Chapter 4, Note 53 (pages 81 and 241)

Leaving with as few as sixteen initially, Little Bear was joined by Little Poplar and Lucky Man and their families, and they were immediately pursued by Canadian troops—and suspected of a number of crimes along the way. (p. 81)

Chapter 4, Note 53 . . . for sources and discussion of the rumors surrounding Little Bear’s flight and suspected malfeasance. (p. 241)

 

The Edmonton Bulletin reported on July 18, 1885, “Scouts have traced Little Poplar and a band form near Battleford, and report him on the way to the boundary.”  In advance of their movements word was sent to Fort Shaw, outside of Great Falls, Montana, but the exact timeline of their movements is uncertain.[1]  On June 10, Canadian officials believed that Little Bear and his band had murdered a man on the Saskatchewan River in the process of stealing his boat to cross. This event refocused Canadian pursuit, but they failed to apprehend the Crees. Thereafter, there is still relative ambiguity as to when the camp actually finished their journey and crossed safely south of the 49th parallel.[2] Canadian government officials were still reporting pursuit of fleeing Crees in early July, but the main camp reported by McIvor would have surely crossed the boundary by then. As Michel Hogue postulates, there may have been other groups under pursuit, distinct from the combined camp of Little Bear, Little Poplar, Lucky Man and their families. [3]

[1] Hans Peterson, “Imasees and his Band: Canadian Refugees after the North-West Rebellion,” Western Canadian Journal of Anthropology 8 (1978), 25-26; Great Falls Tribune, July 23, 1885; and Turner, The North-West Mounted Police, 220.

[2] W. Henry McKay, “Lucky Man’s Flight,” Canadian Cattlemen (December, 1948), 137.

[3] Michel Hogue, “Crossing the Line: The Plains Cree in the Canada–United States Borderlands, 1870–1900” (master’s thesis, University of Calgary, 2002), 76n4.

 

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