Chief Robert Smallboy
Rocky Boy's Tribes

Ojibway | Arapaho | Assiniboine | Bannack | Blackfeet | Chipewyan | Crow | Flathead | Kootenai | Nez Perce | Shoshone | Sioux




Site Map

Chief Smallboy or Apitchitchiw

He was one of chief Rocky Boy's sons. He also had the name of Smallboy and Shorty Young Boy. In Canada, he was known as Small Boy and in the United States he was known as Shorty Young Boy. In Ojibway, his name is A-pit-chi-chiw or as it is often written A-pit-chi-chew. Be careful because they always write it as A-pit-chit-chiw or A-pit-chit-chew. In Ojibway, A-pit-chi means absolutely as in "it was absolutely worth it." Translated, the Ojibway word A-pit-chi means all, entire and everything. As for chiw or chew that is very difficult to translate. The word chiw or chew in Ojibway, may have an "oo" ending sound, instead of an "e" ending sound. In Ojibway, the word for "to" is "chi." So is the word for "big." He was born at Blackfeet Reservation on November 7, 1898. Chief Rocky Boy was in his native Montana in 1898. In June 1885, he fled from the Northwest Rebellion back to his native Montana. He reached the Babb region later during that summer of 1885. Chief Rocky Boy was probably born and raised in Deer Lodge Valley. According to a companion of chief Rocky Boy who knew him very well, he was from north of Helena or possibly near Great Falls. He told certain people in Helena in 1902, that chief Rocky Boy had been living the last 30 years north of Helena. In 1901, he was compelled to move south of Helena.

In 1898, the United States conspired with chief Plenty Coups to illegally cede land belonging to chief Rocky Boy. That land was located west of Crow Reservation and in southwest and western Montana. It's eastern boundary was Musselshell River. Supposedly, chief Plenty Coups (it was really chief Rocky Boy) told American negotiators in 1890, that he would no longer cede Reservation land and he didn't want anything to do with the Indians living in the central and eastern part of his Reservation including along the Little Bighorn River. Surprisingly, in 1898 and 1899, chief Plenty Coups was in the mood for accepting bribes. He told American negotiators he wanted back pay to 1898 in order to illegally cede Reservation land he had no authority to administer. The Americans quickly gave him back payment money to 1890. Chief Plenty Coups then illegally ceded land that he had no authority to cede. In 1901, chief Day Child contacted chief Rocky Boy for support. Both knew they had to leave the land area illegally ceded by chief Plenty Coups who, by 1901, was a very wealthy white Indian. Both gathered their people for a relocation southwest and west. One group led by chief Big Thunder Storm left the eastern part of the Reservation near Lewistown, Montana and relocated to Fort Assiniboine Indian Reservation (aka Rocky Boys Reservation) and Fort Belknap Reservation. Chief Rocky Boy didn't like them.

Chief Rocky Boy and chief Day Child relocated to the region south of Anaconda and Butte in 1901. At that time, many Ojibway's and other Indian Nations, continued to live in their own villages from Great Falls to Swan Valley and extreme southwestern Montana and east to what is now Pryor, Montana. During those years chief Small Boy lived south of Butte, Montana. There were many Ojibway villages in southwest Montana in those times because it was an Ojibway Reservation led by chief Rocky Boy. Same for the region between Swan Valley and Musselshell River. However, chief Pleny Coups was bought and ceded the land illegally. The region between Musselshell River and Great Falls had it's Indian population relocated in 1901. A major Deportation happened in that region (Great Falls) in 1895-1896 in which 1,000s of Ojibway's and other Indians were Deported. However, many of them came back to their native land.

In 1902, chief Rocky Boy led his family and around 60 to 80 other Ojibway's from south of Butte, north to Helena. They requested for food at Helena but were denied food. They kept moving and possibly settled at Flathead Reservation or Swan Valley. Another location they possibly settled at was along Deerborn River. Chief Rocky Boy was very fond of the Deer Lodge Valley, especially where Garrison, Montana is. He may have chose to settle there with his family or somewhere to the north of Garrison. Possibly near Ovando or in Blackfoot Valley which is 8 miles west of Ovando. In early 1908, a farmer at Flathead Reservation warned chief Rocky Boy about what the United States was going to do. In early 1908, they burned most of St. Peters Mission then in October of that same year, Swan Valley Massacre happened. Deerborn River was a few miles southwest of St. Peters Mission. Chief Rocky Boy had to gather many of his subjects between Deerborn River and Helena together near Helena, to await Deportations. In 1908, Frank Churchill was sent to Montana to negotiate with chief Rocky Boy. They met at Garrison. In November of 1909, chief Rocky Boy and over 100 of his subjects were loaded on to train boxcars and Deported to Blackfeet Reservation where they were set aside a Reservation.

