A sad tale of life in the early 1800s
During a cold winter in the early 1800s, Little Shell the first had returned from a successful hunting trip to his camp near Pembina. He had killed two elk and he instructed his wife where they were, and she set out the next morning to skin the elk and cut the meat. Her young son was with her and they had traveled quite a ways form their camp, when the boy saw some Sioux coming towards them. He told his mother, “The Sioux are coming!”
Little Shell’s wife took her knife and cut the boy’s blanket from his body so he could run faster, and she instructed him to run home and tell his father that the Sioux were coming. He left and ran home as fast as he could, while she grabbed her knife and went to confront the approaching war party.
The boy was still running when he heard several gunshots and knew his mother was dead. He ran as hard as he could, fearing his pursuers were near and eventually lost consciousness; and when he arrived at camp, the Sioux were about 150 yards behind him. The Ojibwe fought the Sioux off and the attackers left.
Little Shell’s son vomited blood for days and never recovered his health or strength. He died about a year later.
Adapted from Walsh, R. (1830). American quarterly review volume 8. Carey, Lea & Carey.
A collaborative effort of members of the Ojibwe and Metis communities