Peter Erasmus

Peter Erasmus, interpreter (b at Red River Colony [Man] 27 June 1833; d at Whitefish Lk, Alta 28 May 1931). Of Danish-Cree parentage, he studied to become an Anglican clergyman, but was drawn to the free life farther west.

Erasmus, Peter

Peter Erasmus, interpreter (b at Red River Colony [Man] 27 June 1833; d at Whitefish Lk, Alta 28 May 1931). Of Danish-Cree parentage, he studied to become an Anglican clergyman, but was drawn to the free life farther west. In 1855 he agreed to serve as interpreter for a Methodist missionary in the Fort Edmonton region and in 1858-59 he was interpreter and guide for the Palliser Expedition, working mainly with James Hector. Returning to the Methodists, he helped build a mission at Smoky Lake and then worked for three years with G.M. and J.C. McDougall. In 1865 he became a free trader, trapper and hunter around Whitefish Lake. Having acted as an interpreter for Treaty 6 at Forts Carlton and Pitt in 1876, he was employed by the Indian Department off and on for the rest of his life. A man of great influence, he encouraged the Saddle Lake native people to remain loyal during the North-West Rebellion of 1885.