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The Stoney Nakoda Nation Profiles - Jacob Goodstoney

Chief Jacob Goodstoney was born in the Nakoda (Stoney) hunting camp near the Brazeau River in what is now southern Alberta. Nakoda chiefs followed a heredity line of succession, and so by right of birth Goodstoney became leader of the northernmost of the three Nakoda First Nations in Alberta.

In his youth, Goodstoney lived a warrior’s life, but gained notoriety in his later years for his efforts at peacemaking. Like many of the Nakoda, Goodstoney converted to Christianity, largely due to his friendships with missionaries Robert Rundle and John McDougall.

The Nakoda bands were the first to accept the treaty offered to them by the British Crown, and Goodstoney signed the document on behalf of his band which in records of the event was called Jacob’s Band. After the signing, Goodstoney had the task of trying to mend the division in his band between factions that opposed life on the reserve and those who tried to adapt to reserve life.  The reserve land surveyed for the Nakoda in 1879 was agriculturally poor, so the transition from a hunting to a farming life was frustrating for the Nakoda. Jacob Goodstoney died on the Nakoda reserve at Morley in 1885.  He is remembered for his patience and work at peacemaking during a very difficult time in the history of his people.

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