My wife's Great Grandmother Sweetwater was forced to go to "Indian school" in Oklahoma...and this very shortly after the trail of tears. Her
daughter Nana was also forced to go to Indian school. They were beaten if they spoke Choctaw or Chickasaw. Nana is still living and has many stories
of abuse by the American government.
We are in Canada now and we were shocked to see the very same thing in Canadian history.
As I said before though...it is very unique of the Canadian government in relation to the history of colonialism to admit to such a crime.
The crime, well planned, to the extent that the Government of Canada passed laws toward its favor was carried out with a sense of righteousness.
Children, people I have spoken too, had dental work done with no painkillers, one man had all of his teeth pulled when he was 12.....every single
tooth with no pain medicine. Some were raped and many died. (and I heard things I will never write down)
They were forced to give up their way of life, their family, their brothers and sisters.
I will tell you the story of a old man.
He lives in Northern Saskatchewan. He is Cree. When he was first taken from his parents who lived in a remote part of Saskatchewan and made a living
as trappers he said he cried every night. He missed the warmth of the cabin, the warmth and voice of his mother and playing with his brothers and
sisters. He was about eight years old.
He was shipped to a school, Notre Dame, near Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. The distance from his home in Northern Sask to Notre Dame is abouth the width
Anyways, after learning English and suffering at the hands of the priests he took to losing himself in the game of hockey.
One of the priests took interest in him and began to coach him in the finer points of the game.
As he grew word of the Indian hockey player began to spread. Scouts form the Montreal Canadians and the Chicago Black Hawks heard of the player.
Plans were in the making but first they had to see this guy in action.
Years had gone by. He had not heard from his mother or his family in years. He did not even no how to get back home. He said he would sob every
night as he went to sleep. He was now almost 16.
His hockey skills continued to grow and the priest had placed him within the ranks of the Moose Jaw Canucks . He was an amazing player according to
the NHL scouting reports.
After a out of town game the team noticed that the Moose Jaw Canucks star had went missing! Sure enough, he had left after the game and began walking
toward his home.
AND…he walked all the way back to his home, in the woods, in Northern Saskatchewan. (Like walking across Oklahoma) As he approached the old cabin
he could see his mother stacking wood and the dogs began to bark and howl. His mama looked up but was unable to recognize her lost son. He cried out
to his mother loudly. She dropped the axe, recognizing her lost boy and fell to the earth weeping and sobbing. The young man picked his mother up,
hugged her and helped her into the cabin. They both wept.
The coach from the Moose Jaw Canucks had a good idea were the boy hockey star had went. After a few days he drove as close as he get to the boys
home. He walked the rest of the way, meeting the parents. (HIS brothers and sisters had all been taken away)
He explained to the parents how good he was as a hockey player but the boy did not want to go. He tried to tell them about the NHL interest in the
boy but he insisted upon staying. Finally after threats to his father and mother the boy agreed to go back to Notre Dame outside of Moose Jaw.
TO make a long story short he was drafted by the Chicago Black Hawks and became the first Indian pro hockey star. He never forgot his family sending
money and to this day heads up the battle for Indian Family Rights in Saskatchewan.
“ Another family connection at the games was that of Fred Saskamoose, 64, and his 14-year-old grandson Riley Gardypie, a member of the Fort
Carlton bantam hockey team.
Saskamoose was raised on the Sandy Lake Reserve north of Prince Albert and was the first Treaty Indian to compete in the National Hockey League.
After a brilliant junior hockey career with the Moose Jaw Canucks, Saskamoose played 13 games with the Chicago Black Hawks before retiring and
returning to Western Canada..”
I was told this story in North Battleford by an old man.....I have only did a little research to verify the story. Most of it is verified.
[edit on 26-4-2008 by whiteraven]