The Town of Indian Head

How did Indian Head get its name?

There are several versions of how Indian Head got its memorable name. Some are more believable than others.

One version that sounds plausible comes from information at the Indian Head Museum and from Chief Albert Eashappie's account recorded in the Indian Head and District history book.

Many First Nations people were stricken by diseases like smallpox, which were introduced by fur traders who traveled through this area. Local First Nations people used the hills south of the current town site as their burial grounds, but many bodies were not buried at all, so great was the fear of contracting the disease.

Over the years the First Nations people came to call the burial ground the Many Skeletons Hills or Many Skulls Hills. The new settlers who came to the area referred to them as the Indian Head Hills.

When the Canadian Pacific Railway laid track through this area in 1882 the new settlement where the railway station was built needed a name. The townspeople wanted the name Indian Head Hills, and offered the First Nations people a camping ground near the town in exchange for the name.

The town became Indian Head, without "Hills", perhaps because it sits on fertile, relatively flat, plains.

Image: Courtesy of Dan Loran