Wandering Spirit (Cree leader)

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Wandering Spirit (a.k.a. Kapapamahchakwew, Papamahchakwayo, Esprit Errant; b.1845 – d.1885) was a Cree war chief of a band of Plains Cree.

Frog Lake Massacre[edit]

The Frog Lake Massacre was a Cree uprising during the North-West Resistance. Led by Wandering Spirit, young Cree warriors attacked the small town near Frog Lake, Alberta on April 2, 1885.

Angered by treaties by the Canadian government that they perceived as unfair and the dwindling bison population, their main source of food, Big Bear and his Cree decided to rebel after the successful Métis victory at Duck Lake. They gathered all the white settlers in the area into the local church. Thomas Quinn, the town's Indian Agent, was killed after a disagreement broke out. The Cree then shot at the settlers. Nine people were killed and three were taken as captives.

The massacre prompted the Canadian government to take notice of the growing unrest in Western Canada. The rebellion was eventually put down, and Wandering Spirit, the war chief responsible for the Frog Lake Massacre, was captured.


For his involvement in the Frog Lake Massacre, Wandering Spirit was hanged on November 27, 1885 at Battleford, Saskatchewan. He sang a love song to his wife before he was hanged.

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