North of the Medicine Line

The Origins and History of the Cypress Hills and a Prominent “Metis” Family from Medicine Hat

Having been born and raised in Medicine Hat and having lived there all of my life, I have a keen interest in its history. More recently, I became interested in genealogy and this interest combined with my passion for local Medicine Hat history resulted in an article entitled, “Demons of the Soul: The Origins and History of the Bliss Family of Medicine Hat and the Infamous Bill Bliss”. For those who grew up in Medicine Hat in the 50’s and 60’s, the name “Bliss” surname was synonymous with Saratoga Park, being one of the many Metis families who resided there. By some accounts, as many as 20 or 30 families resided in this area at one time[1]. Other Metis families during this era included names such as Akers, Bray, Demarais, Gosselins, Cayenne, Gaudry, Lawrence, Laframboise, McKay, Oullettes, Quesnelle and Sanderson and many generations of these families continue to call Medicine Hat their “home”.

Interestingly, many in the Metis community of Medicine Hat can trace their origins to the Cypress Hills and the arrival of the NWMP. READ ON