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5 Massacres Where Almost Nobody Died


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Frog Lake Massacre
Canadian First Nation Cree Indians from Saskachewan are shown in traditional clothing. © Tim Graham/Sygma/Corbis
Canadian First Nation Cree Indians from Saskachewan are shown in traditional clothing. © Tim Graham/Sygma/Corbis

The Frog Lake Massacre in Canada's Northwest Territories (today's Alberta) ironically led to the largest mass execution in the country's history. The year was 1885 and the Plains Cree, like other Indians in the country, were starving following the buffalo's near-extinction. The white people ruling the country kept breaking the treaties they'd made with the Indians, further worsening their living conditions. A band of angry Cree warriors raided a store at the Frog Lake Settlement, searching for food. They also took some of the villagers as prisoners, including Thomas Quinn, an Indian agent who had repeatedly treated the Cree harshly. Quinn was ordered to move to a nearby Cree encampment but refused, so one of the Indians shot him in the head. In the chaos that ensued, eight more settlers were killed, including two Catholic priests. Seventy settlers were then taken captive [source: Chaput].

Six Cree were later hanged at Fort Battleford for their part in the Frog Lake Massacre, along with two other Cree found guilty of an earlier murder. The hangings were the largest group execution in Canadian history [source: Chaput].


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