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Benjamin SinclairRobert Rundle's Pigeon Lake Mission never flourished and after his departure no missionary appointments were made for seven years. Protestantism west of Norway House was left to the Aboriginal people to maintain and, with the help of prominent figures like Robert Sinclair and Maskepetoon, it survived the interregnum.

Treaty 6 - Rocky Mountain HouseSinclair, disappointed by the lack of support, abandoned the Pigeon Lake Mission in 1850. It later served as residence for Thomas Woolsey and was reopened as a mission by John McDougall in 1865. The establishment of a new mission on the Bow River in 1873 and the signing of Treaty 6 in 1876 eventually caused Rundle's Mission at Pigeon Lake to be sidelined. 

Mount RundleAlthough Rundle was criticized at the time for his wandering ways and his lack of success in establishing a permanent mission, travellers to the region and the new missionaries who arrived in the mid-1850s soon realized the importance of his legacy. On a hunting trip in 1859-60, the Earl of Southesk reported that Assiniboine communities still remembered Rundle and practiced his teachings 12 years after his departure. In his words, "these families were far from any mission station, and had not even seen a missionary for many years;  still they showed considerable acquaintance with Scripture, and were regular in their morning and evening devotions . . .Their knowledge is supposed to have been imparted by Rev. Mr. Rundle." 

Rundle's Monument Plaque The Palliser Expedition, which surveyed much of the area that stretched from Lake Superior to the west side of the Rocky Mountains, also paid homage to Rundle's influence and named a mountain in his honour. Rundle's initiative to introduce agriculture to Aboriginal people in the Pigeon Lake area is today recognized by a National Historic Monument at the original mission site, erected in 1965. The importance of the site was further acknowledged in 1997 and designated a Provincial Historic Site. 

Citation Sources
Wilson, Keith. Robert Terrill Rundle. Canadian Biographical Series. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba, 1986.


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