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Rundle's MissionBecause John McDougall spent his childhood among Aboriginal people, he spoke their languages and understood their ways better than most missionaries. He was a strong horseman and enjoyed the trust and respect of his community. Various references, from John's own hand as well as others, note that the Aboriginal people called him "one of us." 

John McDougall played a leading role in developing missions at Pigeon Lake and Morley. Although the Pigeon Lake Mission, established by Robert Rundle in 1847, never grew into a permanent settlement, from its base McDougall established ties with the surrounding Nakoda (Stoney) communities, links that would help him throughout his career.

Morley MissionThe Morley Mission, with a church and school, grew into a community named Morleyville. Established during the 1870s and during a period of increasing discontent among the Aboriginal population, the mission was received with mixed feelings-many Stoney-Nakoda welcomed the arrival of the missionaries, hoping they would help combat the ravages of liquor and offer some relief from famine and war. Others among the tribe, however, were less receptive and kept their distance.

John McDougall was a pivotal link between the Aboriginal and Métis communities and the incoming settlers. The government, well aware of Cart Trainhis relationship with the indigenous population, asked him to prepare the tribes, especially those of the Blackfoot Nation to the South, for the coming treaty negotiations. In 1874, when the North-West Mounted Police began to move into the West, McDougall was charged with preparing the local communities Treaty 7 Docfor their arrival. He was involved in the councils prior to and during the signing of Treaty 6 in 1876 and Treaty 7 in 1877,  advising Aboriginal peoples to accept a life of agricultural settlement. During the North-West Rebellion of 1885, he visited camps to quell fears and offer assurances that allegiance to the Canadian government was the best choice. Later in his life, he acted as a commissioner for the Dominion Government and the Department of Indian Affairs, again as a middleman. Therefore, like his father, John McDougall acted as an advocate for the interests of the Aboriginal and Métis people and the government.

Heritage Trails - Presented by CKUA Treaties, Part 1: Overview
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Blackfoot Crossing: Traditional River Ford for Siksika Nation/ Place for signing of Treaty 7
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