Chief Rocky Boy led an exodus of the Reservation after he knew he had been lied to about the promised Reservation. He led many of his subjects to Great Falls in August of 1913. It was reported in the press in 1914, that chief Rocky Boy was headquarted in Great Falls with 700 of his subjects. Chief Smallboy at that time was about 16 years old. His mother may have been chief Rocky Boy's second wife. Her name was Bad Face or in Ojibway "Ma-ji Gwen." She was the daughter of chief Black Powder and Ot-chi-bik. Ot-chi-bik lived in Montana with chief Rocky Boy. Chief Little Bear was one of chief Black Powders sons. The Deportations of 1909 were major. Many were Relocated to the Montana Reserve in Alberta. Chief Smallboy may have been among them. Chief Rocky Boy may have wanted his son out of harms way.

Chief Rocky Boy was defiant and shrewd. His son inherited his fathers defiance. I don't know when chief Small Boy settled at that portion of Montana Reserve known as Ermineskin. By the 1920s, he was hunting and trapping and eventually commenced farming at Ermineskin. In 1959, at the age of 61 or 62, he was elected chief of Ermineskin. His tenure as chief of Ermineskin lasted until 1969. However, he will be better remembered for being like his father chief Rocky Boy. Chief Rocky Boy was notorious for being defiant. While chief Small Boy was chief of Ermineskin, he became discontented with how his subjects were living. He probably knew about the Seven Fires Prophecy and knew the predictions were fact. His subjects were living shorter lives. Many were addicted to alcohol and drugs. However, it was probably the will not to live by many of his subjects that bothered him the most. In 1968, he followed his fathers ways and fled west to Kootenai Plains. It's located south of Abraham Lake and north of Abraham Lake, about 120 miles southwest of Montana Reserve. With him were 125 of his subjects. Canada was surprised by his defiance and commenced to plan to bribe his subjects into returning to Ermineskin.

Chief Smallboy proclaimed that Treaty 6 and Treaty 7 were fraudulent. He openly declared the land was never ceded. He may have been referring to Treaty 8. All Treaty 8 land in British Columbia and parts of Alberta and the southeastern portion of Northwest Territories and the northwestern portion of Saskatchewan, was set aside to be an Indian Reserve. The location where chief Smallboy settled after leaving Ermineskin, was within Treaty 8 land area. Montana Reserve is located within Treaty 6 land area. Not only did chief Small Boy know the location he settled at was within a vast Ojibway Reserve so did Canada. Canadian leaders lured chief Smallboy's subjects back to Ermineskin by using bribery. They gave each Ermineskin citizen who returned to Ermineskin $500 a month from oil royalties.

In the winter of 1984, chief Smallboy was at Banff. He tried to rent a hotel room at several hotels yet was refused. He was murdered. He had money to rent a hotel room yet was prevented from doing so because of his race. He was forced to sleep outside. He suffered frostbite from the extreme cold in his feet which led to gangrene. He was murdered on July 8, 1984 at Smallboy Camp. To this day, no charges have been filed against those who killed the old man. Of course, I'm referring to the hotel owners and staff who would not allow him to stay at their hotels. They must be charged with killing chief Smallboy. Of course, manslaughter charges.

Chief Smallboy fled to the land of the Foothills Ojibway Society and Nakcowinewak Nation who are also Ojibway. Their land is located within Treaty 8 land. Smallboy Camp was relocated to a location 3 miles southeast of Muskiki Lake, in Alberta. It's 42 miles northwest of Nordegg, Alberta. Their doing their best to fool you to believe that chief Smallboy was Cree. They don't like including chief Rocky Boy. He was very defiant and so was his son. In fact, all Ojibway's from near Hinton, Alberta and Great Falls, Montana are the same people.