Parks Canada returns Chief Poundmaker’s staff to family

chief poundmaker staff
A leadership staff ascribed to Chief Poundmaker. Parks Canada / Supplied Photo

An artifact believed to have belonged to a Plains Cree leader who played an important role in treaty talks has been returned to his descendants.

Read more: Justin Trudeau exonerates Saskatchewan chief of historic treason conviction

Parks Canada has transferred a staff ascribed to Chief Poundmaker from a collection of historical objects under the agency’s care.

Poundmaker’s family members are striving to bring home his personal belongings, which they say were taken from him under duress.

The return of the staff during a private ceremony at the Fort Battleford National Historic Site is part of a healing journey his family says will help Poundmaker’s spirit rest.

Poundmaker is considered one of the great Indigenous leaders of the 19th century and was key in negotiations that led to Treaty 6, which covers the west-central portions of present-day Alberta and Saskatchewan.

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He is remembered as a peacekeeper during the North-West Resistance of 1885 and, in 2019, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau exonerated the chief, who had been convicted of treason for leading his warriors in battle against Canadian forces.

Read more: Bison point way to major cultural find that rocks Wanuskewin’s history

Pauline Poundmaker, a great-great-granddaughter, had asked Parks Canada to return the staff.

More coming …

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