Dibaajimowin Blog

In the early 1900s, an account of a battle between the Ojibwe and Mandan was recounted by Flying Nice – a warrior of the Pembina (Turtle Mountain) band – that saw the terrible mutilation of a young daughter of chief Red Bear and a resounding victory for the Ojibwe.

About 1840, the Pembina band was camped on the Red River about a mile and a half north of the present city of Pembina, on the west side of the river. The headman of the camp was the first Red Bear chief. While camped there, a party of Mandan were out on a war expedition in this vicinity. The Mandan arrived at the Pembina River and decided that they would attack the Ojibwe camp. The Mandans made a raft and floated across the river and proceeded north to the camp of Red Bear and his people. Along the way to the camp, the Mandans encountered some Ojibwe children who were playing and digging wild carrots along a slough south of the camp. The Mandans crept cautiously along and rose up to capture the children, but the children were able to run away towards their camp – all except one small girl, the daughter of Red Bear. Red Bear’s daughter was grabbed by the Mandans and was immediately scalped on each side of her head above her ears. She was then released, bleeding and staggering towards her home.

Meanwhile, in Red Bear’s camp, a medicine man named Mishequot had a premonition that something terrible was about to happen. He called to the other men of the camp just as the first child ran into camp crying “The Sioux are here!”, mistaking the Mandans for the traditional enemies of the Ojibwe. Immediately, the Ojibwe warriors rushed to their tipis and grabbed their weapons, running in the direction from which the children had come. On their way to the slough, the warriors found Red Bear’s daughter staggering toward the camp, her scalp gone and her head covered with blood. Among the warriors were two sons of Red Bear, Southern Sky and Great Walker, who were horrified to find their sister in this state. After seeing that she would survive, the brothers rejoined the warriors and rushed to find the enemy and extract revenge.

The Ojibwe warriors approached the Pembina River, where they found the Mandans dropping over the river banks to escape. Immediately, both brothers fired their guns and the rest of the Ojibwe followed suit and were all shooting from the top of the riverbank down on the fleeing Mandan warriors who were desperately diving into the water to escape death. It is uncertain of how many Mandans were killed that day, but it was found out years afterward, when the Ojibwe and Mandan were at peace, that very few warriors from this party – numbering about 40 people – made it home to the Missouri River after the battle. All of the Mandan’s clothing and provisions were seized by the Ojibwe as war prizes.

The daughter of Red Bear survived her horrific wounds and did not die as some had expected. She lived to adulthood and was married. Sadly, she passed away when her canoe tipped while fishing. Flying Nice, the teller of this story, was the brother-in-law of the daughter of Red Bear who survived.


SOURCE: SHSND (1923) Collections of the State Historical Society of North Dakota. Volume 5. O.G. Libby (Ed). State Historical Society of North Dakota, Grand Forks.

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The Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) will be coming to Grand Forks, ND to hold a Community meeting with Red River Métis Citizens and potential Citizens currently residing outside Canada and the province of Manitoba.

The purpose of the meeting is for the MMF to present the current structure of the government, its programs and services, and to receive valuable input and guidance on the needs of its Citizens in order to build the future of the Red River Métis Government.

Citizens will play a key role throughout the meeting, as there will be opportunities to speak with MMF leadership and provide your views on the future of our Government. All attendees will receive meeting giveaways and be entered to win a door prize.

The meeting will be on Monday September 26, 2022, from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM (Registration at 4:30 PM, Dinner at 5:00 PM) and is open to all citizens and their families.

Please respond by email or reach out to the Engagement & Consultation Department at 1-204-586-8474 or consultation@mmf.mb.ca to register!

If you are unable to make the start of the meeting but wish to still attend, please still register and notify us of your late arrival.

Please note, Citizens who register and attend will receive compensation for mileage and meals as well as other necessary accommodations for attending.

We look forward to hearing from you,

Jaggar Barrault

Department of Engagement and Consultation

Manitoba Métis Federation

300-150 Henry Avenue

Winnipeg, MB, R3B 0J7

E-mail: consultation@mmf.mb.ca

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Wild Rice season is here, and hunting season is fast upon us, so here is a simple recipe for using your Wild Rice and your Venison in a tasty, traditional stew. Enjoy!


  1. Cut one venison shoulder into stew meat. Brown in frying pan.

  2. Put browned venison into crock pot and add water until pot is 3/4 full. Boil until tender.

  3. Drain broth through colander to remove fat tallow. Set meat aside.

  4. Cook wild rice in the venison broth until done.

  5. Add meat back in along with diced potatoes and carrots. Onions optional.

  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  7. Simmer for one to one and a half hours.

  8. Garnish with herbs.

  9. Serve.

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