Looking back: brief history of Chief Poundmaker
August 1876 (Treaty talks at Fort Carlton)
Chief Poundmaker calls for treaty benefits for future generations of Cree and for government to honour its treaty promises
Depleted bison, cuts to government aid and treaty disputes lead to tensions and conflict across the prairies
March 1885 (Battleford)
Chief Poundmaker seeks rations for his starving community, but is wrongly accused of looting and then pursued by government troops
May 2, 1885 (Battle site hill on reserve)
Chief Poundmaker does not participate in battle but saves lives by convincing community's warriors not to attack retreating government troops
May 26, 1885 (Battleford)
Chief Poundmaker tries to negotiate peace agreement with the government, but he and his followers are arrested
August 1885 (Regina)
Fuelled by mistrust and misunderstanding, the Court wrongfully convicts Chief Poundmaker of treason-felony; his sentence is 3 years in prison
Although released early from prison due to deteriorating health, Chief Poundmaker dies 4 months later; his loss still impacts his people today.
Path to the exoneration and beyond
Poundmaker Cree Nation has long sought justice for past wrongs related to the unjust conviction and imprisonment of their honoured Chief
Reconciliation talks begin with focus on exoneration
Feb. to Mar. 2019
Elder and community input on the exoneration
Federal apology and exoneration of Chief Poundmaker
Joint work will continue to advance reconciliation
"In 1885, Chief Poundmaker was treated as a criminal and a traitor.
In 2019, we recognize the truth…
Chief Poundmaker was a peacemaker…
Chief Poundmaker is fully exonerated of any crime or wrongdoing."