OLD WIVES LAKE MASSACRE

OLD WIVES LAKE MASSACRE – THE LEGEND

About a hundred and fifty or two hundred years ago, in what is now south west Saskatchewan, a band of Cree camping on the shore of a prairie lake were surrounded by a much larger band of Blackfoot warriors.

In order to save the lives of the young and the strong, they slipped out under cover of darkness while the old and infirm stayed behind to keep the fires burning and keep up the appearance of an occupied camp.

When the Blackfoot attacked the next morning they were furious at having been tricked in this way and massacred all of the remaining inhabitants of the camp including all the old wives.

This unusual and powerful occurrence is remembered to this day in the name of the lake

I grew up and ranched along its shores.

OLD WIVES LAKE MASSACRE – THE POEM

I have eaten the beef
that ate the grass
that grew on your unmarked graves

And the sadness I sing, I sing for you
for all sadness is one sadness
all pain one pain
and all treachery one treachery

Many have eaten of the buffalo and the beef
They wake at night
and do not know why they are sad

The Legend

The Poem