A Teetotaler and a Dakota Chief Found A City

chief whitecap and john lakeOn a walk in Saskatoon I passed this statue by artist Hans Holtkamp of John Lake and Chief Whitecap.  They are recognized as the co-founders of the city.john lakeJohn Lake was a Methodist minister from Toronto and a leader in the temperance movement. He came to the area where Saskatoon stands today in 1882 looking for a place where he could establish a ‘dry’ settlement away from the lure of the liquor in Toronto. The first settlers arrived in Saskatoon by traveling to Moose Jaw on the train and the rest of the way by horse-drawn cart. sioux chief whitecap founder of saskatoon

Whitecap was a Dakota Sioux First Nation chief who met with John Lake in 1882 and suggested the area he should choose for his colony’s town site.  Whitecap and his people taught Lake and the first settlers how to survive on the prairies. Whitecap also protected the settlement during the 1885 Northwest Rebellion by striking an agreement with the rebellion’s leaders to spare the community if he joined forces with them in Batoche.

chief whitecap and john lake  by hans holtkampHan Holtkamp the artist who created the sculpture said he wanted Whitecap as the dominant figure, gesturing grandly across the South Saskatchewan River saying, “This is my land. I’m showing you this, I’m proud of it.” 

Thanks to the cooperation between two  leaders Saskatoon was founded and is now a city with more than a quarter million people. 

Other posts about Saskatoon……….

Early Morning Walk in Saskatoon


What Next in Saskatoon

Pool Project

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Filed under Art, Canada, History

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