Alberta Canada: 1938. “To the missionary who adopted him, he was George McLean; in Stoney language, he was known as Tatanga Mani; to the world he was Walking Buffalo.” (Whyte Museum Blogspot 2011).
Tatanga Mani was a revered figure for the Stoney First Nations people. Born in 1871, he was raised by grandmothers, then adopted by Reverend John McLean and given the name George. He was educated in Morley and Winnipeg, at times by the infamous Indian residential school system. He became councillor for the Bearspaw Band of the Stoney Indians 1907-12 and chief 1912-16. Walking Buffalo also continued to be a leader in the Morley United Church and became an active member of the Indian Association of Alberta whose major purpose was to maintain Indian treaty rights. In 1958 at age 87, Walking Buffalo decided to work for change in the world through a change in people. Describing his experiences, he said “As an Indian, I might have had great reason for hatred, but now I know that even I can forgive those who have wronged me.” Walking Buffalo helped people and leaders, both indigenous and non-indigenous, to respect and protect Mother Earth. In 1959 he began a world mission, travelling to 18 countries (Germany, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Cyprus, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, Brazil, Japan, Canada). "The whole world of mankind needs to change themselves and live God's way of life. No more hatred, no more encroaching and no more ignoring of each other." In Australia they were officially welcomed by the Acting Prime Minister in Canberra and the Governor of Western Australia in Perth. (paraphrased from albertachampions website)
George Bertrand Mitchell is best remembered for his large body of work focused on the Blackfoot Indian tribe in the Canadian Rockies and Pacific Northwest. After fine art & textile design training in New York and Massachusetts, he spent several years working as the art manager at McClure’s Magazine before becoming the vice-president of advertising agency representing the Canadian Pacific Railway and Steamship Lines in the early 1920s. It was in this capacity that he was first introduced to the Blackfeet of Stoney Reserve in the Pacific Northwest that would become his primary focus for 25 years. (paraphrased from the Mystic Museum of Art website).
Watercolor, graphite & gum arabic portrait of a tribal man with aqua scarf and red rimmed hat. Titled in pencil "Walking buffalo" Stoney Tribe Councillor Alta' 38. Large format on artist paper. 20 x 23 1/2", there was some loss & damage in the region of the left eye that has been archivally restored by Green Dragon. An interesting portrait of an amazing man. Otherwise very good condition. Item #27436