The Wapiti Indians are a group of people native to The Heartlands of New Hanover. Upon the signing of a treaty, they were moved to the Wapiti Indian Reservation in Ambarino, although the remnants were forced to flee by the end of 1899, eventually settling in Canada.
The Wapiti Indians were a tribe of Native Americans who roamed The Heartlands of New Hanover. After fighting with American settlers and the United States government through years of conflict, the Wapiti society was significantly weakened. Their chief, Rains Fall, signed a treaty with the government, but it would later be broken, along with another signed afterward. A third treaty was agreed upon, which moved the Wapiti Indians to a Reservation in Ambarino.
Despite this, the tribe continued to face animosity from the US Army. Due to the land underneath the reservation allegedly being rich in oil, the business tycoon Leviticus Cornwall made an agreement with Colonel Favours, who oversaw the tribe, to drive the Indians off the land and thus begin drilling for oil there. Implied to be partly in order to make up for his lackluster career in the Civil War, Favours agreed and began taking underhand measures to evict the Wapiti Indians once more.
Events of Red Dead Redemption 2
The Wapiti are first seen when the Van der Linde gang is moving out of Colter. Charles assures Arthur and Hosea that if they meant harm, they wouldn’t have shown themselves. Afterward, Hosea explains the hardship that they have endured over the years.
Saint Denis Chapter
They are next encountered in the mission The Gilded Cage where Angelo Bronte calls them redskins and they are next encountered when Evelyn Miller introduces Arthur to Rains Fall and Eagle Flies. Following the introduction, Eagle Flies offers Arthur money if he steals potentially-incriminating documents from the Cornwall company refinery in the hope that they can be used to prevent the tribe's relocation. Arthur meets Eagle Flies near the refinery a few days later, before infiltrating the building. On his way out, he is attacked by hired guns and saved thanks to an explosion caused by Eagle Flies, who then helps Arthur to fight off the remaining guards and escape the area. Once they get to safety, Arthur gives Eagle Flies the documents, and as agreed, Eagle Flies pays him.
Beaver Hollow Chapter
Eagle Flies approaches the gang to ask for help shortly after they move to Beaver Hollow. He reports that the soldiers stationed at Fort Wallace have stolen their horses, and asks the outlaws for their assistance in retrieving them from a nearby ship. Dutch, in the hopes of redirecting the authorities' attention away from him, decides to help Eagle Flies; he, Charles and Arthur accompany Paytah and Eagle Flies in the rescue. After knocking out the guards, the men take the horses and flee to the mainland. Dutch then goes to the reservation with Eagle Flies, while Charles asks Arthur if he can talk to the tribe's chief, Rains Fall.
- If Arthur agrees to help Rains Fall: Arthur approaches Rains Fall at the reservation, and after a brief conversation, the two go out riding. During this, Arthur encounters Captain Monroe, who he is given the option of promising to help. Later, the two come across a location considered sacred to the tribe, which has been vandalized and had been deprived of precious artifacts. Devastated at what he had seen and what this will mean for the tribe, Rains Fall asks Arthur to recover the items that were stolen but asks that he doesn’t kill anyone. Subsequently, Arthur retrieves a chanupa and brings it to Rains Fall; if he did this without killing anyone, Rains Fall gifts him with an owl bracelet, after which the two part ways.
Around the same time, Dutch entices Eagle Flies and his men with a plan to tar and feather a US Army patrol, as revenge for their treatment of the Indians. Dutch and Arthur help with planting dynamite on the trees, which they plan to detonate when the soldiers come past in order to attack them. After setting up, they see that number of soldiers is a lot larger than expected, which causes a skirmish when the explosives are detonated. In the chaos, Eagle Flies is taken prisoner by the soldiers and subsequently incarcerated, while the remaining Indians are either killed or manage to escape.
- If Arthur had previously promised to help Captain Monroe: At the reservation, Arthur approaches Monroe to see if there is anything he can do. Monroe explains that vaccines meant for the Wapiti Indians have been withheld by Colonel Favours and, as a result, many of the Indians on-site are sick. Disgusted at the sight of poorly children around him, Arthur agrees to help steal vaccines back from the Army. He accompanies Monroe to a cliff edge, where they spy a wagon with the vaccines. Arthur successfully steals what he needs and brings it back to Monroe at the reservation; the Captain thanks Arthur and begins administering them to the Indians soon afterward.
A bit later, Rains Fall is informed that Colonel Favours wishes to enter negotiations with him for peace. Delighted by this news, he rides to Beaver Hollow to ask Arthur and Charles to accompany him to the meeting, which both agree to. Despite Rains Fall's hopes, Favours begins a condescending tirade of criticism towards the Wapiti and makes it clear that he will not give any concessions. Meanwhile, Arthur hears soldiers saying that the Colonel plans to hang Captain Monroe for treason, so he rejoins the discussion. As predicted, Colonel Favours orders Monroe's arrest, which results in Arthur and Charles each taking a soldier hostage. The Captain is released and a shootout ensues, during which Rains Fall manages to slip away and return to the reservation, disappointed.
