MP-0000.359.6 | Winnipeg Jack, Blackfoot, North West Mounted Police scout and interpreter, AB, about 1890

 
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Photograph
Winnipeg Jack, Blackfoot, North West Mounted Police scout and interpreter, AB, about 1890
S. J. Thompson
About 1890, 19th century
Silver salts on paper - Gelatin silver process
23 x 18 cm
Gift of Mrs. J. B. Learmont
MP-0000.359.6
© McCord Museum
Description
Keywords:  Ethnology (606) , Native people (373) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

This image is a reminder that in the early days the Canadian authorities were greatly dependent on the assistance and co-operation of First Nations people. In 1873, when they first arrived in the West, the North West Mounted Police were unfamiliar with the country, and none of their members could speak a First Nations language. One of the important duties of the N.W.M.P. was to explain Canadian law to the Aboriginal groups on the Prairies, and when necessary, enforce it. It would have been impossible to do this without the help of scouts and interpreters such as this member of the Blackfoot First Nation.

  • What

    This is a photograph of a First Nations scout who worked for the North West Mounted Police.

  • Where

    The picture was taken somewhere in Alberta, probably in the southern part.

  • When

    Alberta did not become a province until 1905, fifteen years after this picture was taken. At this time it was still part of the North-West Territories.

  • Who

    The man in the picture is "Winnipeg Jack," a member of the Blackfoot First Nation.