Chief Buffalo Child Long Lance

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Chief Buffalo Child Long Lance : biography

December 1, 1890 – March 20, 1932

He presented himself as a Cherokee from Oklahoma and claimed he was a West Point graduate with the Croix de Guerre earned in World War I. For the next three years as a reporter, he portrayed issues in Indian life. He visited Indian reserves, and wrote articles defending Indian rights. He criticized government treatment of Indians and openly criticized Canada’s Indian Act, especially their attempts at re-education and prohibiting the practice of tribal rituals. In recognition of his work, in 1922 the Kainai Nation (also called Blood tribe) of the Blackfoot Confederacy adopted Long Lance. They gave him the ceremonial name, "Buffalo Child", which he began to use thereafter. To a friend, Long Lance justified his decision to assume a Blackfoot Indian identity by saying it would help him be a more effective advocate, that he had not lived with his own people since he was sixteen, and now knew more about the Indians of Western Canada.Donald B. Smith, Chief Buffalo Child Long Lance: The Glorious Impersonator, Red Deer Press, 1999, p.148 In 1924, Long Lance became a press representative for the Canadian Pacific Railway. By 1926 he handled press relations for their Banff Springs Hotel.

Through these years, Long Lance also entered the civic life of the city, by joining the local Elks Lodge and the militia, and coaching football for the Calgary Canucks.Donald B. Smith, Chief Buffalo Child Long Lance: The Glorious Impersonator, Red Deer Press, 1999, p.91 These activities would not have been possible had he represented himself as a black citizen. He was a successful writer, publishing articles in national magazines, reaching a wide and diverse audience through Macleans and Cosmopolitan., dissertation, University of Victoria, 2008, pp.67 and 76, accessed 19 Apr 2009 By the time he wrote his autobiography in Alberta in 1927, Buffalo Child Long Lance represented himself as a full-blooded Blackfoot., dissertation, University of Victoria, 2008, p.44, accessed 19 Apr 2009