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Big Bear's Grandson At Plaque Unveiling

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      AUGUST 1973      v03 n06 p16  
Four Souls Speaking
Four Souls delivering his comments on the treatment of Indians at the plaque unveiling ceremony at Fort Pitt.

The Brandon of Chief Big Bear, Four Souls, delivered blistering comments at Canada, the Queen, her representatives for the treatment of Indians in this country and then apologized "for anything I might have said to offend anyone."

Four Souls of Rocky Bay, Montana; told about 500 persons at Fort Pitt, July 24, that he felt privileged to belong to such "a great man  - Big Bear, who was a chief, among chiefs throughout the Northwest."

Four Souls described his grandfather as a "smart man and a great leader who wanted better things for his people at the time of the signing of treaties concerning Indian rights."

"The Queen got this place pretty cheap," Four Souls said, referring to the treaty signed in which the Crown pays the Indians five dollars a year for surrendering the land.

"Yes, she got this place pretty cheap despite the efforts of the great man - Big Bear."

"It is a shame to have Indians suffer like they have to under the flag of the Dominion of Canada," he said.

According to Four Souls, the book on the Frog Lake massacre written by W.B. Cameron, entitled "Blood Red the Sun," is probably more than half not true.

Four Souls was also critical of the Queen's representatives who got around Big Bear by establishing minor tribal chiefs who signed the treaty for five dollars a year.

"My grandfather was shamed and brought down, sentenced two years in Stoney Mountain Prison for things he didn't do."

He was sentenced to prison after being convicted of treason, but he did everything in his power to prevent the rebellion. It was rabble-rousers who started the dispute, and yet it was my grandfather was punished for their actions." he said.

Four Souls, concluded his address by saying "I'm sorry for anything said which may have offended anyone, but I often think out loud."