Rocky Boy Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana

Chief Little Bear

He was supposedly greatly disliked in Montana. However, he told whites in Lewistown, Montana in 1913 (from a Tuesday December 30, 1913 Fergus County Democrat Newspaper article you'll see excerpts below of) that he sided with whites during an 1876-1877 war in Montana. He was granted a 900 sq. mi. Reservation adjacent to Great Falls in 1876 which caused civil strife with his father. Below is a map i drew of his possible Reservation in Montana. He also told them he wanted help getting a Reservation in them Little Rockies Mountains (aka That Little Assiniboine). His talk about Little Assiniboine is off course because them Little Rockies are located where Fort Belknap Reservation is or was already a Reservation in 1913. He may have considered Bears Paw Mountains to be them Little Rockies which is a small mountain range. His father was chief Big Bear who chief Little Bear told whites in Lewistown in 1913, was highest ranking Ojibway leader in Canada and belonged in United States also. So any information about chief Little Bear being disliked in Montana is incorrect.

He was heir to his fathers throne. However, if chief Rocky Boy was his brother, it means chief Rocky Boy was first. I've read information concerning chief Yellow Quill (many people suspect there were two chief Yellow Quills) and suspect he may have been chief Big Bear. One had a name of O-za-we-kwan, while another had a name of O-za-wa-sko-kwa-na-pi which means Blue or Green Quill. That's important because there is a Reserve located within chief Big Bears Reserves in Alberta known as Blue Quill or Bluequill. Chief Big Bears other Reserves in Alberta and Saskatchewan are these following ones: Big Island Lake; Cold Lake; Frog Lake; Kehewin; Makwa Sahgaiehcan; Onion Lake; Saddle Lake and Whitefish Lake. An heir to an Ojibway leaders throne in southern Manitoba (it's really Montana) was of age in 1876 (about 26 year old) to take power at Long Plain First Nation. One of those chief Yellow Quills was peaceful, while that other was hostile. Of course, chief Big Bear was hostile. He (that heir) had many followers which caused serious trouble among Ojibway People or near civil war. At first, white leaders refused to acknowledge chief Short Bear or chief Little Bear, as rightful leader. However, that later changed because chief Yellow Quill demanded a very large Reserve.

Chief Little Bear was different. He agreed to a accept a small Reserve located adjacent to Great Falls, Montana. Chief Yellow Quill (it was really his son chief Little Bear) wanted a large Reserve extending 30 miles from east to west and 30 miles from north to south. That be 900 sq. mi. It was, in fact, chief Little Bear who requested and received that 900 sq. mi. Reservation, adjacent to Great Falls, Montana. Chief Yellow Quill demanded a large Reserve where his subjects could fish and hunt. Chief Short Bear or chief Little Bear, wanted a farming Reserve. This happened in July and August of 1876, or soon after that conflict in Montana diminished for some time. Chief Yellow Quill or chief Little Bear, demanded a large Reserve at Eagles Nest or Black Eagle Falls, to extend 15 miles west and 15 miles east and 5 miles north and 25 miles south. It was 5 miles south and 25 miles north, because white leaders at that time (1876) wanted to establish a city where Great Falls is. Read Lewis and Clarks Journals and their stay at Great Falls, Montana in June and July of 1805. Though his name was Short Bear, it was obviously Little Bear. They incorrectly used Keeskeemaskwa to use as his Ojibway name. It should be Ma-kos or Ma-Cos and not Keeskeemaskwa. Cree People, who are really Ojibway, lived north of Lake Winnipeg. In Ojibway, a diminutive is placed at that words end. Bear in Ojibway is "Mak-wa." To make it Little Bear, they dropped "wa" and used a "k" or "c" to make it a diminutive. Thus, Ma-cos. Out of respect for chief Little Bear, which many Ojibway People will protest over for very good reasons, I'll name his Reservation "Ma-Cos Reservation."

In 1876, treaty negotiations were held yet chief Yellow Quill demanded a large Reserve. Thus, why chief Little Bear fought for them whites. Read them excerpts below. American Soldiers attacked Ojibway People in Montana in 1876 and were defeated. However, many Montana Ojibways fled up to Alberta and Saskatchewan (them Cypress Hills) including chief Big Bear, who told white negotiators in August or September of 1876 at Fort Carlton, Saskatchewan, he did not want a hanging and would agree to sign treaty. However, it took him several years to actually sign treaty and relocate north to near Fort Pitt, Saskatchewan. Chief Little Bear remained in Montana at his 900 sq. mi. Reserve located near Great Falls. It was chief Rocky Boy who fled to Canada. During June of 1885 or during 1885's Northwest Rebellion, he fled back to Montana. He entered Montana where Baab is. He then moved on to Flathead Reservation.

In May of 1894, white leaders in Great Falls, Montana coerced chief Little Bear into holding sun dances. Not all Montana Ojibways fled to Canada in 1876-1877. Many continued to follow treaty agreements and lived throughout chief Big Bears large Reserve. In 1895, chief Little Bear went on a wild west tour with sun dances a main attraction. While he was gone, American Soldiers were sent to Great Falls and between Augusta, Helena and Lewistown and rounded up 1,000s of Ojibway's and forcefully Deported them to other Indian Reservations and other countries including Canada. Chief Little Bear was upset about what happened. He was forced to relocate to Canada. However, he returned to his native Montana. His 900 sq. mi. Reservation was stolen however. He learned not to trust whites afterwards. According to that newspaper article excerpt below, his village was located 3 miles west of Great falls and adjacent to Great Falls Fairgrounds. Great Falls Fairgrounds are in Great Falls so that article was off by at least 3 miles. His Reservation is, in fact, rather large. Around that time (1898 or so) chief Rocky Boy became highest ranking Ojibway leader.

Chief Rocky Boy was defiant. He continued to live throughout that Reservation granted to chief Big Bear. He led Indian outlaws during those times. They robbed banks, stagecoaches and trains to raise money up to move to South America. Chief Rocky Boy was not a peaceful leader if you think he was. He was very defiant and led 10,000s of Ojibway's in Canada and United States. Chief Little Bear didn't like him. He became a sub-chief of chief Rocky Boy. Read excerpt below. It was chief Rocky Boy who inherited chief Big Bears (chief Yellow Quills) throne. American leaders did, in fact, recognize chief Rocky Boy as ruler. In 1913, chief Rocky Boy was granted a Reservation adjacent to Great Falls. In 1911, his brother chief Pennato (it may have been chief Little Bear) requested of his brother chief Rocky Boy, to get a Reservation at Bears Paw Mountains. He may have meant chief Little Bears old Reservation adjacent to Great Falls. By 1914, chief Rocky Boy had around 700 Ojibways with him at his Reservation adjacent to Great Falls. Around same time, chief Little Bear was leader of Fort Assiniboine Indian Reservation (name changed to Rocky Boys Reservation in 1916) and remained chief until his death in 1921. However, chief Rocky Boy got his Reservation back for him. Though chief Little Bear continued to side with whites, it was chief Rocky Boy that stood his ground.

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