About Carry the Kettle
The ancestors of the modern “Carry the Kettle” First Nation/Reserve signed adhesion to Treaty 4 at Fort Walsh on September 25, 1877. The three Assiniboine chiefs who signed the treaty 4 adhesion were Man Who Takes The Coat (Cuwiknaga Je Eyaku, in the Assiniboine/Nakoda language), Long Lodge (Teepee Hoksa), and Lean Man (Wica Hostaka).
Historically, First Nations bands/chiefs signed treaty in their tradational territories/homelands. One might allude to the fact that if Carry the Kettle was in their current traditional homelands/territory (south of Sintaluta, SK), they would have been present at the initial signing of treaty 4 in Fort Qu’Appelle in 1874. Or any of the other subsequent adhesions of 1875 and 1876 in the area of the prairies in treaty 4 or what is now known as southern Saskatchewan.
One of the earliest encounters that Canada had with the ancestors of the modern day Assiniboine ‘Carry the Kettle’ First Nations band/tribe was in 1875. It was shortly after the great march west, when the newly formed NWMP came west they avoided the Cypress Hills and went around the north side of the hills, on their way to set up Fort McLeod. But it was in 1875 when the NWMP ventured into the hills from the west end under the leadership of James Morrow Walsh and the ‘F’ Division to investigate the ‘Cypress Hills Massacre’, at time, the tribe was referred to and recognized as ‘The Cypress Mountain Assiniboine’. Walsh and the ‘F’ division did eventually make their way into the hills and to the site of the Cypress Hills Massacre,that is when they built a fort and called it ‘Fort Walsh’, just a mile north of the massacre site in the summer of 1875.
Upon signing an adhesion to Treaty 4 in 1877, the Assiniboine wanted a reservation in their traditional home territory of the western end of the Cypress Hills. The Head of the Mountain (Hay He Pa) 18 miles west of Fort Walsh, was and is a place of great significance to the Assiniboine. Here just south of the Head of the Mountain is Medicine Lodge Coulee, this is where the Assiniboine would hold their annual Sundance and once even invited and hosted Sitting Bull (Tatanka Iyotake) and his Lakota tribe for ceremony in 1877.
Plans for this reservation didn’t get underway until 1879 when the newly appointed Indian Commissioner Edgar. E. Dewdney would make an appearance in the great North West at Fort Walsh that summer. That fall an Indian Affairs office was set up at Fort Walsh and the Indian Agent was Edwin Allen. The Department of Indian Affairs office also covered half of Dr. George Kittson’s (Surgeon) salary that fall. Farm instructors as per the reserve home farm policy also filtered into the north west through Fort Walsh that fall as well. Individuals such as Norrish, Patterson, English and Setter would instruct the various First Nations bands on farming on their reservations throughout the treaty 4 and treaty 7 territories.
The DLS in charge of surveying the reservation for the Assiniboine in the Cypress Hills was Allan Ponytz Patrick. In 1880, after consultation with the chiefs of the Assiniboine bands, A.P. Patrick, surveyed a reserve for Man Who Took the Coat and Long Lodge. The size of the reserve was 340 square miles.
The farm instructor designated to teach the Assiniboine about farming on their reservation at Head of the Mountain was J.J. English.
In 2000 the Indian Claims Commission concluded that Canada did not owe a lawful obligation to Carry the Kettle and that there was no reservation established the Cypress Hills for the modern day descendants of the Assiniboine band back in 1879-1882.
As of September 2014, Carry the Kettle First Nation has their Cypress Hills Land Claim in federal court.