Jean Ochapowace and her brother, Kahkewistahaw (aka Eagle Flying In A Circle), in Saskatchewan – Cree – no date
Note: Much later, Jean Ochapowace would marry Jimmy Kaysaywaysemat.
Kā-kīwistāhāw (or Kahkewistahaw, meaning “He Who Flies Around”) (c. 1810 – 1906) was a Canadian Plains Cree Chief.
Kahkewistahaw’s father, Le Sonnant (Mähsette Kuiuab), was a leader of the Rabbit Skin people (Wāpošwayānak). Le Sonnant, a medicine man and warrior, was one of the signatories of the 1817 Selkirk Treaty.
In September of 1874 Kahkewistahaw himself signed Treaty 4, which established reserves for each signatory tribe. In 1881, the tribe’s reserve was surveyed. It was situated on the south side of the Qu’Appelle Valley, between Round Lake and Crooked Lake. Once the reserve was established, many, including Kahkewistahaw, gave up their traditional buffalo hunting and adopted farming and raising cattle. The reserve’s land proved fertile, and the proximity of the Canadian Pacific Railway to the south further increased its value. Periodically the chief came under pressure to sell or surrender part of his territory to white settlers, but Kahkewistahaw steadfastly refused.
Like most other Plains Cree leaders, Kahkewistahaw did not participate in the 1885 North-West Rebellion. Kahkewistahaw told his Indian Agent, “we will remain on our reserves and attend to our work,” and even offered to protect the agent’s family should the rebellion endanger them. In 1886, Kahkewistahaw and other “loyal” chiefs were chosen to travel to Brantford, Ontario, for the unveiling of a memorial to Joseph Brant (Thayendanegea).
In 1906 Kahkewistahaw died on his reserve. Only a year after his death the tribe gave up 70% of their land.
Carter, Sarah A. (1994). “Kā-kīwistāhāw”. In Cook, Ramsay; Hamelin, Jean (eds.). Dictionary of Canadian Biography. XIII (1901–1910) (online ed.). University of Toronto Press.
Back row, left to right:
Louis O’Soup (Chippewa Chief) and Peter Hourie (interpreter).
Front row, left to right:
Ah-tah-ka-koop (Starblanket), Kah-kiwistahaw (Flying in a Circle), Mistawasis (Big Child).
Photo taken on October 16, 1886, on their visit for the unveiling of the Brant Memorial, October 18, 1886.
Photo from the Saskatchewan Archives Board R-B2837
Every year on Novemeber 11th we honour all 28 Kahkewistahaw veterans who were enlisted and served in WW1, WW2, the Korean War, Afghanistan and overseas. In honour and memory of the Veterans of Kahkewistahaw First Nation:
Ross D. Alexson
Victor J. Alexson
Joseph G. Wasacase
Amy Hammie P. Busche
Evan B. G. Taypotat