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In Their Own Voices

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Thomas Woolsey SketchPeter Erasmus worked for Thomas Woolsey as an interpreter, builder, hunter, freighter and general assistant. He helped rebuild the Pigeon Lake Mission that had been started in 1847 by Robert Rundle, and travelled with Woolsey on the prairies among the Cree. Although he did important work for Woolsey and, by extension, Methodism-his greatest assistance at the time may have been repeatedly nursing the ailing missionary back to health.

Woolsey and Erasmus established the short-lived Smoking (Smoky) Lake Mission, and had completed a residence by September 1861 before, upon the recommendation of the new Superintendent of Missions George McDougall, the mission was moved to the banks of the North Saskatchewan River.

Stoney IndiansErasmus continued his association with missionaries, working with George and John McDougall for three years as an interpreter and guide. During this time he was an invaluable resource for newly arriving missionaries for establishing relationships with Aboriginal peoples and as an instructor in frontier survival. 



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