Indian Fall

A historical account of four Indigenous leaders — Piapot, Big Bear, Crowfoot and Poundmaker — during the tumultuous 19th century.

D'Arcy Jenish

The 19th century was time of turmoil, trauma and conflict in the Canadian West. Cree, Blackfoot and other original inhabitants were being pushed aside by newcomers. Wars, famines and plagues; treaties, trials, refugees and hangings were all part of the swirl of events that brought an end to ancient ways of living and allowed a new order to rise.

Indian Fall is an arresting account of this epochal conflict, told through the lives of four heroic Indigenous leaders: Piapot; Big Bear; Crowfoot and Poundmaker. Their way of life allowed them to draw strength from the elements, knowledge from the land and wisdom from their dreams. Their culture was based on motion and mobility, homes that were light and portable, villages that flowed with the seasons and the herds of buffalo.

These men and their peoples were up against an alien and incomprehensible civilization that strove for permanence, erected fences and fixed structures, built roads and railways, and adhered to clocks and calendars. The times denied Piapot, Big Bear, Crowfoot and Poundmaker rousing victories and personal glory. They relied on unshakeable courage and integrity to deal with circumstances that fate and dealt. They were heroes to their followers and rightly so for they were remarkable leaders. (From