BLOOD RESERVE, AB – An unknown Blackfoot warrior, who’s skull was discovered in the Oldman River over 40 years ago, was honoured with a special re-burial ceremony on the Blood Reserve.
The prehistoric skull was found west of the Monarch bridge, near Highway 3, in July 1979. It was turned over to Fort Macleod RCMP at that time, and later sent to Edmonton for further analysis.
Experts at the University of Alberta determined that it belonged to a man about 60 years or older, and its prehistoric age points to its Indigenous origins.
After the skull returned to southern Alberta in 2017 and following discussions earlier this year between Fort Macleod RCMP and local Blackfoot Nations, a re-burial ceremony was held in June. It was presided over by elder Martin Eagle Child, as well as other elders and Sundancers, and attended by representatives from the RCMP and Blood Tribe Police Service.
Songs and prayers were sung, and members performed a smudging ceremony. The box containing the skull was then wrapped in a traditional blanket and now lays in a small grave, close to where the Oldman and Belly Rivers meet.
It’s marked with a bleached white stone that indicates “Unknown Blackfoot Warrior”.