Long ago, the Cree Indians were always at war with the Chipewyan Indians of Northern Saskatchewan. The Cree had guns and bullets and were able to shoot the Chipewyans. The Chipewyans didnít have any guns and had to fight the Cree with bows and arrows and spears.
One day, the Cree arrived at a Chipewyan camp, and shot many of the people. However, they captured one woman because she was so beautiful. They took her back to their tribe. Every day, two or three Cree Indians went out and came back later with unusual things Ė guns, axes, tobacco, and tea. The woman became very curious. She wanted to know were these things came from.
One day, she decided to follow the men. It was a long way on the trail and she had cross a big lake. The Cree did not notice that the woman was behind them. All of a sudden, she saw smoke coming out of a brick building. She have never seen a building made of brink before because the Chipewyan people had always lived in tee pees made out of caribou hide. She came to the building which was the white manís store Ė the Hudson Bay Store. The woman looked through the window Ė she had never seen glass before. She saw all the things that were in the building. She also saw the Cree men sitting with the white man, drinking something out of cups. They were using hand signs to communicate. She wanted to go inside to have a closer look but didnít know how to get in. She walked around the building. The white man must have heard the noise she was making. He came out. She was very surprised because she had never seen a white man before. At first she thought he was a large sea gull because of his blue eyes. She began to explain who she was using hand signs. She told the white man that the Cree were had that they had shot and killed many of her people and that they made her a prisoner. The white man understood and asked her to come inside.
The Cree were very surprised and angry to see her. They told her to come back with them. The white man told the Cree to leave her along and go away. The Cree were very angry and began to fight. The white man threw them out of the building. The Cree began shooting at the store. Luckily, the bullets were small and didnít do any damage.
The white man told the woman that she could stay with him. He felt that he had never seen such a beautiful woman. He said that she could pick out some new clothes from the store. The Chipewyan woman looked and choose all red clothes. The white man asked the Chipewyan woman to marry him. She agreed.
Soon after this, the white man wanted to find the Chipewyan people and begin to trade with them. The woman thought that this would be a good idea. The white man harnessed the dog team and filled the sled with supplies. The woman led the way using snowshoes and wearing her red clothes.
They travelled for a long time before they found a Chipewyan camp. The people saw the woman in red first .They were very frightened because they thought that the Cree were attacking them. They ran away and sent two young men back to see what the strangers wanted.
One of the Chipewyans hid on one side of the trail and one hid on the other. As the woman came close, the jumped and grabbed her. The woman was so frightened that she fainted. The white man didnít know what to do. He just stood there when the woman woke up she explained in Dene who they were. She told the Chipewyan that she had been captured by the Cree and that the white man had rescued her. They were coming to the Chipewyan camps with the white manís supplies. The young men took the woman and the white man to the Chipewyan camp. The white man spread out all the goods that he had brought with him Ė guns, bullets, knives, tea and tobacco. The woman showed the Chipewyan people how to use them. She taught them how to cut down trees with the axes, chop up the caribou with the knives drink tea and chew tobacco. The Chipewyan people were so excited that they chopped down all the trees that they could find. They didnít like the tea because it burned their throats.
The Cree attacked shortly after, but the Chipewyan people for the first time, were able to fight back. The Cree were so surprised because the Chipewyans had guns, that they never again attacked.
This then is the story of the first contact that the people from the Black Lake area had with the white man Ė all because woman in red.