Battle of Cut Knife | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Battle of Cut Knife

The Battle of Cut Knife is a significant battle that took place during the North-West Resistance of 1885. The Cut Knife battlefield is located on the Poundmaker Reserve, about 40 km west of Battleford, Saskatchewan, just north of Cut Knife Hill, a feature named for a Sarcee warrior who died near there. A cairn sits near the middle of the battlefield, near the grave of Pitikwahanapiwiyin (Poundmaker).

Despite his restraint during the North-West Resistance, Poundmaker was convicted of treason (courtesy Glenbow Archives).

Battle of Cut Knife

On 2 May 1885, during the North-West Resistance, Cree and Assiniboine resistors defeated 300 soldiers commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel William Otter at the Battle of Cut Knife. Using a limited number of men, Chief Fine Day virtually surrounded and pinned down Otter's force on an exposed plain. After six hours of fighting, Otter retreated as Chief Poundmaker held the warriors back. Eight of Otter's force died.