Author Topic: The Cree, CPR and the NWMP  (Read 3179 times)

Offline Buffalo Creek Law Dog

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The Cree, CPR and the NWMP
« on: March 14, 2008, 10:59:34 AM »
The estrangement of the Cree was more serious than that of the Blackfoot.  Some of the Cree bands refused to sign the treaty in 1876.

In 1883, a band of Cree under Chief Piapot pulled up 40 miles of CPR survey stakes west of Moose Jaw.  Later he and several Cree followers decided to pitch camp on the CPR right-of-way preventing any further track laying.  Word was sent to Maple Creek (about 30 miles NE of Fort walsh) for Mounted Police assistance.

Corporal Wilde and a constable were sent to investigate.  They found several hundred menacing Indians who were refusing to move their camp from the CPR right-a-way.  Wild's demand that they move was met with defiance and ridicule.  They jostled the Mountie's horses and fired their guns in the air.  It was a challenge to authority; to withdraw would have resulted in loss of face.

Corporal Wilde coolly pulled out his watch and gave Piapot 15 minutes to move their camp off the right-a-way.  During this time the Cree kept heckling the Mounties.  When the 15 minutes were up, Wilde dismounted, gave his reins to the constable and proceeded to Piapot's tipi.  After knocking it down he went to the next tipi and proceeded to knock it down.

Piapot had two choices, kill Wilde and the constable or move his camp............he chose the latter.

The Fort Benton newspaper once wrote that "the Mounted Police don't scare worth a cent."

Just as an aside:  Corporal Wilde (later Sgt.) was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a Blood Indian named Charcoal in the Pincher Creek area (west of Fort Macleod) in 1896.  Charcoal was convicted and hung at Fort Macleod for killing Sgt. Wilde. 

In 2006, I was visiting the newly erected 2nd location of Fort Macleod (1880's) and speaking to one of the interpreters (dressed in NWMP uniform) advised me that new info had come to light that Wilde may have been killed by friendly fire.  Allegedly, Wilde had a couple of Mounties with him who were shooting at Charcoal when Wilde decided to capture Charcoal alive.  he ended up between Charcoal and the other Mounties who were still firing at Charcoal.  He went on to say that letters were found to indicate that the Mounties at the scene decided to keep it a secret and put the blame on Charcoal.  They were still putting the pieces together when I spoke to him.  I'll be passing through Fort Macleod again this summer and will follow up on this interesting subject.

SASS 66621
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Offline Sgt Sourdough

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Re: The Cree, CPR and the NWMP
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2008, 05:21:11 PM »
This is the history they need to be teaching in school. Canadian history is just as interesting as south of the border.Maybe Corpal Wilde is a relitive of mine My great grandmother was a Wilde.

Offline yahoody

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Re: The Cree, CPR and the NWMP
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2023, 07:13:24 AM »
Nice write up Sir.
"time leaves tombstones or dry bones"  SASS #2903


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Re: The Cree, CPR and the NWMP
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