By Victor P. Lytwyn
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Extra resources for Muskekowuck Athinuwick: Original People of the Great Swampy Land
At Albany Fort, a Homeguard WHO ARE THE LOWLAND CREE? Cree leader named Miskemote became a "pentioner" in the fall of 1712. "79 Despite his old age and disabilities, Miskemote did not depend entirely upon the charity of the HBC. Throughout the rest of his life, he and his family spent much of their time away from Albany Fort to hunt, trap, and fish. Miskemote's health continued to deteriorate, but he was still recognized as the leader of the Albany River Homeguard. 80 No other leader, including upland leaders, received such valuable gifts from the company that year.
In areas adjacent to the Hudson Bay lowlands, other archaeological fieldwork in the 1970s and 1980s yielded additional data about the pre-contact Aboriginal peoples who lived in the bordering upland Shield region. During the summers of 1978 and 1979, David Riddle investigated ninety-four sites along the Albany River from its headwaters downstream to Washi Lake, about eighty kilometres above the edge of the lowlands. The artifacts found in these sites confirmed that the Albany River had been "a well-used area in both prehistoric and historic times," and Riddle calculated that some of the material was 5000 years old.
The HBC system of creating leaders or captains was motivated by a desire to stimulate extra efforts by these company captains to bring furs and other country produce. While the upland leaders who were recognized as HBC captains were encouraged to bring down more furs, the Lowland Cree captains were usually asked to bring in more provisions. For example, the man named Factory, Captain of Churchill River, was often rewarded for his ability to lead other Indians in the spring and fall goose hunts.
Muskekowuck Athinuwick: Original People of the Great Swampy Land by Victor P. Lytwyn