Poundmaker Cree Nation hosted an event on Tuesday to celebrate the re-opening of the Chief Poundmaker Museum and Historic Site, along with the return of items to the reserve that belonged to Chief Poundmaker.
Chief Duane Antoine opened with comments, followed by Blaine Favel, who previously served as chief of both Poundmaker Cree Nation and FSIN, and who also served as University of Saskatchewan Chancellor. Representatives from SaskCulture and Parks Canada also spoke.
Before the unveiling, two dancers gave short performances.
The items, Chief Poundmaker’s war club and Winchester rifle, were then unveiled and a crowd gathered to take pictures. The items will be at the museum until July 23, on loan from Parks Canada and the Manitoba Museum.
“Taken from Poundmaker at Battleford” is inscribed on the gun.
Floyd Favel thanked the previous leadership for “making the museum a reality.”
“For ourselves it’s an ongoing museum because it’s not finished,” Favel said. “More pictures are welcome and more work is invited, and the whole community is invited to get involved.”
Lunch was served, followed by presentations by representatives of First Nations, including Nez Perce, Rocky Boy, Mosquito, Red Pheasant, Sweetgrass, Little Pine and Poundmaker. Oral accounts of the events surrounding Poundmaker in 1885 were offered.
There are ongoing efforts to posthumously exonerate Poundmaker of treason-felony, said headman of Poundmaker Cree Nation, Milton Tootoosis. In a press release, Tootoosis spoke of “[correcting] the wrong” surrounding Chief Poundmaker.