Cypress Hills Massacre little-known dark point in Canadian history
FORT WALSH, Sask. – One of Canada’s worst mass murders occurred in what is now a remote area of southwestern Saskatchewan, but experts say it barely registers as a footnote in Canadian history today. The silence at Fort Walsh Historical Site, 60 kilometres from the U.S. border in Cypress Hills Provincial Park, can be deafening at times.
But on June 1, 1873, an altercation erupted just two kilometres from Fort Walsh between a small band of Nakoda (Assiniboine) people and a group of American wolfers. The wolfers would poison buffalo carcasses left behind by robe traders and then harvest fur from the dead wolves and coyotes that ate the tainted meat.