Métis Nation History

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A despatch received hre to day by the Hudson's Bay authorities from Calgary, via Edomonton, pronounced the report regarding the massacre at Frog Lake as false. This seems to confirm the idea entertained all alon by Archbishop Tache, who has always doubted the reliablity of the report of the atrocity.
From the Front. Riel's Manifesto on half breed grievances. Mr. Dewdney blamed. Crozer charged with firing first. Middleton's forces concentrating. The 63th advance to Edmonton. The reported Frog Lake massacre discredited.
When the Indians held their tea-dances or pow-wows in times of peace, the squaws and children joined in, and it was a very amusing sight to watch them. We often went three miles to look at a tea-dance, and I found it as attractive and interesting as a big circus would be to the children of a civilized place. But I had then no idea of the war- dance. They differ in every respect. No fire-arms are used at the tea- dance, and the guns and tomahawks and knives play the principal part in the war dance. A huge fire throws its yellow, fitful light upon the grim spectre-like objects that bound, leap, yell and howl, bend and pass, aim their weapons, and using their tomahawks in a mimic warfare, a hideous pantomine, around and across the blaze. Their gesticulations summon up visions of murder, horror, scalps, bleeding and dangling at their belts, human hearts and heads fixed upon their spears; their yells resemble at times the long and distant howl of a pack of famished wolves, when on the track of some hapless deer; and again their cries, their forms, their actions, their very surroundings could be compared to nothing else than some infernal scene, wherein the demons are frantic with hell, inflamed passions. Each one might bear Milton's description in his "Paradise Lost," of Death:

"The other shape--
   If shape it might be called, that shape had none,
   Distinguishable, in member, joint or limb:
        *       *       *       *       *
                         black it stood as night.
   Fierce as ten Furies, terrible as hell,
   And shook a dreadful dart.--"

And the union of all such beings might also be described in the words of the same author.
 "The chief were those who from the pit of hell,
   Roaming to seek their prey on earth, durst fix
   Their seats; long after, next the seat of God,
   Their altars, by his altar; gods adored
   Among the nations round; and durst abide
   Jehovah thundering out of Sion, throned
   Between the cherubim; yea of 'en placed
   Within his sanctuary itself their shrines,
   Abominations: and with cursed things
   His holy rites and solemn feasts profaned."

The scenes at the little church the morning of the second of April,- the massacre of God's anointed priests, the desecration of the temple, the robbery of the sacred vessels and ornaments, the burning of the edifice-are not those the deeds of beings not human, but infernal? Is the likeness too vivid or too true? But in the wild banquet of their triumph, while still holding the sacred vessels, they were checked as of old was Belshazzer. Those scenes shall never pass, from my memory, with Freneau I can say
"And long shall timorous fancy see,
   The painted chief, the pointed spear;
   And reason's self shall bow the knee,
   To shadows and delusions here"




--Two months in the camp of Big Bear by Theresa Gowanlock and Theresa Delaney (Primary source documents / Timeline)



Métis Nation History

Commemorating 2010 Year of the Métis Nation Anniversary

Related 1885 Métis Nation Newspaper links

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