Module-Master The Calgary Eye Opener Friday, October 23, 2020

Local preachers ran him and his Eye Opener newspapers out of Wetaskiwin and, in turn, Strathcona and High River for "expressing contrary opinions, drinking and hootin' and yellin'and generally disturbing' the Gospel". He arrived in Calgary and the paper became The Calgary Eye Opener in 1904 Monday, May 31, 2010 ---

Local preachers ran him and his Eye Opener newspapers out of Wetaskiwin and, in turn, Strathcona and High River for "expressing contrary opinions, drinking and hootin' and yellin'and generally disturbing' the Gospel". He arrived in Calgary and the paper became The Calgary Eye Opener in 1904 Wednesday, May 12, 2010 ---

An Irish lawyer and speechifier and stretcher extraordinaire --- the best orator in North America Monday, February 01, 2010 ---

I drove the last spike on the CPR railroad in 1885. A fellow I fired wrote a book about me, full of vicious lies and insinuations and exaggerations ... trouble is though, it's mainly true Friday, January 22, 2010 ---

About as much as a body can ever learn about Lou is out of Robert Service's poem of the Klondike Gold Rush ----- The Shooting of Dan McGrew Wednesday, December 23, 2009 ---
Goofy British Columbia politics going extinct!!!!

one thing us bartenders know is everything about everybody --- most of it true Thursday, July 30, 2009 ---
U.S. war hero shows how the U.S. can wipe out world hunger and terrorism

Born a slave. After Lincoln freed the slaves, John moved to Canada and became a cowboy --- his funeral was the largest in Calgary's history Tuesday, July 28, 2009 ---
World War I - The War of The Imbeciles - the last survivor dies

Back in 1877, Crowfoot was the leader of the Blackfoot --- the most feared native tribe in western North America. Monday, July 27, 2009 ---

Chief Crowfoot

by Gabriel Dumont

If you want to read a good biography of Crowfoot, read Hugh Dempsey's summary in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography and Dempsey's book Crowfoot: Chief of the Blackfeet (Civilization of the American Indian Series) In 1877, Crowfoot was the leader of the Blackfoot --- the most feared native tribe in western North America. For centuries, for millennia, the Blackfoot barely survived --- for food they killed buffalo --- millions galloped across the prairies --- but the fast, one-ton beasts were hard to kill --- the Blackfoot had no weapons but dogs and spears and bows and arrows. The Blackfoot could only try to stampede them over cliffs and, covered with buffalo dung, sneak up on them and fight them hand to hand. Many Blackfeet starved to death. In the words of Thomas Hobbes life was "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short". About 1700 horses and guns appeared on the Western prairies --- For thousands of years no horses existed in the Western Hemisphere. The Spanish brought them into Mexico and used them to defeat the Aztec Empire of Montezuma. The Blackfoot's enemy, the Shoshone, brought horses unto the western prairie. The Blackfoot soon stole some of them and mastered horseback riding and calvary warfare. Another enemy, the Cree, brought guns and the Blackfoot soon carried them. Before guns and horses, the Blackfeet had had to hunt 365 days a year. After about 1720, they only had to hunt but five. They became the wealthiest nation on Earth. What did they do with their leisure time ---they stole horses and fought wars --- for the fun of it.

Crowfoot was born in 1830 at the height of the Blackfoot prosperity. Eventually, because of his heroics, he took on the name Isapo-Muxika -- the whites called him Crowfoot. He always wore a bonnet into which a dead baby owl was woven. I sidled up to him yesterday at the Long Bar at the Alberta Hotel. Isapo-Muxika was guzzling a huge glass of Calgary Stock Ale.

"Tell me how you came to lead your people," I asked him.

"When I had seen only 13 winters, the great warriors of our band took me along on a war party . I was lucky, I sneaked into a Shoshone camp, smashed in the head of a sleeping Shoshone with my tomahawk --- stole his horse. Before I had seen 20 winters I had fought in 19 battles and my body bore six wounds. Then a Shoshone fired a lead musket ball into my spine and I could never again ride a horse in battle. So I turned to horse trading. and made a fortune. The people elected me a minor and then a major chief."

"But then the whites came? And you signed a treaty with them."

"You're talking about the so-called 'signing' of Treaty #7 at Blackfoot Crossing in 1877 --- I never signed it --- I was illiterate -- I couldn't write my own name --- the whites forged my mark on the treaty --- we'd had a bad year --- the whites had killed most of our buffalo --- we were starving ---- the Mounted Police brought food and the Lieutenant Governor of the Northwest had drawn up a treaty in Regina and he brought it to Blackfoot Crossing and it was already written up in English ---and the whites wouldn't tolerate any changes in the treaty. They told us that they wouldn't feed our starving people until I signed the treaty --- I didn't know what was in the treaty I couldn't read or speak English --- the Red Coats brought along a so-called interpreter, a Metis called Jerry Potts --- but he couldn't speak Blackfoot --- and he was drunk all the time. And, at Blackfoot Crossing, the whites bullied us unmercifully. I pretended to put my mark on it. When, after they'd fed my people, the whites discovered my deception, they forged my mark on it. In Blackfoot law the treaty wouldn't be binding on us because it was forced on us and we didn't know what it said. And, anyway, once the treaty had been 'signed' the whites broke it many times. The whites told us the treaty said we were a sovereign nation --- but it didn't say that at all --- afterwards the whites treated us like slaves not as an independent nation --- the whites promised to educate us in our own language --- afterwards the whites forced our children into residential schools and beat them if they spoke the Blackfoot language --- the whites promised us proper medicine and food 'as long as the sun shines and the rivers flow' --- they never provided it freely. Under our laws, for these reasons, we Blackfoot could tear up the "treaty" --- our ancient lands are still ours. I'm told the whites' laws say the same thing. The treaty is not binding on us, so under our law and under the whites' law, the prairies and the mountains covered by the treaty are still ours. Worse than all that was what I, myself, failed to do. When we met the whites at Blackfoot Crossing, our young men (who were always a problem as they are everywhere) wanted either food or war --- if the whites wouldn't feed them, they wanted to massacre them --- I thought the whites were unbeatable --- they would destroy us in the end if we fought them. . horse trading had made me a practical businessman. I was much impressed by the whites. They were so clever. They were so practical. And their works were so powerful ... their weapons ... their lodges ... the discipline of their soldiers --- and I'd heard of their iron horse. I liked them very much ... they were my kind of people ... and ... I feared them. And I came to believe that they were unbeatable. So I believed that all we could do was to suck up to them --- to appease them."

