The Royal North-West Mounted Police
Chapter VI


UNDER SIR JOHN AGAIN

The Mounted Police Placed under the Department op the Interior—Experimental Farming by the Force—Lieut.-Col. A. G. Irvine Succeeds Lieut.-Col. Macleod as Commissioner— Difficulties with the Indians in the Southern part of the Territories — Tribes Induced to Leave the Dancer Zone near the International Frontier—The Establishment of the Force Increased by Two Hundred Men.

OCTOBER 16, 1878, the Mackenzie Government having sustained defeat at the general elections, resigned, and the following day Sir John A. Macdonald formed a new cabinet, taking himself the portfolio of the Department of the Interior. That the great statesman still retained a keen personal interest in the North-West Mounted Police was soon shown, for no later than the month of November, the charge of the North-West Mounted Police was transferred to the Department of the Interior, from the Department of the Secretary of State. After this change the several branches through which the operations of the Department of the Interior were conducted stood as follows:—North-West Territories, District of Keewatin, Indians and Indian Lands, Dominion Lands, Geological Survey and North-West Mounted Police.

In his annual report for 1879, Lieut.-Col. Macleod, the Commissioner stated:

"It will be learned with satisfaction that the considerable influx of population into the North-West Territories, to which I had the honour to direct attention in my last report, has very greatly increased during the past twelve months, and the coming season promises results far beyond anything which has so far been experienced. The Pembina Mountain, Rock Lake, Little Saskatchewan and Prince Albert Districts, to which the greater proportion of the immigration of 1878 was directed, are so rapidly becoming occupied that the stream of settlement is finding for itself new courses, notably in the Bird's Tail ('reek district, and south-easterly of Fort Ellice, westerly of the Little Saskatchewan, and in the country south of the Assiniboine, in and near the valley of the Souris River ; also in the neighborhood of the Turtle Mountains, which extend along the International Boundary from 40 to 60 miles beyond the Province of Manitoba. Attention is also being directed to the subject of stockraising, for which that section of the Territories lying along the easterly base and slopes of the Rocky Mountains is said to offer unusual facilities, in the way both of shelter and pasturage, cattle being able to subsist in the open air during the whole winter, and being found in good condition in the spring. A number of people are already engaged in the pursuit of this industry, and with so much success that there is every probability of its further development by gentlemen of experience in stock-farming and possessed of large capital, both from Great Britain and the older Provinces."

The officers in charge of posts at the end of the year 1879, were Superintendent W. 1). Jarvis, Saskatchewan; Supt. J. Walker, Battleford; Supt. W. H. Herchmer, Shoal Lake; Supt. J. M. Walsh, Wood Mountain; Supt. L. X. F. Crozier, Fort Walsh; and Supt. Wm. Winder, Fort Macleod.

Surgeons Kittson and Kennedy were in medical charge at Forts \\ alsh and Macleod respectively.

The Commissioner recommended that as soon as practicable in the spring, there be a redistribution of the force as follows:—Fort Macleod, 2 divisions; Fort Walsh, 2 divisions; Fort Qu'Appelle, 1 division; Fort Saskatchewan and Battleford, 1 division, with such outposts as may be thought necessary. The Commissioner considered it advisable on account of the large number of Indians who would undoubtedly flock back in the spring to both the Cypress Hills and the Bow River country, that the force mentioned should be kept at these posts. It was felt that it would be some time before these people could be settled down on their reserves, and there would be a great deal of trouble making them do so.


Lieut.-Colonel A. G. Irvine, Commissioner of the Norm-West Mounted Police—
1880— 1886.

At all the Indian payments in the North-West, in 1870, the officers and men of the Police took over and attended to the distribution of the supplies and at all places in Treaties No*. 0 and 7, with the exception of Sounding Lake, Battleford and Port Pitt, they performed the duties of paymasters. In accordance with instructions received from the Department, an escort from Fort Walsh of two officers and 30 men proceeded to and attended the payments at Qu'Appelle under Superintendent Crozier, and another from the same post, consisting of one officer and fifteen men, under Inspector Dickens, attended the payments at Sounding Lake, supplementing another escort from Battleford under Inspector French; and another escort, consisting of one officer and fifteen men, under the command of Inspector Cotton, accompanied the Right Reverend Abbott Martin to Wood Mountain on an unsuccessful mission to Sitting Bull and his Sioux on behalf of the United States Government.

In addition to their other multitudinous duties, the Mounted Police in 1879 undertook farming operations of an experimental and extended character in Southern Alberta. The Commissioner reported:—

"Farming operations on the Police Farm about 30 miles from Fort Macleod have been carried on with great success for a first year's trial. I am satisfied that next year they will yield as good returns as Inspector Shurtliff expects. The farm is beautifully situated, the soil is excellent, and it only requires the earnest attention of those who have to do with it to make it a success in every way."

