It snowed here yesterday, so I hunkered down under a buffalo blanket and went nowhere.
Besides my wife got arrested for slugging the officer that brought me in for the drunk and disorderly.
None of this of course actually happened but it was all in the spirit of the frontier days and after sitting through yet
another mock trial for her, we were all shuffled out of court with a big hand shake by the Sergeant at arms and moved
on to the rest of the tour.
This little Fort though remote and insignificant looking .has a history and importance that was felt all the way to Ottawa
and influenced the development of the west. . A massacre of Assiniboine Indians by wolf hunters took place just a short
distance away and by the time the news got to Ottawa is was so exaggerated ol’ John A. thought he had an Indian uprising
on his hands. It was this event that prompted the decision to dispatch the Mounties to patrol the vast prairies. These
mounted policemen, to their great credit were the reason why the Canadian west saw little violence or similar outbreaks
while it was being settled by Europeans. Later the Fort was a place the Sioux came to from the south, fleeing after the
battle of the Little Big Horne, looking for rest and protection.
Sitting Bull didn’t trust the American treaties and saw Canada as a sanctuary.
The Canadian Government, under pressure from the U.S. to return the Sioux to the reserves in the States, agreed but
Sitting Bull figured there was more Bull in that arrangement than in his name, so he wouldn’t budge. Again it was the
Mounties that persuaded him to return. Because of the trust built between them the Sioux, accepted the advice of the
Mounties, returned to the States peaceably only to find more treachery than any of them could have imagined. You
might even say, by convincing the Sioux to return, the Mounties avoided an almost certain showdown war between
Canada and the States that neither side really wanted to have or could afford.
I’m going to hang in ‘till the weather changes and visit Farrell’s whiskey trading post down here in
“ Whoop up Country”. I’ll get the news and views about the “Massacree” and send them on to you later over the new
telegraph wires I see hanging from the poles. Whoa Nelly, what will they think of next?