The Legend of Weasel Calf

Chief Crowchild

Have you ever wondered who Crowchild Trail in Calgary was named after and why? As you drive along Crowchild Trail, think about this famous native!

David Crowchild was born on April 12, 1899 on the Sarcee Reserve. He was the son of Mark Crowchild and Sarah Big Plume. He went to school at St. Barnabas Anglican residental school until he was seventeen. He had a grade nine education.

Dave Crowchild worked in the rodeos at Indian fairs. He was a bronc rider and liked wild horse racing. He later helped with the chuck wagon racing at the Calgary Stampede.

David Crowchild earned his living by raising horses and growing crops.

He married Daisie Dawn in 1929. She had three children and they had five children together but two died from meningitis. David and Daisie's children were sent away to a school run by a church. They tried to stay close so they could come back together and be a family.

Crowchild became a chief in 1946. He was a chief for seven years. In that time he built a school on the reserve, fixed the roads and he started a band farm and a band cattle herd.

Calgarians recognize David Crowchild as a very humorous and wise fellow. He was able to talk about the problem on the reserve. Every time he went to official meetings he wore his Indian clothes and headdress.

Chief Crowchild was on many committees like the Calgary Pioneers and Old Timers Association, The Canadian Council of Christians and Jews, and the Calgary branch of the Canadian Citizenship Council. Daisy was also involved in many different women's groups.

Chief Crowchild was elected as a director of the Indian Association of Alberta in 1945 and he remained involved in the association for the rest of his life. That is where he met John Laurie and they were friends for many years.

David Crowchild wanted the Indians and the white people to get along well and live peacefully. He saw the need to preserve the Indian culture and make a living. He went to Ottawa as a representative for the IAA.

In 1971, Crowchild he received a great honour when the city of Calgary named a road after him. When he cut the ribbon he said, "Now as I cut this ribbon, may this be a symbol of cutting all barriers between all peoples for all time to come. May all those who use the Crowchild Trail, travel both ways in safety and with dignity and in friendship for all."

David Crowchild passed away on April 10, 1982 on the Sarcee Reserve.

Scott F. (grade 3) studied Chief Crowchild. Scott really appreciated his mom's help. If you have any questions for him write to him c/o Mr. Reid (jcreid@cbe.ab.ca) or Ms. McKenzie (semckenzie@cbe.ab.ca) and look for his response on our Question and Answer Page.