hide You are viewing an archived web page, collected at the request of University of Alberta using Archive-It. This page was captured on 16:44:06 Dec 08, 2010, and is part of the HCF Alberta Online Encyclopedia collection. The information on this web page may be out of date. See All versions of this archived page.

Heritage Community Foundation Presents
Alberta Online Encyclopedia

No. 384: Ateesh-ka-sees: Cree Trader: Part Two

The Hudson's Bay Company wanted Anthony Henday to meet with the Archithinue, who were members of the Blackfoot Confederacy.

As historian Susan Berry explains, in the fall of 1754, a Cree Trading Captain named Ateesh-ka-sees guided Henday deep into the territory occupied by the Archithinue. This was present-day Red Deer.

They wanted him to try and persuade the Archithinue to travel themselves to Hudson Bay, and bring furs with them. And they also wanted Henday to scout out what was happening with the Montreal-based French traders who had established a couple of posts on the Saskatchewan River and were intercepting the canoe flotillas of the Cree when they went down in the spring, and taking most of the best furs for themselves.

The Archithinue said they didn't want to travel all the way to Hudson Bay. They already got the European goods they needed from other traders in the region.

However, the mission was not a complete failure.

It worked out well, though, in terms of Ateesh-ka-sees guiding Henday to the Archithinue country, setting-up the meeting with the Archithinue, also linking him with potential trading partners along the way, many of the Assiniboine who they met as they travelled to the Archithinue country, for example.

Ateesh-ka-sees provided Henday with protection from the French, which was important, since the man who was at the post at The Pas tried to prevent Henday from going through. So, in those ways, I think that it was successful. And of course Ateesh-ka-sees was the interpreter for Henday.

They didn't actually spend the winter together, because Ateesh-ka-sees went off with the Archithinue, and then met up with Henday again in the spring when they were building the canoes to start down the North Saskatchewan River and head back to York Factory.

Several years later, Ateesh-ka-sees's guided other Hudson's Bay employees into Archithinue country. Henry Pressick in 1761, and James Dearing in 1765 and again in 1770.

The last time Ateesh-ka-sees' name appeared in the Hudson Bay records was in 1781. He most likely perished, along with other members of his Woodland Cree band, in the smallpox epidemic of that same year.

On the Heritage Trail,

I'm Cheryl Croucher.

Close this window

Albertasource.ca | Contact Us | Partnerships
            For more on the Aboriginal history of Alberta, visit Peel’s Prairie Provinces.