Poundmaker was born in 1842 near Battleford. His parents died when he was very young, so he was raised by his Plains Cree relatives. We do not know much about his early life. But we do know that he did not gain a reputation as a great hunter or a great warrior.
Poundmaker in 1885.
Instead, he was known for his ability to talk. As a man Poundmaker's greatest asset was that he enjoyed a battle of words. He impressed everyone with his speech which was dignified and seemed to be always well suited to the occasion.
When Poundmaker was a young man, Chief Crowfoot of the Blackfoot came to Poundmaker's camp and adopted him. The adoption created family ties, so it helped to stop the Cree and Blackfoot from fighting each other over the dwindling buffalo herds.
The White public became impressed with Poundmaker. A newspaper reporter wrote: "He is a noble looking Indian.... His eyes are black and piercing. One moment they twinkle merrily at some humorous remark, and the next they flash with fire as something is said that is not agreeable to him."
to next part: rising tension.