The cultural Belief in Windigos results in murder charges
After 15 weeks of captivity, the Jack Fiddler escaped, fled into the woods, and killed himself. Joseph’s trial began a week later. He had no legal representation and was quickly found guilty and ordered to hang.
Following Joseph’s conviction, some questioned whether the brothers should have been punished for committing an act that wasn’t an offense in their culture. For evidence of this, one need look no further than Fiddler’s statement to police, in which he insisted that “I did not know what I was doing was wrong, and if I had known, I would not have done the deed.” However, critics of the sentence failed to get it overturned. Joseph Fiddler died from illness before he could hang, and in 1910, after losing two of their leaders, the Sandy Lake First Nation signed Treaty Five with the Canadian federal government, ending their freedom and forcing them onto a reserve.