Maskagoo (*Muskeego = “Swampy Cree”) Paketahoond (brother-in-law of Peequahkeekan who was the son of Black Robe. This man could be “Puhkiteoon” on the list of “Indian families of Portage la Prairie at the time of the Archdeacon’s arrival.” (Others on the same list are marked here below with an asterisk.) Necannechewan (*Nikanjiwan = “Before The Current”) Capayontang (*Kepeyutungh = “Staying By It Always”) Cahwetawaywetang (on 1872 paylist, but not 1888) Kehtochean Moessons (on both 1872 and 1888 paylists and on the notice on the Church Door) (Moosoos?) Missahkut Ohskennahwaysh Nahcanwawetang Appotoweccecekwap & several other Indians as well as many halfbreeds.
It is interesting to note that apparently knowing the Church Missionary Society was only interested in the evangelization of “Indians”, only “Indians” signed the letter to the Society.
Archdeacon Cockran wrote in support of the petition, “The Indians and settlers have therefore lived in the hope of soon seeing a Missionary placed among them and they have prepared all the timber for a Church and a grist-mill.” A log school building was erected on the north side of the river road, close by a bluff on the banks of the river, where Rev. Cockran had his home. The Archdeacon’s son, the Rev. Thomas Cochrane (he spelled his name differently than did his father) ran the school. Later, a new school was build near the centre of the village. The Portage petition had been opposed by HBC Governor Simpson, on the ground that scattered settlements would make the government of the colony difficult. Others of the “Indian families at Portage la Prairie at the time of the Archdeacon’s arrival” who did not sign the petition were: Pacheeto (Pechito), about whom more will be written later. Atakawinin (“The Gambler”, Pechito’s son) Pinesiopee (“Thunder Water”). The site of his house is now covered by the Portage General Hospital. Kichchiwees (“A Large Tent”) Machihkiwis (“The Evil One”) Keeneswa (“Cut To A Point”) William Peechee (“Something Moving”) Puckakoose Paswain (“Oily”) Manapit (“Ugly Tooth”) Wisikun (“Sour”) Keekooses (“Little Fish”) Oosaochit (“Yellow Anus”) Missisikakoos (“Big Little Skunk”) William Cochrane Kwingwahaka (“Wolverine”) Moosoos (“Moose Calf”) Kihchipines (“The Great Bird”) Ookimawinin (“The Man In Power”) Aindibeyhting (“Sitting Firmly By It”) William Hodgson Weescoop Of these, at least Weescoop and Kichipines (Ketchipenais) were later Treaty members of the Sandy Bay Band.
It was recorded in 1854 that at Cockran’s mission at Portage, “There are at present ten houses in which live 16 families, in number 112 souls, and seven Indian tents, inhabited by ten families, altogether 33 souls. The Indians have their tents nearly all together, the houses of the settlers are some distance from each other, stretching for about three miles along the margin of a kind of lake which Mr. Cochrane calls the ancient channel of the Assiniboine.” The half-breed settlers of Portage “prided themselves in being able to speak to their Saulteaux neighbours in their own language or in the Cree . . . and a knowledge of either of these dialects enabled them to converse readily with the French half-breeds as well.”
An epidemic of diphtheria struck the Portage settlement in the 1850s with disastrous effects on the lives of the children.
Archdeacon Cockran moved permanently to Portage la Prairie in 1857, ending his service at St. Peter’s. At Portage Cockran organized a Council on the model of the Assiniboia Council – a president, a secretary, a magistrate, and two constables.
In 1858, the Archdeacon established a mission school for the Indians at the west end on what was known as the “Mission Farm”. Malcolm Cummings was appointed teacher of the day school, about 65 yards from the brick and stone Indian school later constructed by the government [and which today is Yellow Quill College.] Sunday afternoon services were held there “for the benefit of the Indians”. About thirty Indians attended the service, and an equal number of children attended the day school. A hot meal of barley soup and pemmican may have encouraged attendance.
By this time, Chief Peequahkeekan, Black Robe’s son, had died, and the Hudson’s Bay Company recognized Oozawekean (Yellow Quill) as chief.
Enter Paketayhoond, who said he was Peequakeekan’s brother-in-law (meaning that Paketayhoond was married to Peequakeekan’s sister. Paketayhioond is also writen as “puhkiteoon” meaning “stricken” — he had a hump over his right shoulder blade. Note above that Paketayhoond’s name appears on the 1853 Petition as a member of Archdeacon Cockran’s parish.
According to a letter from Paketayhoond published in the Nor’wester newspaper of May 14, 1860, saying that Andrew M’Dermott of the Hudson’s Bay Company had offered him the chieftainship. Paketayhoond wrote that he had accepted the HBC appointment, providing that a new medal be provided to him as he did not want to take Pequakekan’s away from him. In other words, Paketayhoond was claiming that it was he, not Yellowquill, who was the Chief appointed by the HBC.
According to the St. Mary’s Church records at Portage la Prairie, Paketayhoond died in 1868.
All of this would have an impact on the creation of the Long Plain reserve eight years later in 1876.
