Timeline... 1870 - 1879

The World

1876:  Battle of Little Bighorn, June 25 and 26. A combined Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho force, overwhelms the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States.

1876: Alexander Graham Bell successfully transmits the first bi-directional transmission of clear speech. An improved design for the “telephone” was patented the next year.



The newly created Northwest Mounted Police march west from Dufferin, Manitoba, on passing the Turtle Mountains they have a brief glimpse of some of the Minnesota Sioux and their white captives.  


1874 - July 31 - First Russian Mennonites arrive at Winnipeg on the steamer International.

1878 - December 4 - First freight by rail reached St. Boniface. Two days later, the first freight for export was shipped by rail from St. Boniface via steamer.

Rapid City (originally known as Farmer’s Crossing) established. A Land Office was located there.  

First grain elevator built in Niverville.

Steamboats service established the Assiniboine as far as Fort Ellice.

Hartney and the R.M. of Cameron


A large number of Santee Sioux had lived in the Turtle Mountains and along the Souris River since 1863.  In 1872 the Sioux along the river moved to a proposed reservation just south and west of Grande. Clariere.  This temporary 36 square mile reserve was only in use for a short time until a permanent reserve was set up.


A Sioux Reserve is established at the junction of the Assiniboine and Oak Rivers.  This is the Oak River Reserve although it is often referred to as Sioux Valley.  Today it has a population of around 1,000 people, most of whom are Santee.  At least two families on the Reserve claim their relatives were involved in the Custer Massacre.


Battle of Little Bighorn

The western Sioux, Oglallas and Hunkpapas, along with the Santee realized by 1870, that the Americans intended to take their homeland regardless of the terms of the Laramie Treaties of 1851 and 1868.  War with the U.S. Army followed with the Sioux winning two great victories against General Crook and General Custer.  But, then fortunes changed and the Sioux began the long migration to Canada in 1876.

According to L.C. Lockwood, a civilian Scout and Custer’s Troops in 1876, following the Custer Massacre, one band of Sioux escaped to the Turtle Mountain camping on the Canadian side beside Lake Flossie.

From there they sent raiding parties into the Dakotas to attack army units and American settlements.  To counteract his, the U.S. 7th Cavalry was sent north to patrol the Canadian border along the Souris River and Turtle Mountains.  These attacks by the Sioux continued for two years.  In 1878, the U.S. Army still kept pickets at Fort Lincoln (present day Bismarck) on the Missouri River, as the Sioux from the Turtles had attacked the fort several times.  It appears that this band of Sioux, probably Hunkpapas, maintained this Turtle Mountain stronghold until 1885 and probably later.

By the end of 1876 more than 7,000 Sioux had crossed the Medicine line into Canada.  


The Santee Sioux, in the Turtles, request a reserve from the Manitoba Lieutenant-Governor.  This was granted them on their promise not to aid the American Sioux, who were still at war with the American authorities, and in 1878 they received a reserve north of Pipestone near Oak Lake.  Today this is called the Oak Lake Reserve.

In the same year a Turtle Mountain Reserve was established for a group of Wapheton Sioux and some Hunkpapas from Lake Flossie.  This reserve operated until 1907 when its residents were moved to the Oak Lake Reserve.  In 1908 then the Oak Lake Reserve included Waphetons, Santee, a few Hunkpapas and some descendents of Chief Inkpaduta (Santess outlawed before 1862 by the main Santee Nation).


Some of the Manitoba Sioux join one of the last Metis buffalo hunting parties, a group of 500 men, women and children. While hunting along the Souris River in Dakota they are attacked by General Miles and the American Cavalry.  The Sioux were forced to withdraw to Canada but the Metis were taken prisoner.  The American authorities then tried to settle the Metis permanently in the Turtle Mountains and on the American side.  This may have been the beginning of a Metis settlement that exists in the Turtles today.

A group of Ontario settlers started the settlement of Old Deloraine to the north of the Turtle Mountains in Manitoba.   

Two settlements appear on the Souris River.  A Plum Creek settlement was started by Squire Sowden which became the present town of Souris.  North east of Hartney a small village called Malta began.  One of the first settlers was Jack Selby from Montana.  He homesteaded on the south side of the river on ec. 34, Tp. 6, Rge. 23.   Malta had a blacksmith shop, a boarding house and a store, but in 1889 when the C.P.R. built on the south side of the river, the residents all moved to form the village of Menteith.  To the south of Malta a ferry operated on the Section 7.