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1880s - Sioux Encampment near Indian Head

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Similar to teepees at the Bell Farm in the 1880s and 90s - these teepees are located on the Assiniboine / Carry the Kettle First Nation. Major Bell hired his Indigenous neighbours to help bring in the harvest and to cut fire wood for use by the many houses on the Farm.


Postcard donated by JoAnne Matsumura, Issaquah, Washington, USA. Postcard published after 1905 by Alfred G. Orchard, Indian Head, Sask. Orchard opened a Drug Store at Indian Head in 1892, from which he also sold copies of local photographs. The Orchard family moved to Regina in 1917.

History: "Indian Head and District", p. 584-585 - A.G. Orchard

1883 – March 6 – Letter from Major Bell to the Minister of the Interior (Sir John A. Macdonald: 1878-1883), p. 2

1884 – Feb. 8 - "Sherbrooke Weekly Examiner": mentions Chief Pie-a-Pot and band cutting 800 cords of wood for the Bell Farm.

1884 – July 1 – as published on Nov. 21, 1884 in the "Ayrshire Post": Dominion Day on Bell Farm

1884 - Aug. 12 – A Visit to Canada in Connection with the British Association Meeting, 1884 - Alfred Pegler, member of British Association, visits the Bell Farm, and mentions Assiniboine wigwams camped on the Bell Farm

1885 – June 15 - "Manitoba Free Press" – Grain Elevator article: Chief Jack brings wheat to Bell Grain elevator for inaugural milling

1885 – June 18 - "Qu’Appelle Vidette": Indian Head -
“Flouring mill open to the public.. . . . The first public grist received and first flour turned out belonged to “Jack, chief of the Assiniboines, whose reserve is south of here.”

1886 – Jan. 15 – "Qu’Appelle Progress", p. 6 – Qu’Appelle: “A number of the Bell Farm teams passed through here on Tuesday with flour for the Indian reserves northwest of here.”

1886 – Sept 6 – "A Canadian Tour: Entering the Great North-West Territory" – p. 26 –
Report on the Bell Farm employing 150 Sioux in the 1886 harvest.

1887 - July - "The Queen’s Highway From Ocean to Ocean", by Stuart C. Cumberland, p. 185-186 – Indigenous workers helped with Bell Farm harvest in 1886.

1888 – Sept 4. – "Regina Leader" - Major Bell again employs large band of Sioux at harvest.

1893 – "Scottish Tenant Farmers on the Agricultural Resources of Canada: The Report of J.T. Franklin" – p. 7 – "We saw some excellent crops being carried by Indians, who camped near during the harvest . . ."

1893 – Sept 19 – "The Agricultural Resources of Canada: Mr. T. Pitt’s Report", p. 15 - visit to Bell Farm / “Indians help on the Bell Farm in harvest.”

1893 – 30 Dec. - "Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald" – “On approaching Major Bell’s farm I was pleased to notice an Indian encampment consisting of eighteen tepees, the Indians helping with the threshing.”

1894 – Jan. 13, "Artisan Expedition to the World’s Fair, Chicago" – from "undee Courier and Dundee Weekly News" - James Taylor report: “As hired help is required during harvest and is difficult to procure in this locality, the Major generally gets from thirty to forty Indians for the harvest. They pitch their tents on the prairie close at hand, and I am told they make very fair harvest hands.”

1894 – Aug. 2 – "Qu’Appelle Vidette": Fort Qu’Appelle, “Maj. Bell of Indian Head, was in town yesterday, to secure the service of Sioux Indians for harvest work on the Bell Farm.”

1894 – Sept. - “Across the Canadian Prairies” by J.G. Colmer, p. 29-30 - "It is no uncommon sight in this district to see the Indians working on the farms side by side with their pale-face brethren, and, if report be true, they work well and earn their wages, many of them becoming quite expert in the handling of farm machinery.”


Michelle Cabana, Saskatoon, Sask., and Frank Korvemaker, Regina, Sask.