Aboriginal Constable

A photograph of an Aboriginal (Cree) man wearing a military style outfit and holding a rifle. He wears a gun belt with ammunition and a revolver on his right hip. The gun belt and revolver are probably George Mann Jr's property, and it is likely that he staged this photograph. A gun belt and revolver are artifacts held by a direct descendant of Mann Jr. Picture was possibly taken on Onion Lake or Saddle Lake reserve between 1900 and 1930. Mann was known to visit these areas well into the 1920s.

Historical note:

George Gwynne Mann was born in Darlington, Upper Canada on November 24, 1843. He spent most of his youth and young adult life in Bowmanville, Ontario where he tended his father's farm. In the mid to late 1860s he was a member of the 45th West Durham Battalion of Infantry and saw action in the Fenian raids. In 1878 he sold his property and moved west as a Government farm instructor, first at Fort Pitt and then Onion Lake North-West Territories. He was joined there by his wife Sarah and their three children, Blanche, Charlotte and George Junior in 1883. The evening of 2 April 1885 after the so-called Frog Lake massacre they were helped to escape to Fort Pitt by the family of treaty Chief Seekascootch (Cutarm). Two weeks later they were taken prisoner and held for two months by Plains Cree warriors under the leadership of Wandering Spirit. In the winter of 1885 Mann was promoted to Indian agent and he and his family remained in Onion Lake until 1900 when he was transferred to Saddle Lake, NWT. In 1905 he was transferred to Hobbema, Alberta where he remained until his death in 1916. He is buried in the Wetaskiwin cemetery.
Open Access
Primary Source
Publication Date
University of Saskatchewan Archives, George Gwynne Mann Family Fonds, Mannphoto 43; records from Our Legacy site, http://scaa.sk.ca/ourlegacy
Resource Type
Images -- Photographs
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