrictions on Indian freedom especially the permit system. Commissioner Hayter Reed response is that Indians are lazy, would squander their resources and suppresses the market price. Besides they have no vote, no economic or religious power and their numbers are decreasing according to Government policy. The Regina Post however stated last year that it would be preferred to make farmers of Indians and have them settle on empty lands than to bring Russian and Jews into the country. The result of the petitions is and amendment to the Indian Act to allow the Superintendent to lease Indian lands to non-Indians as a compromise to the permit system. This encroachment tactic allowed generation of revenue for the Department of Indian Affairs and did nothing for the Indians.
There are 45 residential schools in operation for native children in Canada..
September 30, 1896 a Blood named Si-okskitsis or Charcoal, killed his wife's lover. Charcoal's wife affair with her cousin, Medicine Pipe Stem, broke one of the most fundamental rules of Blood society. When they would not end their relationship, Charcoal felt he had no choice. Killing Medicine Pipe Stem made Charcoal a murderer in the eyes of the North West Mounted Police and the government, but it was not a simple crime of passion or revenge. Convinced that he faced only execution if he surrendered, Charcoal became a fugitive. For weeks his thefts of food and horses and several armed confrontations terrorized southern Alberta from Porcupine Hills to the U.S. boarder. Patrols of Mounted Police and Indian scouts tried in vain to find him.
November 30, 1896, a patrol led by Sergeant W.B. Wilde of the North West Mounted Police caught up with Charcoal in the foothills just south of Pincher Creek, Sergeant Wilde was undoubtedly a brave and capable police officer, but he probably did not understand just how desperate Charcoal had become. Threatened with arrest, Charcoal shot Wilde. By the following day Charcoal was captured and behind bars. He was transported to Fort MacLeod and put on trial for the murders of Medicine Pipe Stem and Sergeant Wilde. He was quickly convicted and executed at Fort MacLeod on March 16, 1897.
Commissioner Hayter Reed, born 1849, Prescott County, Ontario, a Satanic Military man is dismissed as Deputy Superintendent General of Indian Affairs. He boasted with great pride that under his administration the Government Policy of destroying the tribal system is assailed in every possible way. His legacy would live on for most of the next one hundred years and even Father Lacombe would support the Reed Policy of severely.
May 30: Almighty Voice (Kah-kee-say-mane-too-wayo) meaning Voice of the Great Spirit was accused of stealing a cow and escaped from the Duck Lake Jail and shot and killed NWMP Colin Colebrook. Nineteen months later later he was cornered in a poplar bluff with 2 young relatives. An army of 100 NWMP and civilian volunteers tried to flush out the trio. Those reported dead include Corporal Hockin, J.R. Kerr, and Ernest Grundy. The finally bombarded the bluff with cannon fire killing the three Indians.
The Indian changed there protest tactics to civil disobedience. They refused to exercise police and public health powers. The Superintendent responded by expanding his own powers to prohibit the sale of any produce and banned all religious ceremonies such as the Sun Dance, Potlatch (giving ceremonies) because they continued to promote pagan beliefs of sharing and worked against the Christian principles of private property. Sun Dance represents renewal, the affirmation of trust in the Way, and the time for reassurances of peace between men and nations. The Atlantic salmon disappeared from Lake Ontario being the result of over fishing. Few paid any attention.
The last Ojibwa war was conducted at Leech Lake, Minnesota. General John Mosby Bacon and his men were pinned down with nearly a dozen men dead or wounded. The Ojibwa claimed the American Army of 70 men under command of General Wilkinson opened fire on a canoe of Indian women. It was called the battle of Sugar Point.
June 3: The Philippines declared independence from Spain.
December: The United States purchased the Philippines from Spain for 20 million but it wasn't theirs to sell. Some consider this the birth of United States Imperialism, attempting to create an empire in Asia, which was the start of a vicious, racist and nasty guerrilla war during which the U.S. killed up to a million Filipinos.
Treaty #8, Northern Alberta and North Western
Saskatchewan are signed by the Cree, Chipewyan and Beaver.
As the century ends, if one generalized the attitude of the savage Indians towards Europeans it could be that in early encounters the Indians acted with peacefulness, curiosity and generosity befitting a socially advanced civilization. The Christian Europeans acted with aggressiveness, contempt and greed befitting a savage pagan civilization. They used their systems, government and religion to wage an ideological war on the Aboriginal Canadians using every political, economic, religious and social perversion known to man clearly demonstrating their lack of humanity and civilization. Their actions suggest little advancement since the Roman Empire philosophy. The Europeans assumed technology superiority represents civilization. Those who are less developed in the techniques of killing are brushed out of the way of civilization. The North American Indian had shrunk from over a hundred million people to some two hundred and fifty thousand as a result of the European genocide policy.
The Government deposed the Cree Chief Piapot (Payipwat) (1816-1908) because he permitted a Cree ceremony to which the Indian Department objected. The People continued to regard him as their chief until his death.
The glaciers in the Rocky Mountains, Banff, Alberta advanced in the late 1800's
Back to Top
INDIAN HISTORY 1900 - 1999