Victoria Belcourt Callihoo: Buffalo hunter and folk historian

(This story is one of a series entitled “One Person’s Journey” telling how people from all walks of life, including a few rogues and rebels, have left their marks upon the world. To see a list of others featured in the series, click here.)

Victoria Belcourt Callihoo 1861 – 1966

Victoria Belcourt Callihoo
1861 – 1966

Victoria Belcourt was born at a time when the buffalo still provided vital food and clothing for the people in her aboriginal community. She died the year before her country, Canada, celebrated its 100th birthday. Among her Cree-speaking people, stories were orally transmitted, rarely written down and often lost to posterity. Fortunately for future historians, however, Victoria’s stories were collected and preserved in archives. They offer a rare and fascinating insight into a way of life that had all but disappeared by the time she was in her early 20s.

Named after Queen Victoria and baptized by an Oblate missionary named Father Albert Lacombe, Victoria grew up in Lac Ste. Anne, a Roman Catholic mission in central Alberta established by the Oblates during the 1840s. She went on her first buffalo hunt at age 13……

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