Stories Gather around the campfire

HISTORY OF THE NORTH WEST MOUNTED POLICE "A Campfire Story"

November 1872, a band of 65 Assiniboine under the leadership of Little Soldier, left Sounding Lake in a southerly direction for Cypress Hills. Famine plagued their small band of Assiniboine. The buffalo herds, once numbering at 83 million, were on the brink of eradication, due to the influx of white settlers and fur traders. A people, once reliant on the vast Buffalo herds for sustenance, were reduced to rations that they may receive at Fort Whoop-up, just North of the USA border.

A deadly fate was waiting for this Assiniboine Band. About the same time, a posse was forming in Great Falls, Montana, USA. Fifteen armed men, under the command of the Sheriff and his Deputy, headed Northward in pursuit of a band of Indians, who supposedly stole two horses from a local rancher in Montana. At the time, the west was infested with wolf hunters and whiskey traders, crossing the international border unmolested and often.

Glenbow Archive NA-2446-12 Paul First Nation

Within weeks, the Assiniboine band arrived at the Fort and made camp at the perimeter. Some time during the night, the posse arrived at the Fort, and drank through the night. Early the following morning, 15 armed Americans under command of the Sheriff and his Deputy, accosted the Assiniboine band, accused them of horse thievery, and searched the camp. Finding nothing the Americans returned to the Fort and continued drinking well into the night.

Glenbow Archives NA-1602-5 Paul First Nation

Early the next morning, the Americans found that two horses were missing, and again accosted the Assiniboine. The Chief, Little Soldier offered to send a couple