RCMP Sunchild Report Circulated to Indian Agents

In 1952, the ritual consumption of peyote related to the activities of the Native American Church was reported among members of the Cree band led by Louis Sunchild. Sunchild, an Alberta First Nation leader, was stopped at the Montana-Alberta border carrying peyote. RCMP took him into custody, and although he was released, the peyote was retained and the report and images of his peyote stash were circulated to Indian Agents across Western Canada.


Memo from Lethbridge sub-division. 19 March. 1/1-16-2, 10243, T-7545, RG10. Indian Affairs fonds. LAC.

Although they no longer had legal power to suppress Aboriginal spiritual practices, the RCMP and Indian Agents attempted to control the spread of peyote through Western Canada. This would have restricted or inhibited Aboriginal peoples from practicing cultural and religious traditions, thus continuing to extend colonialism into the cultural practices of Aboriginal peoples.
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