Lieut.-Col. Macleod during the year held several civil courts, both at Fort Walsh and Macleod, claims for over eight thousand dollars having been entered and adjudicated upon. In order to visit the different posts, and carry out the duties he was instructed to perform, the Commissioner travelled in waggons and on horseback over two thousand three hundred miles.

Owing to the complete failure of the buffalo hunt in 1879 there was a famine among the Southern Alberta Indians, and the police at Fort Macleod and other posts were taxed to their utmost resources in affording relief. Messengers and deputations from Crowfoot were constantly arriving, asking assistance and reporting the dying condition, and even deaths, of many of the Blackfeet and allied tribes from starvation. Superintendent Winder, in command at Fort Macleod despatched Inspectors Mcllree and Frechette, at different intervals to the camp ai the Blackfoot Crossing, with such provisions as he was able to get, to the relief of the Indians, ami to the extent he was able to spare from his limited quantity of stores; at one tune the police stores at Macleod were reduced down to six bags of flour on hand. At this time (.June) from 1.200 to 1 ,500 Indians (Bloods, Peigans and Sureees), encamped around the Pent, were being fed, and later on as many as 7,000 men, women and children, all in a destitute condition, applied for relief. Beef and flour were distributed every other day m small quantities to each family. The Superintendent, himself always attended at this distribution, in order that *f any Indian complained of not receiving his portion he could settle the difficulty.

In this he was assisted by the officers, non-commissioned officers and men. This continued until after the payments were made, in October, when the majority of the Indians left for the Milk River country, south of the boundary line, in quest of buffalo.

At this time the officers of the various posts found the actual duties so exacting that they were unable to spare the time for the training of the men that they would have liked. For instance in his report dated Fort Walsh, December 29, 1879, Superintendent Crozier wrote:

"I have the honor to inform you that the force at this fort, considering the great amount of detachment, escort and other duty during the summer, and continually being done, is, as regards their drill and knowledge of general duties, efficient. It will be understood that it is quite impossible to take raw recruits and in a few months, while, at the same time, doing all the various duties they may be called upon to do, bring them to a state of perfection. The recruits have not had the instruction in equitation that I should have wished, had their other duties not been so heavy. In my opinion, it would tend greatly to the efficiency of the force if a depot for the training and instruction of recruits was established where they would remain for a stated time, solely for that purpose, before being allowed to do general duty. Such an establishment would, I consider, now that the term of service is five years, be much more feasible than when three years was the term."

The distribution of the force this year (1879) was as follows:—

"A" Division, Fort Saskatchewan; "B" Division, Fort Walsh and Outposts; "C" Division, Fort Macleod; "I)" Division, Shoal Lake and Outpost; "E" Division, Forts Macleod and Calgary; "F" Division, Battleford.

Several, now important outposts, were established this year and the preceding one. The Prince Albert post was established as an outpost of Battleford early in the winter of 1878, principally to look after the wandering bands of Minnesota Treaty Sioux Indians, who were said to be causing annoyance to the settlers by petty pilfering, etc., but after the arrival of the police not a single case of pilfering was charged against them.

In February, 1879, Supt. Walker, in command at Battleford, received intelligence that Chief Beardv of Duck Lake and his band of Indians, had threatened several times to break into Stobart, Eden Co's store and help themselves to the Indian stores there. Complaints from the settlers of that neighbourhood were also sent to Lieutenant-Governor Laird. After consulting with His Honour, the police authorities decided that it would be expedient to station a few policemen at Duck Lake for a time.

The barrack accommodation was generally bad. For instance Superintendent Walker reported as follows as to the Battleford barracks on December 19: —"The Battleford barracks are just as you saw them last summer, except that they were all mudded over when the cold weather set in. They are still very uncomfortable; we are now burning from four to five cords of wood per day, and it is only by keeping on fires night and day that the buildings are made habitable. This morning, with the thermometer 37° below-zero, water was frozen on the top of the stove in my bedroom, notwithstanding there was sufficient fire in the stove to start the morning fire."


Superintendent James Walker, now a leading- resident of Calgary.

Lieut.-Col. J. F. Macleod, C.M.G., Commissioner of the force, having been re-appointed a Stipendiary Magistrate for the North-West, on the 1st of November, 1880, resumed the duties connected with that position, the district assigned to him being the southern and south-western section of the Territories, with residence at Fort Macleod. Lieut.-Col. A. G. Irvine, an officer of ability and experience, who had, since 1877, been Assistant Commissioner, was promoted to the com-command of the force.

Lieutenant-Colonel Acheson Gosford Irvine was the youngest son of the late Lieut.-Col. Irvine of Quebec, Principal A.D.C. to the Governor-General of Canada, and grandson of the Honourable James Irvine, for many years a member of the Executive and Legislative Councils of Lower Canada. He was an active member of the Militia of the Province of Quebec, and obtained high certificates of qualification at the old Military School held in Montreal. He took part in Wolseley's expedition to the Red River in 1870 as Major of the 2nd (or Quebec) Battalion of Rifles, with such distinction, that he was selected for the command of the permanent force of a battalion of infantry and a battery of artillery selected for service in Manitoba, retaining that command with universal acceptance until the reduction of the force after the organization of the North-West Mounted Police, and being transferred to that body as Assistant Commissioner. While ,n command of the permanent force in Manitoba. Lieut.-Colonel Irvine commanded the force of permanent troops and Manitoba volunteers which proceeded to the United States frontier on active service at the time of the Fenian incursion in 1871.

The most amicable relations continue to exist between the police and the Indians, and manifestations increased of growing confidence and good feeling on the part of the latter. Although at this period partially relieved of the responsibility of making treaty payments owing to the appointment of officials in the direct service of the Indian Department, service in the way of furnishing escorts to persons charged with the conveyance of the treaty money, and in assisting the agents during its disbursement, was frequent.

Shortly after his appointment, the new Commissioner recommended that the pay of non-commissioned officers and men be increased by length of service, in cases where such service had been in all respects satisfactory. This, he felt, would take the place of good conduct pay in the British service, and would, he thought, prove a strong incentive towards inducing men to conduct themselves properly during their term of service, which under existing regulations was of considerable length, five years; more particularly as free grants of land hail ceased to be any longer given .n recognition of good service.

The distribution of the force at the end of the year 1881 was as follows:—

"A" Division—Fort Walsh—1 Superintendent, 1 Inspector, 3 Sergeants, 1 Corporal, 22 Constables.

"B" Division—Fort Walsh—1 Superintendent, 13 Constables. Qu'Appelle—1 Superintendent, 1 Inspector, 3 Staff Sergeants, 4 Sergeants, 1 Corporal. 37 Constables Shoal Lake—3 Constables. I Sergeant. Swan R ver—1 Inspector, 2 Constables.

"C" Division—Fort Macleod—1 Superintendent. 2 Inspectors, 3 Sergeants, 2 Corporals. 25 Constables. Blackfoot Crossing—1 Inspector, 1 Sergeant, I Corporal, 12 Constables. Calgary—1 Sergeant, 1 Corporal. 6 Constables. Macleod (Farm)—1 Inspector, 4 Constables. Blood Indian Reserve—1 Corporal, 1 Constable.

"D" Division—Battleford—1 Staff Officer, 1 Superintendent, 1 Inspector, 1 Staff Sergeant, 2 Sergeants, 5 Corporals, 32 Constables. Saskatchewan—1 Inspector, 2 Sergeants, 9 Constables. Prince Albert—1 Sergeant, 1 Constable. Fort Walsh—1 Inspector, 2 Sergeants, 2 Corporals, 29 Constables.

"E" Division—Fort Walsh—1 Inspector, 2 Sergeants. 2 Corporals, 29 Constables.

"F" Division—Fort Walsh—2 Staff Oflicers. § Staff Sergeants, 1 Corporal, 12 Constables. Wood Mountain—1 Inspector, 2 Staff Sergeants, 1 Sergeant, 1 Corporal, 15 Constables. Total 293.

In the reports of the officers commanding posts for 1880. several important facts were noted. Superintendent W. D. Jarvis at Fort Macleod, reported that until the end of October he had not enough men to carry on the ordinary barrack duties. Nevertheless, the fewr he had worked most creditably, and did severe duty without complaint. He found the horses of "C" Division nearly worked out, and, with the customary ration of oats, it was impossible to get them into or keep them in condition. The stables w ere destroy ed by fire on the 5th December. A few horses were after that event billeted in the village, the remainder being herded on Willow Creek, about three miles from the post, and were doing as well as could be expected for horses in low condition. Superintendent Jarvis particularly called attention to the soldier-like behaviour of a detachment of thirty men under Inspector Denny, who were obliged to ride to Fort Calgary and back, a distance of 200 miles, in the depth of winter, without tents or any of the usual comforts of a soldier on the line of inarch. The total amount of customs duty collected at Macleod by the police for the year 1880 amounted to $15,433.38. There had been fifteen cases tried by police officers, besides those brought before the resident Stipendiary Magistrate. Sixty gallons of smuggled whiskey had been seized and destroyed.

Superintendent W. IF Herchmer, who had taken over the Battleford command had made some changes in the disposition of his force.

At Prince Albert, lie found that the quarters occupied by the men were totally unsuited to requirements, several families occupying the same building, which was horribly cold, and the stabling miserable. The Superintendent succeeded in renting desirable premises, thoroughly convenient as to situation and accommodation for men horses and stores, and easily heated, and moved the detachment in. He also removed the detachment from Duck Lake to Prince Albert for the reason that the quarters occupied were required by the owners, and no other building was attainable; also because the reason for which the detachment was sent there no longer existed, as the Indians of that neighbourhood were showing a desire to be peaceable,—this change being a result of the lesson taught them the previous summer.

In the execution of duty during the year, Superintendent Herchmer had travelled over 4,000 miles, and Inspector Antrobus, 2,000.

In 1881, the police had considerable trouble, and only by the exercise of diplomacy, firmness and great courage, avoided much more serious trouble, on account of Canadian Indians stealing horses in the United States and bringing them across the lines. Superintendent Crozier at Wood Mountain was informed that a party of the Canadian Bloods had just returned to the reserve from a successful horse raid in Montana.

Immediately he sent a party to the Blood Reserve, recovered sixteen head of horses and two colts, and arrested eight Indians who had been implicated in stealing the property in Montana and bringing it into Canadian territory. On the return of this party from the Blood Reserve, Crozier sent another one to the mouth of the Little Bow River; that succeeded in capturing another Indian and recovering two more head of horses.

Another horse was also procured, making 19 in all, that had been feloniously stolen in the United States. The Court, taking into consideration that no Indians had heretofore been punished for this offence, and that what they had done was not considered by them a crime, deferred sentence, and, after a caution, allowed the prisoners their liberty.

Major Crozier pointed out—"If the Legislature of Montana could be induced to pass a law similar to the one we have, not only would the bringing to justice of horse-thieves on both sides of the line be greatly facilitated, but the existence of such a law in both countries would doubtless have the effect of putting an end to horse-stealing to a very great extent. I would suggest that immediate steps be taken by our Government to bring to the notice of the proper authorities in Montana the existence of this law in Canada, and the advisability of the Legislature of that territory enacting a reciprocal measure."

In order to afford further proof of the trouble taken by the police in the recovery of property, stolen by Canadian Indians south of the line, it might be mentioned that, in June the same year the officer commanding at Fort Macleod reported that several Montana ranchmen arrived at that place in search of horses, alleged to have been stolen in the United States by Blood Indians. In order to recover, as far as possible, the stolen property, an officer and party were sent to the Blood reservations. The account of the duty performed is shown in the following extract of a letter from Inspector Dickens, who commanded the party. From this it will be observed, that a portion of the stolen property was recovered, but not without trouble and personal risk.

"I have the honour to report that in obedience to orders I proceeded on the first instant to the Blood Reservation to search for horses stolen from American citizens on the other side of the line. I was accompanied by Sergeant Spicer, Constable Callaghan and the American citizens. On arriving at the reservation, I had an interview with ' Red Crow,' the chief, and explained to him that it would be better for his young men to give up the horses, so as to avoid further trouble, and he said he would do his best to have the horses returned; but he did not appear to have much control over the Indians, who were very loth to give up the stolen horses. Eventually, I recovered fourteen horses, which were identified by the Americans, and placed them in a corral. While we were waiting near the agency for another horse which an Indian had promised to bring in, a minor chief, ' Many Spotted Horses' appeared and commenced a violent speech, calling upon the Indians not to give up the horses, and abused the party generally. I refused to talk with him and he eventually retired. I went over to Rev. Mr. Trivett's house for a few minutes, and on returning was told that an Indian who goes by the name of 'Joe Healy' had said that one of the Americans had stolen all ' Bull Back Fats' horses last winter and had set the camp on foot. This the American denied, but the Indians became violent and began to use threatening language. The American went up to the corral, and ' White Cap' who had just come in, collected a body of Indians who commenced howling and yelling and started off to seize the Americans. It was impossible at the time to get a word in, so I started in front of the Indians towards the corral, and shouted to the party to mount their horses and to be ready to start in order to avoid disturbance. 1 mounted my horse and placed myself in the road between the party and the Indians, who began to hesitate. Sergeant Spicer, who was behind the crowd, called out that he wished to speak to them for a few minutes, and seeing the party all mounted, I rode back and met the Sergeant coming out of the crowd of Indians, who became quieter but who were still very sulky. No more horses being forthcoming, we collected the band and rode out of the camp. I thought it best to get both men and horses as far away from the reservation as possible that night; and after supping at Fred Watcher's ranch, we started for Fort Macleod, and although 1 heard a report that a war party, had gone down the Kootenay River to intercept our passage, we forded the river safely and reached Fort Macleod without being molested.

"I took care when I first went into the camp to explain to the Indians from whom I took horses, that if they had am claim on the horses or any cause of complaint, they could come into the fort and lay their case before you.

"I was well satisfied with Sergeant Spicer, who showed both coolness and tact."

In January, 1SS2, serious trouble occurred with the Blackfoot Indians on their reserve at the Blackfoot Crossing. This was in connection with the arrest of a prisoner, named "Bull Elk", a Blackfoot Indian, on the charge of shooting with intent to kill; the Indians endeavouring to offer resistance to the detachment first sent out to make the arrest. Prompt steps were, however, taken by the officer commanding at Macleod, Superintendent Crozier, who himself proceeded with every available man at his command to reinforce the detachment at the Blackfoot Crossing. "Bull Elk" was arrested and committed for trial, and every precaution taken to meet any resistance that might have been offered by the Indians. It was pointed out to them in the plainest possible manner that law and order were to be carried out, that the police were in the country to do this and that any attempt at resistance on their part would be punished as it deserved. Seeing the determination on the part of the police to carry out the letter of the law. and finding that a determined force was at hand with which to enforce strict obedience and respect, even should it be found necessary to resort to the most extreme measures, the Indians submitted to the arrest of "Bull Elk", being forcibly reminded in so doing that resistance on their part would not be tolerated for a moment, or in any way allowed to interfere with the impartial administration of justice, in the case of Indians and white men alike.

At this time the Commissioner deemed it advisable to reinforce the strength of Fort Macleod by thirty non-commissioned officers and men lie therefore ordered a detachment of that number to proceed from Fort Walsh to Fort Macleod with all possible despatch.

In his report of the original trouble, Inspector Dickens, in command of the detachment at the Blackfoot Crossing, stated that, when on January 2nd. Charles Daly of the Indian Department reported that "Bull Elk" had fired at him. he (Inspector Dickens) went over and arrested the man.

and took him over to the post. A crowd of Indians followed, all very excited. While the Inspector was enquiring into the case, a large body of Indians gathered from various quarters and gradually hemmed in the men who were placed outside to keep them back, and others surrounded the stables, and were posted along the roads. The police were at once cut off from water and from the store-house, the number of Indians increasing as they began to arrive from the camps. Dickens sent for Crowfoot. He arrived with the other chiefs. He said that he knew "Bull Elk" was innocent, that some of the white men had treated the Indians like dogs. He begged that "Bull Elk" might not be sent into Macleod. After a long talk it was evident that the Indians were determined to prevent the prisoner being taken out. It was impossible to get a horse saddled to make a road through the throng. Crowfoot said that he would hold himself responsible for the appearance of the prisoner, if the Stipendiary Magistrate or some magistrate came to try the case. As it was utterly impossible to get the prisoner to Macleod owing to the roads being completely blockaded, Dickens told Crowfoot that lie would let him take charge of the prisoner if he promised to produce him when required. This he said he would do, and the Inspector let him take the prisoner. The agent said he never saw the Indians in such a state before.

Superintendent Crozier's official report shows how critical the situation at this time was. lie arrived at the Blackfoot Crossing on the evening of January the 6th, having travelled day and night.

On the following morning he proceeded with the interpreter to that part of the camp in which the prisoner "Bull Elk" was, and brought him from the camp to the quarters occupied by the police, where the Superintendent, at once, as a magistrate, commenced the preliminary examination of witnesses as to the matter of the shooting by the prisoner. The Superintendent found sufficient evidence to warrant him in committing the prisoner for trial, and upon the evening of the second day, left the Blackfoot Crossing with the prisoner and escort for Macleod. and arrived there on the evening of the 16th. The Indians had been greatly excited. Upon Crozier's arrival at the Blackfoot Crossing, Inspector Dickens reported to him that the Indians were then quiet "but" said lie, "they are only waiting for an attempt to be made to take the prisoner from them and they will certainly resist." Crozier. therefore concluded to place the building in a state of defence, as he had determined to arrest the offender, and, having done so, to hold him, even if it were necessary to resort to extreme measures. By eleven o'clock on the morning after his arrival, the place was so defended that it would scarcely have been possible for any number of Indians to take it, and, besides, the Superintendent had, in the same buildings, protected the horses and the supplies of the police and Indian Department, and had arranged to procure a supply of water for both men and horses within the same building.

Before leaving Fort Macleod he left orders for all available horses to be sent from the farm, to have the guns in readiness, and upon the receipt of word to that effect from him, to proceed forthwith to the Crossing. Dickens, it should be stated, had diplomatically allowed the prisoner his liberty temporarily, upon Crowfoot saying he would be responsible that he would be forthcoming when required.

On the adjournment at the conclusion of the first day of the preliminary examination, Crowfoot again asked that the prisoner be allowed to accompany him to his lodge. This request Crozier positively refused to accede to. After some considerable time, seeing the police officer was determined not to give in, Crowfoot and his people dispersed. Superintendent Crozier held the prisoner in custody at the Crossing for one night and a day, and upon the evening of the 8th, left with him under escort for Fort Macleod. The prisoner was tried before the Stipendiary Magistrate and underwent imprisonment for his offence in the guard room at Macleod. He was a minor chief of the Blackfeet.

The immediate cause of the difficulty seems to have been an altercation between the prisoner and a white man employed on the reserve by the beef contractors.

The Indians were evidently greatly impressed with the preparations Crozier had made. Crowfoot asked him if he intended to fight, and the Superintendent replied "Certainly not, unless you commence". He also explained to the chief, as had often been done before, that the police had gone into the country to maintain law and order, that if a man broke the law he must be arrested and punished. Crozier asked him then if he, as a chief of the Blackfoot nation, intended to assist him in doing his duty, or if he intended to encourage the people to resist. The Superintendent further said: "If I find sufficient evidence against the prisoner to warrant me in so doing, I intend to take the prisoner to Fort Macleod, and when I announce my intention of so doing I expect you to make a speech to your people, saying I have done right."

Crowfoot did not answer, beyond making excuses for the manner in which his people had acted a few days before. However, at the conclusion of the examination of witnesses, Crozier told them all that the prisoner was going to be taken to Fort Macleod.

Crowfoot did then speak to them in his usual vigorous manner, endorsing perfectly what the police had done, and had decided upon doing. He and the other Indians by this time saw that Crozier was determined to carry out any line of action that he saw fit to commence.

The reinforcements that had arrived from Fort Macleod in so short a time had astonished and awed the Indians. For these reasons, the chiefs and people were willing to listen to reason, and did so.

On the first of May, 1881, before the arrival of the recruits, Big Bear (then a non-treaty chief) reached Fort Walsh. He came in ahead of his followers, all of whom, numbering some 130 lodges, were, he informed Col. Irvine, en route. The Commissioner at once told this chief, that he did not wish his people to come in the vicinity of the fort, and also that he would receive no aid from the Government. The Commissioner directed him to a place known as the "Lake", where they could subsist by fishing.

This Big Bear did, and for some time Col. Irvine heard nothing further from him. Later on, however, he received information that councils were being held daily in the Indian camp, and further that the result of these councils was that Big Bear and his followers had decided to visit Fort Walsh, make exorbitant demands for provisions, and in case of their being refused, to help themselves. Colonel Irvine considered it advisable, thereupon, to move all the Indian supplies inside the fort. These supplies had previously been stored inside a building in the village rented by the Indian Department. He also took over the ammunition of T. C. Power & Bros., the only traders at Fort Walsh, and placed it in the police magazine. The Commissioner confined all the men to barracks, had the 7 pounder mountain guns placed in position in the bastions, and made all arrangements to have the force at his command ready for any emergency. On the 14th, Big Bear with 150 bucks, all armed, arrived at the fort. By runners going to his camp, Big Bear was kept informed of the action that had been taken; the effect no doubt was salutary. Demands made for ammunition during the council with Col. Irvine were refused, and there is no doubt that Col. Irvine's treatment of Big Bear at this time had a most satisfactory effect, showing him, that he as a non-treaty Indian would not obtain assistance from the Government, and that any attempt of his to obtain such by force must prove entirely futile.

On the 4th May, 1882, Inspector Macdonell, the officer commanding at Wood Mountain, received a report from Mr. Legarrie, trader, who had just returned from Fort Buford, U.S., in which Inspector Macdonell was informed that on the evening of the 28th April, while Legarrie was encamped en route to Wood .Mountain, a war party of thirty-two Crees appeared and made demands for provisions.

Mr. Legarrie had with him a half-breed and a Sioux Indian. He and these men gave the war party food. Shortly afterwards they took articles from the carts bv force, and threatened the lives of his party. During the night Mr. Legarrie heard the Indians in council arranging to kiJl him and the Teton Sioux. Towards morning another council was held, when it was ascertained that the Indians were composed of two parties, one from Cypress Hills, the other from Wood Mountain. The Cypress Hills party wished that what had been


Superintendent Macdonell.

arranged should be carried into effect at once, lint the arrangements were changed, and it was decided to allow Legarrie and his party, who had previously been disarmed, to "eat once more" before killing them. When daylight came, Legarrie commenced preparations for a start. The scene following he describes as being a terrible one, the Indians having taken possession of the carts. Legarrie expected every moment to be killed, the noise was fearful, some crying for the scalps of the whole party, others only wishing to k„!l the Teton Indian.

Two attempts at firing were made, but fortunately the gun* missed fire in both cases. All became so confused that the Indians were afraid of killing their own friends. Finally Legarrie succeeded in buying off the lives of his men, the war party being allowed to take what they liked and Legarrie's party to go, after having had his carts pillaged, by the taking of blankets, rifles, ammunition, etc.

Immediately on the receipt of the information, Inspector Macdonell despatched messengers to all the half-breeds and friendly Indians' camps within a radius of 20 miles of his post, instructing them to keep a watch for this war party, and to immediately inform him if any trace was seen, promising that unless the)' were captured, permanent quiet would not be established in his district as the same party had given continual annoyance during the spring. He therefore determined to make an arrest at any cost. Shortly after, a half-breed, who resided 15 miles east of the post, reported to Inspector Macdonell that on the previous evening he had. while herding horses, come suddenly upon a war party of eight Indians on foot, all having lariats (a sure sign that they were on a horse stealing expedition). This war party admitted they were going to steal horses, but promised to touch none belonging to the half-breed. From the description gi\en of the Indians who had attacked Legarrie, the half-breed assumed that they belonged to the same war party.

