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Natawista (Natawista Ikasana)
Sacred Snake Woman,
Madame Culbertson

Reference: Who Was Who in Native
American History by Carl Waldman-1990

Natawista was a Blood Indian born about 1825. When 15 years of age she travelled with her father from Canada to Fort Union now near the North Dakota--Montana border, on a trade mission. This developed into an Indian marriage ceremony to Major Alexander Culbertson who was head of Fort Union and Fort Benton, Montana.

She became a diplomat, a hostess, an interpreter and helped maintain peaceful relations between the white traders, and the Blackfoot, Blood and Piegan Indians.

The Culbertsons and their five children lived in Peoria, Illinois for ten years but when their investment money was finished they returned to upper Missouri country as traders and interpreters.

In 1870 Natawista left Culbertson and returned to the Blood lands in Alberta where she lived until her death in 1895.

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup