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Seven Persons - Indians

Seven Persons
Once Hundred Sixty Acres and a Dream
Chapter 4

Indians

Prior to 1900, Indian bands roamed this land, made their nomadic homes and left their mark for history. Arrowheads found on hillsides or on flats denote these as part of their hunting grounds. Circles of stones on hilltops overlooking valleys mark camping grounds. Bones of animals at bases of cliffs tell about "buffalo jump offs". Small stone piles within circles of smaller stones indicate their graves.

According to old timer's tales told of the early nineteen hundreds, members of this primitive, but proud race roamed quietly about the territory. A few asked for food. Some offered for sale, or for barter, Indian -created items such as polished buffalo horns or hoofs, hat racks, articles made from leather or feathers, bone or stone. Few stayed very long for there was no Indian reserve near this part of the province, and the advent of settlers disturbed their way of life.

Perhaps the best reminder of their respectful presence are the names given to neighbouring land marks, names such as Etzikom, Nemiskam or Pakowki.

John Meyer, Junior, related this experience when he was a boy. An Indian family dug a cave for a home in the Seven Persons Creek bank not far from John's home. They covered the doorway with a robe or blanket, and put a tin stove pipe up through the sod roof to let out the smoke of their fire.

"I wonder what fun I could have if I shot my twenty-two rifle through that stove pipe? How good is my aim?"

He found a place where he could hide from passersby, took aim and fired.

"Ping! Wham! Ping!" What an ear-splitting clatter! The Indian family came plummeting out, looking frightened, surprised, and angry.

John said, "I had to lie in hiding for a long time before I dared to go home. I didn't try that trick again. I hoped these Indians would never know who gave them such a scare."

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup