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Pitikwahanapiwiyin Poundmaker Pitikwahanapiwiyin emerged as a political leader during the tumultuous years surrounding the extension of the treaty system and the influx of settlers into present-day Saskatchewan Pitikwahanapiwiyin was recognized as a skilled orator and leader of his people by both Native and Non-native communities Born in about 1842 near Battleford in central Saskatchewan Pitikwahanapiwiyin was the son of Sikakwayan a Stoney shaman and his Mtis wife Pitikwahanapiwiyin grew up with his Plains Cree relatives under the influence of his maternal uncle Mistawasis Big Child a leading figure in the Eagle Hill Alberta area In 1873 Isapo-Muxika Crowfoot Chief of the Blackfoot following a Plains Indian custom adopted Pitikwahanapiwiyin to replace one of his own sons who had been killed in battle In August 1876 Pitikwahanapiwiyin as headman of one of the River People bands was influential enough to speak at the Treaty No Six negotiations held at Fort Carlton Pitikwahanapiwiyin emerged as one of the spokespersons for a group critical of the treaty Though Treaty No Six was amended to include a famine clause Pitikwahanapiwiyin continued to express concerns and agreed to sign the treaty on 23 August only because the majority of his band favored it In the autumn of 1879 Pitikwahanapiwiyin now chief accepted a reserve and settled with 182 followers on 30 square miles along the Battle River about 40 miles west of Battleford Frustrated by the governments failure to fulfill treaty promises Pitikwahanapiwiyin became active in Indian politics representing the Cree at inter-band meetings and acting as a spokesperson with the government In July 1881 Pitikwahanapiwiyin acted as guide and interpreter during Governor-General Lord Lornes trip from Battleford to Calgary In June 1884 a Thirst Dance was held on the Poundmaker reserve to discuss the worsening situation of the Indians By the middle of the month over 2000 people had gathered The Thirst Dance celebration was disrupted by the North-West Mounted Police pursuing an Indian accused
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