With all hope lost of resolving the conflict peacefully, Arthur and Charles decide to rescue Eagle Flies from imprisonment at Fort Wallace. Rains Fall initially resists, but the duo set out regardless. After stealthily infiltrating the fort, Charles and Arthur reach the prison area and find Eagle Flies, who had been tortured. They then fight their way out of the fort, due to the rescue attempt alerting the soldiers, and reach the river. Charles and Eagle Flies go in one boat, while Arthur takes the other and fends off any remaining soldiers as they make their way down the rapids. They eventually get to safety, where Arthur questions Eagle Flies on what the Indians will do next. He says that war with the Army is the only option left despite knowing they will lose, while despondently telling Arthur that the tribe have nowhere to go when he suggests fleeing. Charles then takes Eagle Flies back to the reservation to recuperate.
After recovering, Eagle Flies leads a group of warriors to Beaver Hollow to ask the Van der Linde gang to accompany them in attacking the refinery at the oil fields. This is followed by the abrupt intervention of Rains Fall, who persuades his son and the men he leads to abstain from fighting, reminding Eagle Flies that his brother was killed by the US Army - along with his mother - and that further violence would be futile. In response, Eagle Flies callously claims that Rains Fall's words "mean nothing" to him and rides away to lead his men into battle. In desperation, Rains Fall pleads for the gang to help the Wapiti warriors, and the majority of the members agree to help them in the attack. When the gang arrive at the site of the battle, they find a dire situation: a lot of the Indians had already been slain, and Eagle Flies is nowhere to be seen. After splitting into two groups, the one led by Arthur eventually encounters Eagle Flies; fighting for his life, Arthur saves him and they continue their advance on the enemy soldiers. After accessing a gatling gun and eliminating Army reinforcements from a train, both groups of the gang reunite and, with the remaining Indians with them, finish off the remaining US Army soldiers.
With the battle won, Dutch takes Arthur into the warehouse to look for the state bonds sought by the former, while Eagle Flies stays behind to tend to his men. On the duo's exit from the warehouse, Arthur is incapacitated by a bursting pipe and ambushed by soldiers. With Dutch having abandoned him, Arthur is saved from certain death by Eagle Flies, who charges in and slays Arthur's would-be killers. Before he can do anything else, Eagle Flies is shot in the abdomen by Colonel Favours, who is then shot and killed by Arthur. Mortally wounded, Eagle Flies is helped outside by Arthur, who takes him back to the reservation with Charles and Paytah. Along the way, Eagle Flies insists that the Indians must continue their fight against the Army, but Charles tells him that the tribe must flee the country due to the Army's retribution and that the situation should never have gone this far. At the reservation, Eagle Flies is brought into his father's tent. He dies in Rains Fall's arms shortly afterward, devastating him.
Subsequently, the Wapiti Indians begin taking their belongings to prepare to leave the country. Arthur and Charles part ways, due to the latter staying with the tribe in order to help with the difficult times ahead. Before leaving, the tribe manages to bury Eagle Flies' body near the reservation.
The surviving Wapiti Indians were forced to depart to Canada, finally abandoning their ancestral homelands in order to avoid reprisal from the Army. On the trek North, the tribe is said to have suffered heavy casualties while traveling through Wyoming. In a cruelly ironic twist of fate, the amount of oil beneath their reservation turned out to be virtually non-existent, causing drilling to be quickly abandoned, meaning the efforts by Cornwall and Favours (neither of whom lived to enjoy their victories) to seize the reservation lands were pointless.
Eight years after his son's death, Rains Fall encounters John Marston in Annesburg. He reveals that he is still mourning his son's death and that the Wapiti have become nothing more than a "bunch of families" rather than a tribe. After conversing, Rains Fall then boards a train to return to Canada.
- Wapiti Avenue in Blackwater is named after the tribe. This was common practice in the United States to name streets, cities, and even several states after the local Indian inhabitants, often despite a near-total wipeout of most local Indian populations.
- Wapiti, also known as Elk, is one of the largest species of Deer and is endemic to the North American continent. The word "wapiti" (sometimes spelled "waapiti") is of Shawnee origin and literally translates to "white rump."
- The fictional Wapiti tribe is not based on any single tribe but instead is a composite of Native American groups mostly from the Plains and Rocky Mountain regions, who reacted in various ways to encroachments, broken treaties, and mistreatment at the hands of settlers, soldiers, industrialists, and government officials in the late nineteenth century.
- Conversations and newspaper articles in the game speak of the Wapitis’ plight in standing up to outsiders who wish to take their reservation land because of its purported deposits of oil. Many tribes, particularly those whom the U.S. government removed to Indian Territory (Oklahoma) in the nineteenth century, faced such threats by the turn of the twentieth century as demand for natural resources became lucrative in an increasingly industrialized society.
- The Wapiti tribe’s efforts to flee to Canada reflect the historical late-nineteenth-century attempts to do so by several actual tribes and bands, most famously the Nez Perce as led by Chief Joseph, as well as Lakota groups led by Sitting Bull.
- The Wapiti Indians also speak the Lakota language, as identified by in game subtitles.
- In the Epilogue, the player can encounter Native Americans, who are observing them from out of in-game bounds. They can be seen at the Mexican side of Manteca Falls or near the waterfall at the Lower Montana River.
- Native Americans may spawn acting as lawmen if the player is "Wanted" near the reservation.
- Wapiti is also the name of an unincorporated community in Park County, Wyoming. The Grizzlies East region shares similarities with northwestern Wyoming, where Park County is located.
- The Wapiti seem to have knowledge of the Murfree Brood, as Charles Smith mentions some of the Natives talking about them.