Old Wives Massacre

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Old Wives Massacre

An Indian legend from the 1800s reveals how Old Wives Lake, the west, was named. One winter a Cree party went beyond their traditional area in search of buffalo. They ventured into territory claimed by both the Cree and the Blackfoot.

The Cree were rewarded by a successful hunt. At their lakeside camp they were surprised by a Blackfoot war party. After a brief skirmish, the Blackfoot went back into the hills to wait for dawn. The Cree fires burned into the night as they decided what to do.

The old Cree women suggested that they stay and tend the fires, allowing the rest of the Cree to get away.

At sunrise the Blackfoot were enraged to find only the Grandmothers tending the fires. It is unlikely any women survived. The Cree called the lake Notukeu for old women.

On windy nights you may hear the old wives' laughter mocking their Blackfoot enemies.

Government of Saskatchewan


Land Location NW S34 T12 R27 W2M
Rural Municipality 101 - Terrell
GPS Location 50° 2' 40.52" N, 105° 37' 18.88" W
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