Upset at Battleford: Unpaid Rations


Members of the Little Pine band traveled to Battleford where they were promised rations from Indian Affairs. Previously, Indian Affairs had been supplying them with rations because they were prohibited from leaving the Little Pine reserve to hunt as had been customary for generations. However, when their rations were suddenly denied, the younger members grew upset and protested vehemently. Chiefs Little Pine and Poundmaker urged their young men not to riot, but frustrations and hunger were high. 


There is no indication as to how the Department of Indian Affairs or the NWMP responded to the event. However, protests similar to this one over denied rations and aid were not uncommon. The Canadian Government would withhold and limit rations however they saw fit (which was used as a tool to control and First Nations people), and in dire circumstances there was little other option than to forcibly take rations or face starvation and inevitably death. The disappearance of the Bison (or Buffalo) across the Northern Plains due to near extinction was an immense stressor on Plains-orientated Indigenous peoples who relied on the animals for food amongst other reasons.