Inspector .Macdonell immediately mounted every man of his command available, and in company with Legarrie, whom he had sent for to identify the Indians, he started to make the arrest. He travelled in the direction of a half-breed camp, 15 miles from the post in which direction the Indians had gone. On arriving within a quarter of a mile of the camp, a scout was sent in to gather information. The scout told the camp that he was in search of four horses stolen from Wood Mountain, but he was told that they were not there as eight Crees had just come in on foot. Inspector Macdonell immediately pushed on to the camp, which was composed of about 45 lodges. On reaching the camp he found a large crowd collected, and all the doors of the lodges closed, and on asking for the Cree Indians, their presence in the camp was denied.

The crowded camp appeared very sulky and averse to his searching the lodges, one half-breed m particular who spoke a little English, showed much opposition. Tins man Inspector Macdonell covered with his revolver. This had the effect of cowing the crowd, and lodges were pointed out where seven Crees were found. These were arrested and disarmed, and a demand made for the remaining Indian, who was at last given up. The prisoners were then conveyed to Wood Mountain Post. On the next day an examination was held by Inspector Macdonell who committed them for trial, and afterwards conveyed them to Qu'Appelle where they were tried and found guilty by the Stipendiary Magistrate.

All possible aid has been invariably given by the police towards the recovery and return to their legitimate owners of horses and mules stolen and brought into Canadian territory from the United States. The efforts in this respect in 1882 were accompanied by marked success.

During the month of May, of that year, a United States citizen from the Maria's River. Montana, arrived at Fort Walsh. He gave a description of 11 horses which he believed had been stolen from him by our Indians. A party of police was sent out to the various


Superintendent A. H. Griesbach.

camps and succeeded in recovering and handing over all the horses stolen, taking care that no expense was incurred by the man who had suffered the loss.

At Qu'Appelle, 9 horses and 6 mules, which had been stolen from Fort Buford, U.S.A., were recovered by Inspector Griesbach-of "B" Division, and returned to Messrs. Leighton, Jordon & Co., their owners, 1st Jan., 1883.

The United States military authorities in all such cases aided the police as far as lay in their power, which was more limited than that of the police.

General Sheridan, of the United States Army, in his annual report for 1882, mentioned the amicable relations which existed between the United States troops and the Mounted Police Force, which, he said, "goes far in ensuring quiet along the boundary line."

On the 29th of May, 1882, a party of some 200 Blood Indians arrived at Fort Walsh from their reservation near Fort Macleod. These 200 men were well mounted and fully equipped as a war party, all armed with Winchester repeating rifles and a large supply of ammunition. On arrival they went at once to the officer in command and reported that the Crees had stolen some forty head of horses from them, and had been stealing all winter. The object of their visit was to recover their stolen horses from the Crees, their intention being to go on to the Cree cam]) at. "The Lake" east of Fort Walsh. Feeling assured that, if this was done, serious trouble would ensue, Supt. Crozier told the Bloods he would not allow this, promising that he would send an officer and party, with a small number of their representative men, to the Cree camp, and that if their horses wen1 there they would be returned to them. To this the Indians agreed. Superintendent Crozier detailed Inspector Frechette for the duty; six Blood Indians accompanied him to the Cree camp.

This officer returned on the following day with three horses belonging to the Bloods. Crozier was satisfied that, with the exception of two other horses, which were afterwards returned by the Crees, the horses the Bloods had lost were stolen by United States Indians.

This same year efforts were made to induce several tribes to move from the dangerous vicinity of the U. S. boundary to reserves selected for them in the north, where, the buffalo having disappeared from the plains, the hunting was better.

Soon after Col. Irvine's arrival at Fort Walsh in April, 1882, he commenced holding daily councils with the Indians (Crees and Assiniboines) .with a view of persuading them to move northward to settle upon the new reservations.

On the 23rd of June "Pie-a-pot", with some five hundred followers, left Fort Walsh for Qu'Appelle. A delay that arose from the time of " Pie-a-pot's" promise to go on his new reservation until the time of his departure from Fort Walsh, did not reflect discredit upon this chief, as regards any inclination on his part to act otherwise than in perfect good faith, but was purely owing to the lack of ability of the police to aid him in transport. Such aid was imperative, as the Indians were wretchedly poor and without horses. Considerable influence from different surreptitious quarters was brought to bear with the view of inducing the Indians to remain in the southern district, the object of course, being that they should receive their annuities at Fort Walsh, and thus secure the expenditure of the treaty money on that section of the country. Even United States traders from Montana clandestinely visited the Indian camps with the same project in view.

