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Slain Leader Remembered By Band Members

Archie King

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      SEPTEMBER 1985      p41  
Elder Alex Stick from Little Island Lake, says opening prayer. Band members observe ceremonies

Elder Alex Stick from Little Island Lake, says opening prayer.

Band members observe ceremonies.

MAKWA SAHGAIEHCAN - The last of the great battles are over and we must live in harmony with each other if we are to survive today, was repeated by Indian leaders returning to the site where Chief Seekaskootch and two warriors were buried following the battle at Steele Narrows.

Chief Leo Paul and council members journeyed to Makwa Sahgaiehcan, situated about 220 kilometers north of North Battleford, to join forces with Chief David Ben of the hosting reserve commemorating the century of the North West Rebellion. The last of the rebellion of 1885 was fought at Steele Narrows.

Edward Chief, great-grandson of Chief Seekaskootch. Battle area.

Edward Chief, great-grandson of Chief Seekaskootch

Standing on a hill overlooking a small lake, a small contingent of band members from both Indian communities listened to Indian leaders and elders explaining what took place in the area of 100 years ago.

According to Edward Chief, great-grandson of Chief Seekaskootch, in an interview said that the battle was fought with the red coats. Many of the warriors were on their way west following the battle at Frenchman Butte. The battle was led by Chief Amsis, a noted fearless fighter, and served by Chief Seekaskootch.

Realizing that his fellow warriors were being killed by the big gun, Chief Seekaskootch along with the two warriors rode towards the red coats to try and stop the killings and were shot. They were later buried near the site where they were killed.

Adding their support were band councillors including Lloyd Chief, Morris Lewis, and Gus Waskewitch from Onion Lake. Assisting in the ceremony was elder Alex Stick from Little Island Lake, a settlement of the Ministikwan Indian band.

According to Chief Ben, the original plan was to erect a monument near the gravesite but had to be delayed until the original gravesite can be located. In the meantime, the Makwa Sahgaiehcan band members erected a sign explaining the importance of the site overlooking the lake.

In conjunction with the commemoration, a cultural reveille was held by the elders. It was located some distance from the town of Loon Lake, which borders the reserve. Included in the package also were sporting events on land and in water.