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Last Month's Cover: Alexander Brass And Moostatik

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      JULY/AUGUST 1988      p09  
Alexander Brass and Moostatik Last month's Saskatchewan Indian cover photo featured Alexander Brass and Moostatik. All we know of Moostatik is that he was from the Okanese Band and is believed to be the brother of Chief Starblanket.

Alexander Brass was a veteran of the First World War. He was born November 9, 1880 on the Key Reserve. In 1906, he transferred to Peepeekisis and married Mary Marjorie Moore from Birch River, Manitoba. He built up a successful farm and in 1915 when war broke out in Europe he, joined the 68th Battalion Band Corps.

He remustered in England into the fifth Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force. They were known as the "fighting fifths". He saw action in both Belgium and France in the front lines. He was the holder the Military Medal Award for the single-handed capture of sixty enemy soldiers. In 1917 he was wounded at Passchendale, Belgium.

He lay wounded in the trenches for four days until they could get him to a hospital. As a result he was crippled for the rest of his life. Following his return to the reserve in 1919, he found the Department of Indian Affairs had disposed of most of his livestock and farm equipment and reassigned his land to other farmers. He set about to rebuild, this time not as farmer, but as a carpenter and builder, Throughout the '20s, '30s and '40s, he was active with the band and became a political advocate for Indian people and Indian rights. At this time they didn't have Chiefs and Councillors but Alex Brass was considered one of the Band's leading residents.

Prior to his move to Peepeekisis he was an interpreter and spoke both fluent Cree and Saulteaux. He personally knew the signers of the Treaties and spoke with them at length. In 1950 he died at the age of 70 years.