"As Neville Chamberlain appeased Hitler in 1938 at Munich and caused the Second World War."

"I was a Chamberlain type negotiator, yes. Chamberlain was a businessman --- a good one --- so was I. Businessmen should stay out of politics. We are prejudiced against war --- wars are bad for business. But, if I had known what would happen to my people. If I had know what would happen to my children and my children's children. Reduced to begging, addicted to alcohol, abused by white trash, without leadership --- if I had known I would fought them in 1877. I was a Chamberlain true enough. I was no Winston Churchill."

"Are you saying that you didn't know the nature of the whites --- their true nature was staring you in the face. Even if their leaders wanted to treat your people decently - as King George III did when he issued the Royal Proclamation of 1763 - he agreed that whites would not cross the Appalachian Mountains -- all of the lands west of the Appalachians, the infamous king declared, belonged to the native tribes --- and as President George Washington did when he invited Alexander McGillivray, the Grand Chief of the Creeks, to New York and feted him and signed a Treaty (the Treaty of New York of 1790 - best described in Joseph J. Ellis's American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies in the Founding of the Republic). The Treaty of New York declared that the Creeks were a sovereign nation --- its borders enclosed all of western Georgia, eastern Tennessee, northern Florida, all of the present State of Alabama, and eastern Mississippi --- those lands all belonged to the Creek state --- and the treaty prohibited whites from setting foot there. But neither George III nor George Washington nor any other leader could stop the masses of whites fleeing the class systems of Europe and the American east coast --- they simply ignored the treaties and flooded into the native lands. You must have known how outright dishonest politicians like U.S. President Thomas Jefferson (whose antics were best described in American Creation) claim-jumped native lands all the way west to, then over, the Mississippi River. And you must have known of the malicious ones like President Andrew Jackson who drove the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee-Creek, and Seminole out of their national homelands in the Eastern U.S. to reservations in the Oklahoma Territory far to the West. The Choctaws called it The Trail of Tears.. The beast showed its true nature before you were born, Isapo-Muxika. You stared right into the face of the beast and you ignored it. In 1940, the British replaced Chamberlain with Winston Churchill. In 1877, the Blackfoot should have replaced you with your stepson Poundmaker who knew the whites for what they were and fought them and beat them at the Battle of Cut Knife Creek."

"After Treaty #7," I stormed on. "I'll use the the words of Winston Churchill, the Blackfoot became a '... shattered ... and bludgeoned race ... a long night of barbarism descended, unbroken even by a star of hope.' And then, after all this --- after eight years of many broken promises later, in 1885, when I asked you to join us in our war against the whites --- the whites called it the "Riel Rebellion" - to the Metis it was a war of national liberation - you stalled and then refused.. You and I, together, we could have beaten the white army. We would have set up an aboriginal state here in Western Canada based on our laws and customs --- and it would have become a modern country like Vietnam or Cuba or, for that matter, the United States. We would have preserved our cultures and our languages --- our children and our grandchildren would have been proud --- we could have taken the whites' technology and used it for our own purposes. Why did you not join me?"

"If I had known what would happen to my people. If I had known I would have joined you. But there was still much of Chamberlain in me, Gabriel. I was still no Winston Churchill."

Other stories ("$" means pay to view)
Exclusive interview with Bob Edwards under the Calgary's Union Boneyard ..... The Calgary Eye Opener
Canada Has U.S.-Style Surveillance System, Documents Show ..... Huffington Post
Is Labor A Lost Cause? ..... Bill Moyers
More stories from The Calgary Eye Opener
All good things come to an end!!!
Goodbye to the age of Gutenberg!!!! Welcome to the age of Kindle!!!!
Ebooks are here!!!!

written by Dr. Sylvia Van Kirk's (formerly of Queens) history of native and metis women in the fur-trade. She wrote the book in the 70s and it is not burdened with political correctness but still honors these people who were absolutely essential. On the cover is a 1855 photo Margaret Harriott, wife, a la facon du pays, of the Chief Factor of Fort Edmonton. Margaret may or may not be one of my ancestors. Very well written I think. Sylvia Van Kirk is retired in Victoria and is the volunteer archivist of the clapboard country gothic old Church of Our Lord, where Victorians threw a funeral for Sir James Douglas in 1877

$20 oil? You bet, says one expert - The Globe and Mail
© 2004 Thomas O. ("Tim") Davis All rights reserved