1885 Part I - The Dream of Big Bear

from by B.D. Willoughby

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For further reading see:

Blair Stonechild and Bill Waiser. (1997). Loyal Until Death: Indians and the North-West Rebellion. Fifth House Publishing.

Rudy Wiebe. (2008). Big Bear. Penguin Books.


1885 Part I – The Dream of Big Bear

A train was promised from Canada,
They wanted a treaty to sign,
They gathered to hear the queen’s promises,
And lies..
Big Bear, would not sign.

They were the last tribe, hunting the buffalo,
Followed them south past the Medicine line,
The herds fell to the guns of the Americans,
Bones piled ten feet high.
Big Bear, how will your people survive?

The wolf traders and the whisky bars,
The US Cavalry,
They went north with a hard winter coming
What choice could they make?
Big Bear signed the treaty, and accepted his fate.

Big Bear dreamed of a people strong and free,
A united homeland for the Cree,
A Commons for the bison to roam,
A place to call home.

It was the morning of April 2nd,
the year was 1885,
Shots fired out, from a miserable man
The dream of Big Bear had died.
Big Bear, wasting away, in Stony Mountain penitentiary.


from The Qu'Appelle Valley, released April 29, 2016
Vocals: B.D. Willoughby
Lead Guitar: Kris Smith
Rhythm Guitar: B.D. Willoughby
Bass: Scott Fulton
Drums: Mark Budd
Keyboards: Steve ‘The Hat’ Jeske



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B.D. Willoughby regina, Saskatchewan

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