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Cree -Whatever Happened to the Manito Stone??Has it been returned?

What is the Manito Stone and what ever happened to it? Has it been returned to those who held it sacred?

Read on...

Some time during the year 1869 Methodist missionary George McDougall removed a 386 pound Manito Stone (meteorite) from Iron Creek, Alberta and took it to the mission near Fort
Edmonton. The Cree and Blackfoot (Siksika) people consider the Manito stone a sacred object; they called
it "Old Man Buffalo". Their shamans believed that its removal would cause the
disappearance of the buffalo. They also believed that McDougall would be punished.
One year later, three of McDougall's children died of smallpox.

It's time for it to be returned to it's original place on Iron Creek.

For more info start reading at "Manito Stone from Heaven":

**"A three hundred and eighty six pound Manito Stone (meteorite) is removed from Iron Creek, Alberta near Hardisty, Alberta and taken to the Methodist Mission of Reverend George McDougall at his Victoria Metis Settlement 90 km North West of Fort Edmonton. Reverend George McDougall is aware the Indians consider the stone a sacred object but he considers it an Indian idol. The Natives claimed its removal signified the disappearance of the buffalo. One year after the removal of the sacred stone three of McDougall's children succumbed to smallpox; daughters Flora, Georgiana and an adopted daughter Anna. The Indians said it was because he removed their sacred stone. The stone composition was 91.2% iron, .83% nickel and .49% cobalt." ~~From Alberta History, 1868-1869

"Iron Creek flows into Battle River seven kilometres northeast of Hardisty and is named for a meteorite which was once located on a nearby hill. Indian names for
the creek are not listed in the data base, however, Captain William Butler in
1874 noted the meteor had great significance for Natives in the region before
being removed and sent, first to Victoria Settlement, and then to a museum in
Toronto (DB).

MacGregor writes that despite rumblings of a Metis uprising in 1869, "perhaps of more immediate concern to the Battle River Indians was the sacrilege practised on their Manito stone, the one
which ignorant white men were to call the Iron Creek Meteorite" (p. 47). The (Methodist)
missionary John McDougall is credited with having "discovered" the stone in 1865
and being responsible for its removal (MacGregor, p. 47). Butler writes that the
Indians predicted grave misfortune when the stone was removed and that those
predictions came true. "Never had so many afflictions of war, famine and plague
fallen upon the Crees and the Blackfeet as during the year which succeeded the
useless removal of their Manito-stone" (MacGregor. p. 48).~from

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Comment by Sassafras on March 20, 2010 at 9:04am
I later located these blurbs which give a proposed date for it's arrival on earth and perhaps a more definitive location of where it presently resides. Note the difference in weight given and spelling.

" Manito Stone
This stone is in fact a meteorite, and at some 500 pounds, the
largest metorite found in Canada. It fell, some say, in October of
1809, and it's fall was witnessed by most people on the northwest
plains, scouts being sent out to find it's location. It was found
Iron Creek (others claim it was carried to Iron Creek), and to
the amazement of the scouts, was found to be in the profile of a
man's head. Chiefs and spiritual leaders proclaimed that it was a
sign from God to remind mankind of the unity of man and to keep
the peace between all peoples. It became the location for annual
gatherings (a Cree tribal gathering being held there in 1810) of
the varioius tribes who would meet here in peace. In 1867 the
meteorite was stolen by Reverend George McDougall, who built it
into the foundation of his church - annoyed that more people were
going to these meetings and to Sun Dances than to his church. It
failed singularly to attract devotees, the Indians believing that
the removal of the stone was sacrilage and portended disaster for
the First Nations. On the heels of the removal of the stone war
broke out between the Cree and Blackfoot, followed by a massive
epidemic, all of which were to last 4 years (a sacred number), at
the end of which McDougall's mission was deemed a failure and
abandoned. McDougall gave away the Manito Stone (not his to take
or give) to the National Museum which, in time, turned it over to
the Provincial Museum of Alberta. There it resides today, buried
in the Geology collection, no longer available to the aboriginal
community." ~~


"In the 1880s, the Manitou Stone was removed to Victoria University, in Cobourg, Ontario. From there it was moved to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. It is now housed in the Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton.

The Present Disposition

The Manitou Stone is presently on a pedestal in a corner of the Syncrude Gallery of Aboriginal Culture in the Royal Alberta Museum. It is labelled as being 'on loan' from Victoria University. While some have described its present disposition as a place of honour, it is in a rather dark corner between a replica of a residential school and the hind end of a stuffed horse. Additionally, one of the steel mounting clips is clamped across the bridge of the human profile's nose and the figure appears to be in pain. While a great many visitors are able to view and even touch this sacred object, all visitors must pay an entrance fee, and none may leave offerings.

The Hope for the Future

There are ongoing discussions about the return of the Manitou Stone to its original home among the people who hold it sacred. The complicated web of 'ownership' and politics makes its return a great challenge. The Royal Alberta Museum is on record as feeling the Iron Creek meteorite to be too valuable to science to be returned to the Cree. Additionally, Victoria University, now a part of the University of Toronto, still claims ownership. Perhaps one day, through the peaceful though often heated discussions which characterise Canadian public life, the Iron Creek Manitou Stone will return to its hilltop, and the First Nations people who revere it will be allowed to worship freely."

1 Manitou is a Cree word often translated as 'Great Spirit'." ~

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