A historical fast forward.
In response to all the political and demographic changes going on about them in 1867-70, Yellow Quill and his people protected their lands against the influx of Eurocanadian immigrants. When settlers attempted to take over lands southwest of Portage la Prairie at Rat Creek, Yellow Quill and his people drove them off.
As Lt. Gov. Alexander Morris would later write about it, “They asked to be paid $3 per head or $1 per year for the following transactions. In 1868, a number of Ontario farmers had settled on Rat Creek. Yellow Quill’s Band drove them off and trouble was impending. Governor McTavish sent Mr. McKay up to arrange the difficulty in anticipation of the advent of Canadian power. He made a lease for three years of their rights, assuring them that before that time, the Canadian Government would make a Treaty with them and recognize the temporary arrangement, and in consequence, the settlers were unmolested.”
According to an 1869 article in the Toronto Globe, Chief Yellowquill made it known he was “fully expecting that some arrangements will be made with us before the expiration of the three years about our lands.”
As tensions about what was going to happen to as the result of Confederation and settlement activities, on May 30, 1870, Yellow Quill and his Council issued a declaration outlining the First Nation’s position that must be taken into account. James McKay again was sent out to try to calm Yellow Quill’s people. This declaration added to the need that Treaty Commissioners be appointed.
A notice was posted on the door of St. Mary’s Church in Portage la Prairie on December 17, 1870:
“To all whom it may concern: Where as the Indian title to all lands west of the Fifty mile boundary line at High Bluff has not been extinguished & whereas those lands are now being taken up & wood thereon cut off by parties who have no right or title thereto, “I hereby warn all such parties that they are infringing on lands that as yet virtually belong to the Indians and do hereby call on them to desist, on pains of forfeiting their labour. Witness: Fred A. Bird Moosnos, his mark A note in the file explained: “The Chief complains that people come and cut wood without leave and permission and that it is not right. That the woods belong to the Indians, and it seems to them that the people are stealing. That in the smallest bargains, an agreement come to between parties, but here there was none, and he would like to have some understand about it. “The Chief says that most of the tribe are out on the hunting grounds and that he was left in charge, and that it is not right to cut their wood without even consulting them. Yellow Quill’s people again became concerned about the invasion of squatters on their lands. 73 principal men met in Council on May 30, 1871, and sent a resolution to Lieutenant Governor Archibald: “We this day and for the future or until such a time that a treaty be made with us are determined to stand by what we pass at this Council. “It’s true that the Settlers do not look at us in the light they ought to. At this time, we are thinking a great deal of whow they have treated us, & how they are treating us at present. Why we think so much at the present time is, because they come about searching our tents and carrying our people away to other lands, where we think they have no business with us at all. “We resolve at this Council that if any of our people are taken by force from amongst us, that there shall be paid to us the sum of five pounds Sterling for so doing. Also for every day that he is detained we require for him the sum of one pound per day — or if he should be imprisoned, we demand the sum of five pounds per day for every day he is retained in gaol. “Why we pass these resolutions at our council held today is because that we never have yet seen or received anything for the land and the woods that belong to us, and the settlers use to enrich themselves. We might not have felt so hard at the present time [if it were not for] the usage we have received of late. [We] had never received remuneration for the said lands & woods that rightly belong to us, so we feel fully justified in passing these laws amongst ourselves and for our own protection. “We feel sorry to have to express these resolutions at our Council today, but stern necessity compels us to do so. We always thought & wished to be [friendly to] you, bue can now see that you look upon us as children & we feel that you’re treating us the same. “What was said last fall by the Governor we still remember all — we were promised by Governor Archibald that we should be [treated] early this Spring and that there should be a law for the White Man and a law for us, and that we should assist in making that law.” Signed Yellow Quill, Chief Tietepeetung Moosose Shoooub When a spring treaty meeting did not occur, Yellow Quill and his Council on June 14, 1871, posted a notice on the church door in Portage la Prairie, addressed to the pastor, “Joseph Garrioch and public”. It gently warned the settlers their situation was precarious if an agreement with respect to the land they occupied was not concluded with their government. The notice read:
As you have encroached somewhat on our rights, both from one side and the other, we have thought it proper to say a few words.
We are expecting to see something done every day, and therefore we wish nothing to disturb as for the present. This land that you are wanting to take without our permission — don’t you think the government would ask you how did you get it?
Why we speak today is because we are poor, but we still hold the land for our children that will be born afterwards.
When we speak first, we speak softly, but when we speak again, we will speak louder.
We hardly need say that this alludes to an attempt that has been made to claim and occupy lands that does not yet belong to them, for they know that we have not yet received anything for our lands; therefore, they still belong to us.
We now beg of you, one and all, to give us no more trouble until we are spoken to by the person with whom we expect to treat with.
We think well to advise the settlers who are now on claims to keep them and not sell them yet. We don’t say we have already given you these lands, but allow you to remain on them.”
Signed: Yellow Quill I-be-be-pee-tang Zhoo Shou Moose Orise