Blackfeet ride commemorates Baker Massacre

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(Photo: Courtesy of Blackfeet Community College)

DUNKIRK – The Blackfeet Community College recently commemorated the Baker Massacre of 1870 with a ceremony and a 70-mile tribute horseback ride led by Terrance LaFromboise.

The massacre saw the decimation of Heavy Runner’s band of Piikani by a squadron of cavalry from the Second Cavalry Regiment, led by Major Eugene Baker. The raid killed mostly women, children and elderly men, many of whom had smallpox.

“Jan. 23, 1870, was a day we have to remember not for the purpose of bringing back a sense of trauma or history that we think holds no relevance to who we are as Aamp-ska-pi-Piikanii,” LaFromboise told the Glacier Reporter. “On the contrary, psychological research shows us that we hold onto trauma through our DNA, and that plays into our oppression, depression, suicide, domestic violence and drug and alcohol addiction.”