home page for alittlehistory.com1874 The Mounted Police Tame the Wild Westthe Metis half of the 1885 Northwest Rebellionthe Native half of the 1885 Northwest Rebellion1900-05 Diary of a student and young teacher1908-1920 homesteading experiences and lifestyle1920's farm and community lifestyle1954-56 diary of a boy, before the effects of televisionthe future: extending human 
limitations through 
technology (eg. computers 
and inline skating), 
presenting history with 
applets, a new family 
recreation program, etc.


More Violence in Whoop-Up Country:

Meanwhile, in the early 1870's, the Whoop-Up country lawlessness continued. A short and bitter war broke out between the American wolfers and whiskey traders. The wolfers built Spitzee post for protection. They organized the "Spitzee cavalry" and made plans to drive the traders out of the country. But their efforts failed. They compromised and then continued their usual activities. The whiskey trade continued to flourish, and large profits were made.

Reports of lawlessness, violence, and the damaging effects of whiskey on the Natives reached the Canadian government.

So in 1870 and 1872 official reports were prepared and made to the government. Among other things, the 1872 report said that 88 Blackfeet had died in drunken brawls in the past year. Both reports recommended a well equipped mounted force to police Whoop-Up country. In May of 1873, an Act was prepared by the government to begin putting together a police force.


The Cypress Hills Massacre:

In June of 1873, a group of Wolfers had their horses stolen by some Cree. The Wolfers followed the tracks to the Cyprus hills, but lost the trail. They went to a trading post and began drinking. A band of Assiniboine, who were camped nearby, had traded for whiskey and were also drinking heavily throughout the afternoon.

view of the 
location of the 
Cypress Hills
 Massacre - 172 kb
click to view large color photograph (172 kb).
A view of the location where the Cypress Hills
Massacre took place. A fort is seen left of centre,
and a bridge just to the left of that.
This 1982 photograph was taken at the
Saskatchewan Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park.

massacre site
1982 photograph - 140 kb
click to view color photograph (140 kb).
This is probably the field where
the massacre took place.
Located at the Saskatchewan Cypress
Hills Interprovincial Park.

After one of the whiskey traders claimed he saw his stolen horse near the Native camp, a group went out of the trading post with plans to harass the Natives. They stood in a well protected breast-high coulee which gave a clear view of the Natives. Many of these men were hardened ex-soldiers who believed that killing Natives was justified. At some point shots were fired. Twenty-two Natives died.

Now there was an even greater need for the police force.


  to Part 4: The Mounted Police Head West.


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