CYPRUSS HILLS MASSACRE OF ASSINIBOINE
In May 1873, two Assiniboine bands were camped in a valley along the Milk River on the Montana-Alberta border nearby small forts run by Abel Farwell & Moses Solomon. On May 31, a party of American wolfers arrived at Farwell’s fort searching for horses stolen from them by the Cree. The Americans spent the night drinking. The next day wolfer George Hammond’s horse wandered off. Hammond, thinking it was stolen, asked the wolfers to help him seize some Assiniboine horses in retaliation. Farwell went to the Assiniboine to strike a deal to take 2 Assiniboine horses as security until the missing horse could be found. A Métis man also ran to warn the Assiniboine of the danger. The wolfers had lined the edge of a coulee facing the exposed Assiniboine camp. A shot led to indiscriminate fire at the Assiniboine camp with repeating rifles. The Assiniboine had few modern weapons. Over 20 Assiniboine died. This event is generally credited the creation of the North-West Mounted Police.
Source: Walter Hildebrandt, “Cypress Hills Massacre,” Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan. Retrieved 11/9/2021, http://esask.uregina.ca/entry/cypress_hills_massacre.html Photo: Skeezix1000, 5/26/2011. Cypress Hills, Alberta, Canada. Permissive Use.