February 11, 2012

White Face Woman: Introduction

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.


  1. Good Morning, Brenda.
    As a Daily Guidepost reader, I read your messages, and your thumb-nail sketch in the back of the book.
    It is so nice to have someone in the Daily book, who lives nearby - Camano Island is my home.
    Today, I decided to try to contact you and let you know that you were my "prayer" person of the day from the book.

  2. Thank you very much for thinking of me. I was just recently "fired" from Guideposts, so enjoy me while you can. A new editor came in and took over Andrew Attaway's position and I got the boot. It was a good run, seventeen years, but not writing for them will be a hole in my life. I've spent so many years viewing the world from story glasses--maybe I should write my own devotional book? Anyway, these things happen in the publishing world all the time. And I'll see what other writing projects take shape.

    I love Camano Island and was just over there the first of January to a wedding reception. Are you on the east or west half? I nearly bought a cabin on the east shore many years ago. I think I probably should have done it!

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