1840 - 1896
Guide, Tracker and Interpreter for the North West Mounted Police.
Jerry Potts or Ky-yo-kosi (Bear Child) was born in 1840 at Fort McKenzie on the Missouri River to Andrew Potts, a Scottish employee of the American Fur Trade Company, and
Namo-pisi (Crooked Back), a Kainai of the Blackfoot Confederacy. After the murder of his father when Jerry was a young child, his mother returned to her people. As a young boy, Potts was adopted by Andrew Dawson, a fellow Scot and a trader. Potts spent his youth travelling and working with Dawson, and became fluent in several Native languages. As a teenager he returned to his mother's people in southern Alberta, where he learned tracking and hunting.
In 1874 Potts was working as a guide and tracker at Fort Benton where he met James Macleod of the North West Mounted Police (NWMP). Macleod recruited him to work as a guide and interpreter. The NWMP had been created earlier that year to bring justice and peace to the Canadian West. During the Long March West, a trek from Manitoba to southern Alberta, Macleod, the second in command, was sent to Fort Benton to seek a guide and replenish supplies. Thus, Potts began his 22-year career with the NWMP.
Potts was an accomplished tracker and guide who led the NWMP to Fort Whoop-up, a whiskey trade post, and then on to a spot on the Old Man River to establish a fort. The fort was named Fort Macleod, after James Macleod. Potts assisted the force in surviving the harsh winter, hunting down whiskey traders and putting an end to the illegal trade. Potts was also instrumental in developing good relations between the local First Nations and the NWMP. He met with Blackfoot Chiefs and explained the purpose of the force.
Potts was invaluable as an interpreter. He taught Macleod a great deal about Blackfoot customs, as well as the language. Potts continued his faithful and valuable service to the NWMP until his death in 1896. He received a full military funeral service at Fort Macleod where he is buried in the NWMP Section of the Union Cemetery.
Kiaayoko's (Bear Child - Jerry Potts)
1840 - 1896
Asskska'tomoyiwa, asspaataatomoyiwa, Aokaki'tsi, Ohtookisataawa
Kiaayoko's itsipokaawa'si annihk 1840 mii Fort Mackenzie, anni Omahkiitahtayiwa.
Onni Andrew Potts, "Miisinsskitsomo'kaani," a'pao'tomoyiwa Aamsskaap-omatskahtaki.
Kii oksisstsi "Naamoi-pisi," Kainaakiiwa. Saaki'naksstssima onni iitsismi'nitayinni.
Oksisstsi isskitapoowa otsitapimiksi. Otohkoyimmoka, Andrew Dawson.
Ii'pookapasimiyi, annimayi sskinimayi noohkiitsi'powahsinitsi. Ota'sitapisini isskitapoowa oksisstsi otsitapimaksi, itssksinima'tstohsi maaka saamisi kii ohkoi'sskatsi.
Saaki a'po'takiyiwa ami Aamsskaap-akaaapioyis annaamyi ito'taaatsimiwa Colonel James Macleod. Macleod isaahkomaapiskatsiyi maaka aakska'tomsi kii maaka ohtookisatsiyi. Iimaohksisoka'simiksi o'tstsii o'toopiwa o'tsipohtooma akakihtsimaani kii ipomikka'pii annoma Canadian west. Kiaayoko's naatsipoyi - naatsikipotoyi isstoyi a'po'tomoyiwa limaohksisoka'simiksi.
Kiaayoko's aaksistowa'pssatoma ootaka'ki'tsini, ihkottsi i'toomatsiwa limaohksisoka'simiksi ami Akaai'nisko. Mattohtsipiwaks anno Omahkinaa-tahaayi ma'kitooysskaasawa. Akaaapioyis iiyaapinihka'simi annihka James Macleod. Kiaayoko's otsiohkowaimmoka limaohksisoka'simiksi iksoksspommoyiwaksi, ayinniyiwa aottakiksi kii maki'tsinihkasi naapiaohkii. Kiaayoko's ai'stamattsiyiiwa niitsitapiyi omo'toot'pi limaohksisoka'simiksi. Kii maksi'kowammosisawa.
Kiaayoko's ikso'ai'stamattsiyiwa James Macleod, niitsitapiipaitapiiwahsini kii niitsi'powahsini. Kiaayoko's iksoka'po'tomoyiwa kii iisamo'potomoyiwa limaohksisoka'simiksi. Kiaayoko's itohka'pssiwa annihka 1896. limaohksisoka'simiksi iiksi'na'stotoyiwayi kii itsinsstsawa anniksi iyinnakiikoawaksi.