In 1879, it was reported that there were numerous hostilities happening between settlers and the Indians of Montana. Many depredations were committed, and it was reported that a large number of the hostiles were “half-breeds and foreign Indians from British Canada, including some Indians under Sitting Bull”.
While some of the attacks against settlers were done by the half-breeds directly, they were mainly accused of providing weapons and ammunition to the hostile Indians forces. Because of this, in July of that year, Col. Miles was sent from Fort Keogh, Montana, with a military force that was intent on breaking up the half-breed camps and forcing them to return to Canada.
After a small chase and battle with the Yanktonai Sioux, where several Indians were killed and where Miles lost one soldier and three Indian scouts, he was able to turn his attentions towards the half-breeds who had originally fled into Canada to Wood Mountain when the Indian camp was attacked, but who had again returned back into Milk River territory.
On August 4, Miles and Capt. Overshine arrested a band of half-breeds, including 143 carts and 193 horses, at Porcupine Creek. The next day four camps were arrested and 308 carts were confiscated. In total, 829 half-breeds were arrested and 665 Red River carts were seized by Col. Miles. They were deported across the border back into Canada.
At the end of the hostilities, accounts reported that 20 white people had been killed and 200 head of cattle had been stolen.
Adapted from: Congressional Serial Set, 63rd Congress, 2nd Session (1914)
A collaborative effort of members of the Ojibwe and Metis communities