Wap-ah-noo or Wabuno (translated as Coming Morning), a Chippewa who was likely Rocky Boy’s father, had been a visionary man and leader when his peoples were still living in the eastern woodlands south and west of Hudson Bay. In an undated manuscript draft entitled “The Chippewa,” the mid-1970s Chippewa-Cree Research Team on the Rocky Reservation identified the Chippewa leader Wabuno, or translated, Coming Morning. This Wabuno was succeeded by Rocky Boy, but does not specify he was Rocky Boy’s father. Tribal Elder James Denny referred to the leader before Rocky Boy as Wap-ah-noo and identified him as Rocky Boy’s father. The similarity between the two spellings and regularity of patrilineal leadership succession in Chippewa and Cree bands strongly supports direct correlation between the two accounts: Coming Morning, Wabuno or Wap-ah-noo, was Rocky Boy’s father and leader of his group of Chippewas on their journey to Montana before Rocky Boy assumed control. Of “Wapano,” Elder Fred H. Huntley, who served as an interpreter regularly for Pennato, Rocky Boy’s brother, stated “he’s an old Chippewa related to Rocky Boy in some way” and confirmed that he had come to Montana from Wisconsin, via Devils Lake, North Dakota.
- James Denny, “About the Beginning of Rocky Boy Reserve,” undated manuscript, 1, RBSA.
- “The Chippewa,” undated manuscript, RBSA.
- Interview with Fred Huntley, May 8, 1975, RBSA.