|Michal Janus, NWMP, Fort Walsh, SK, 2011|
An event that helped shape the Canadian West was the arrival of Sitting Bull and his band, fresh from the June 25, 1876 Battle of Little Bighorn, which is also known as Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer's Last Stand. Sitting Bull led his people across the U.S./Can border which they called, The Medicine Line.
Major James M. Walsh, officer in charge of Fort Walsh, took, a sergeant and three troopers and rode into Sitting Bull's camp and demanded to speak to Sitting Bull. That began a relationship between the Mountie and the Chief that would last for years. I won't relay all the dramatic events here, because you can read about it on websites like www.historynet.com/sitting-bull-and-the-mounties.htm.
In 1881 when Sitting Bull finally surrendered and returned to the U.S., a small band of Lakota refused to go back. They wintered in the Wakamow Valley in what is now the city of Moose Jaw.
For 3 years during the 1980's I was posted to the airbase at Moose Jaw. At that time, there was a Wild Animal Park in the Wakamow Valley where we could go see cougars, bobcats, bears, etc. Hubby loved to visit in the evening when the animals were prowling. He could make the bobcat growl just by the way he looked at him. It was a private park, however, and the owners sold the land and shipped the animals away. For decades, the beautiful valley lay abandoned, in disrepair, and open to vandals.
That is all changing. I'm thrilled to announce that on July 1st, Burning Sun Productions is using the natural ampitheatre of the Wakamow Valley as the setting for the live Theatre on The Hoof production of A Real West Show. Based on the beginnings of the NWMP and their relationship with the American guests who crossed The Medicine Line, the production will show the splendor, gravity, and bravado of that historic era.
The Wakamow Valley clean-up has begun. Restroom facilities are being constructed. The actors are learning their roles. Horses are being chosen for the production as well as to pull the wagons that will transport guests from the parking lot, across to the open-air theatre.
I volunteered to help spread the word through social media. This project is very important to me for several reasons:
- the relationship between Sitting Bull and Col. Walsh was based on mutual respect. Our children need to know problems can be resolved without bloodshed
- people learn and then remember easier when they can visualize the event
- I'll have a chance to take pics of Mounties - strictly for research, of course
- I need horse photos, too
|Official 2012 poster for A Real West Show, Burning Sun Productions|
I found a video to give some details about the NWMP/RCMP, and their uniforms. It's quite interesting, although long, but the final couple minutes are talking about the Legion uniform and can be missed IMHO.
Have you been to a live production like this, or one of the Passion plays, etc? What are your thoughts/memories of the experience.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Anita Mae Draper is retired from the Canadian Armed Forces and lives on the prairie of southeast Saskatchewan, Canada with her hubby of 30 plus years and 2 of their 4 kids. She writes stories set on the prairies of Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. Anita Mae has semi-finaled in the Historical Romance category of the ACFW's 2011 Genesis contest and finaled in the Inspirational category of the 2011 Daphne du Maurier, the 2011 Fool for Love, the 2011 Duel on the Delta and 2009 Linda Howard Award of Excellence contests. Anita Mae is represented by Mary Keeley of Books and Such Literary Agency. You can find Anita at http://www.anitamaedraper.com/