John Maclean's efforts on the Kainai (Blood) reserve were constantly being
questioned by his superiors. They thought he spent too much
time on his own studies
(he made cultural observations, wrote several books and a Blackfoot
grammar during his years in the south) and were displeased with his
inability to secure funding and materials, which hindered the construction
of a church and central graveyard.
Control, Part 1: Whiskey Traders & Mounties in 1873
the church and graveyard were eventually built, Maclean's most important
legacy for the Kainai mission was perhaps his crusade against government practices
that he argued were unfair to Aboriginal people. The destitution of the people around him was of great concern
and he, consequently, supported the establishment of residential schools.
When Frs. Legal and Lacombe visited the reserve
in search of students he wrote:
I cannot with my present opinions
and feelings oppose them. I hope they will succeed in getting some to go
to school . . . May the good Spirit lead us each into the true path, and show
us the way by the true light.