It’s been said that if John George Kootanai Brown had lived in the U.S. he’d be as familiar as Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone.
Born in Ireland in 1839, he came west after serving with the British Army in India. A well spoken and educated man he saw Waterton Lake for the first time in 1685 on his way through Kootenay Pass to the prairies, and he was so impressed, he vowed to return someday.
His travels thought the frontier took him through Countless adventures and a series of careers
He was involved in various trading activities between the Red River and Lake Manitoba and claims to have made big money selling whisky at 30.00 a gallon.
In 1866 he was in charge of train of 150 Red River carts moving between St. Paul and Red River, for a company based in Portage la Prairie.
He went on to ride for the pony express, scout for general Custer. His wits and some good luck helped him escape after being captured by Sitting Bull.
After his acquittal of a murder charge in Montana, He came back to Canada, finally settling on the spot he’d seen so many years before on the shores of Waterton Lake. He continued to work as a trader, a scout for the Rocky Mountain Rangers during the Second Riel Resistance and eventually was appointed Park Guardian when the Waterton Lakes Forest Reserve became a park.
Kootenai Brown died at Waterton Lakes National park, Alberta in 1916, possibly the greatest Frontiersman on Canadian History.