Red Crow, Mékaisto, Blood, 1830-1900
He was a Blood chief who was a signatory to Treaty 7.
Red Crow was born about 1830 at Belly River (now the Oldman River)
south of present City of Lethbridge. He succeeded his father,
Chief Black Bear and was the brother-in-law of Chief Crowfoot.
In his youth Red Crow was known as Sitting White Buffalo and as
a young brave took part in many raining, warring and hunting parties,
mainly against the Crees, Crows and Snakes. When traders from
Montana built Fort Whoop-Up both in the vicinity of Lethbridge,
Blood Indians exchanged buffalo robes for poor and diluted whiskey,
and at first Red Crow patronized the whiskey traders as well.
Later he saw the destruction the whiskey caused his people and
co-operated with the Northwest Mounted Police when they came to
the Northwest Territories and built Fort Macleod in 1874. Red
Crow and his Indians were hunting and failed to appear on the
day Treaty 7 was to be negotiated. Chief Crowfoot of the Blackfoot
delayed the procedures for three days so that Red Crow could be
present. A large reservation area was set aside to serve Bloods,
Sarcees and Blackfoot. A new reservation was eventually established
between the Bloods temporary campground and the St. Mary River.
From a fearsome youth with a violent temper and expert horse stealing
he became a chief of peace who knew the value of modern education
and traditional customs and was given the coveted title of “Father
of his tribesmen.”