As far as practicable Col. Irvine transported them with police horses and waggons. In "Pie-a-pot's" case he sent four waggons, with a strong escort of police. A portion of the escort, with one waggon, went through to Qu'Appelle; the remainder of the •escort and waggons returned from "Old Wives' Lake", where they were met by transport sent from Qu'Appelle by the Indian Department.

At the time of "Pie-a-pot's" departure from Fort Walsh, the Cree chief, "Big Bear" (non-treaty Indian), "Lucky Man", 'and "Little Pine", with about 200 lodges, finding that Col. Irvine would not assist them in any way unless they went north, started from Fort Walsh to the plains in a southerly direction. These chiefs informed Col. Irvine that their intention was to take "a turn" on the plains in quest of buffalo, and after their hunt to go north. They added that they did not intend crossing the international boundary hue,—a statement which he considered questionable at the time. Colonel Irvine, therefore, at the request of the officer commanding the United States troops at Fort Assiniboine, informed the United States authorities of the departure of these chiefs. The Americans m expressing their thanks were much gratified with the information imparted. If but few did cross the line, they were deterred only by fear of punishment by United States troops, who had formed a large summer camp at the big bend of the Milk River.

At the time of the departure of these chiefs from Fort Walsh. Col. Irvine told them that the United States Government was opposed to their crossing the line, and stated in a clear and positive manner that any punishment which might be inflicted upon them by the United States troops could only be regarded as the result of their own stubborn folly, in not acting upon the advice of the Canadian Government, given purely in the interest of the Indians themselves.

On December 8th, "Big Bear" and his followers, who had not vet entered into a treaty, accompanied by several treaty chiefs and Indians, went formally to Colonel Irvine's quarters, and after having spent the afternoon and evening in going over the details of previous interviews, he signed the treaty \o. 0. which it will be recalled was made at Forts Carlton and Pitt, which was the section of country to which Big Bear really belonged. His announced intention at the time of signing was to go to Fort Pitt with his entire followers in the spring and settle upon the reservation allotted him.

Big Bear was the only remaining chief in the North-West Territory who had not made a friendly treaty with the Canadian Government, in the surrendering of his and his people's rights as Indians, by the acceptance of annuities and reserves, the occurrence consequently being considered an opportune one, concluding as it did, the final treaty with the last of the many Indian tribes in the Territories. Several /ears were to elapse, however, before Big Bear's band redeemed the pledge and settled 011 the allotted reserve.

By the departure of these chiefs, Fort Walsh was entirely rid of Indians.

On account of the increased responsibilities devolving upon the force, owing to the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway and the influx of settlers, authority was given in the early part of the year 1882 for an increase of the force by two hundred men.

In consequence of this increase of the force, recruiting was commenced in Toronto, by the late Superintendent McKenzie, at the New Fort. It was originally intended that these recruits should be sent up via Winnipeg, then out to the terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and across country to the various posts where they were required. However, owing to the severe floods m Manitoba, which temporance suspended the railway traffic, as well as the unsettled state of Indian affairs at Fort Walsh, the original intention was changed and the recruits were taken up via Lake Superior and the Northern Pacific Railway to Bismarck. Dakota, where they embarked on the steamer "Red Cloud," and proceeded up the River Missouri to Coal Banks, where they were met by Supeimtendent Mellree with transport, and taken by him to Fort Walsh, distant about 120 miles. They arrived on the 11th June. Superintendent McKenzie, who left Toronto in command of the recruits, was shortly after taken ill and left at Prince Arthur's Landing, where he died in a few days. The command was taken over by Inspector Dowhng. In all, 187 recruits arrived, as well as Surgeon Jukes and Inspector Prevost.

A small number of recruits were also this year engaged at Winnipeg. 37 in all. These recruits were taken on to Qu'Appelle and attached to "B" Division. Later on, 12 more were taken up by1 Inspector Meele. In all 63 recruits arrived at Qu'Appelle.

The total number of recruits posted to the force in 1S82 was 2f)0, of whom 200 were the increase of the force, and (he remainder to till vacancies, discharged men, etc.

The recruits who arrived at Fort Walsh were posted to "A " "C" and "H" Divisions. The larger proportion of these recruits were excellent men, but some, according to the Commissioner's report, were mere lads, physically unfit to perform the services required. Colonel Irvine recommended most strongly that the minimum age at which a recruit be accepted for service be fixed at 21 years of age.

In speaking on this same subject, Surgeon Jukes gave his experience in his annual report in the following words: —"The examination papers given me when I was examining recruits for admission to the force in May last, left me no power to reject men otherwise eligible between the ages of IS and 40 years. This rule applies well to the regular army, where men enlist for a longer period, where the duties ordinarily required are far less severe; but for short periods of service, say 5 years, attended with much exposure, and demanding considerable powers of endurance, the age of IS is too young."


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