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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s apology to Plains Cree Nation is a step toward justice for Chief Poundmaker

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In Canada's recent apology to the Plains Cree Nation at Poundmaker Reserve near Cut Knife, Sask., for the imprisonment of Chief Poundmaker in 1885 — and the exoneration of charges of felony-treason — Justin Trudeau finally set the historical record straight. Chief Poundmaker was neither a traitor nor criminal, but a peacemaker who did his best to restrain his warriors and saved many lives in the process.

It was, in fact, Lt.-Col. W.D. Otter who disobeyed direct orders and pursued Poundmaker to Cut Knife Hill and attacked in the early morning hours of May 2, 1885, only to be soundly defeated by a poorly armed, but well-led, band of warriors simply trying to defend themselves and their families camped on the hill.

Many of our history books depict Poundmaker as the aggressor who challenged the authority of the Canadian government and who looted, pillaged and burned South Battleford and brought terror to the region. In fact, the band was simply cold, hungry and starving as a result of government promises, which were never kept, and had come to Battleford to speak to the government agent.

The people of the village had........

© Peterborough Examiner