May 9, 1880
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD
(Canada's First Prime Minister
almost six years after Treaty 4 was signed in Fort Qu'Appelle)
... Buffalo was their bread, wine, and meat,
and that supply utterly and totally failed.
I am not at all sorry,
as I have said before,
that this happened.
So long as there was a hope that buffalo
would come into the country,
there was no means of inducing the Indians
to settle down on their reserve.
The total of the buffalo,
the year before last,
and last year,
caused the Indians to be thrown
on the mercy of the Government in the North-West.
We could not, as Christians and men,
allow them to starve,
and we were obliged,
no matter what the cost might be,
to furnish them with food.
It was better to feed them
than to fight them...
quoted on page five
"...And They Told Us Their Stories"
with one hundred and thirty two years
between then and now
the long shadow of these words
chills my heart
slaps my face
bows my head