|Jarvis is seated in the center.|
a story by John O’kute-sica, White Face Woman's nephew, 1957, found in the Saskatchewan Archives
I was doing research in Regina a few years ago when I came across this interesting story of a romance between Major William Jarvis of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and a Sioux refugee in 1880. More than 3,000 Sioux had found sanctuary in Canada after Custer's "Last Stand" in 1876 and the resultant, unmerciful manhunt. It was a tense few years. The Americans were growing more and more insistent on the return of the Sioux, the buffalo were rapidly disappearing from the plains, and the Canadian Cree--pushing south from their customary hunting grounds in search of the buffalo--were growing resentful of Sioux presence competing for diminishing food resources. This short romance between Jarvis and White Face Woman is an interesting bit of personal drama in the bigger, unfolding drama of two races--one dominant, one all but conquered--caught in international conflict. Their story brings history to life in a way textbooks can never hope to achieve.
Here is the story in eight parts, as told by John O'kute-sica.