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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.

History

Background

The Wapiti Indians were once fierce warriors who roamed The Heartlands of New Hanover. Alas, the arrival of the white man brought war to their people, and after many years of war, the Wapiti Indians were greatly weakened. Their chief, Rains Fall, would sign a treaty with them the government, but it would later be broken, along with another signed afterwards. A third treaty was agreed upon, that moved the Wapiti Indians to a Reservation in Ambarino.

Events of Red Dead Redemption 2

Colter Chapter

The Wapiti are first seen when the Van der Linde gang are moving out of Colter. Charles says that, if they meant the gang harm, then they wouldn’t have showed themselves, while Hosea explains the hardship that they have endured over the years.

Saint Denis Chapter

The tribe is next encountered when Evelyn Miller introduces Arthur to Rains Fall and Eagle Flies. Following the introduction, the tribe offers Arthur money if he agrees to break into the Cornwall company refinery, and steal documents relating to new rumors that they are being forced to move. Arthur will steal these documents, before being attacked by hired guns. Eagle Flies will cause an explosion, and the two of them will fight their way out. Eagle Flies will then pay Arthur in exchange for the documents.

Beaver Hollow Chapter

Eagle Flies will come for the gangs help shortly after they move to Beaver Hollow. He will tell the gang that the US Army stationed at Fort Wallace has stolen their horses, and he wants their help in stealing horses from a ferry full of them. Dutch, in the hopes of redirecting army resources away from him will order the gang to help Eagle Flies, and they will board the ferry. After knocking out the guards, the men will take the horses, and flee to the mainland. Dutch will then go the the reservation with Eagle Flies, while Arthur will go talk to his father, Rains Fall. Arthur will go out riding with Rains Fall, in a excursion where he meets Captain Monroe, whom he promises to help. Rains Fall will then decide to collect herbs to help slow down Arthur's tuberculosis, however while collecting the herbs, Rains Fall will find something very disturbing. The US Army has burned down a spiritual building, and taken valuable tribal artifacts. Arthur will break into the camp, and steal back the artifacts for Rains Fall.

Arthur will then go to meet Dutch, who along with Paytah, Eagle Flies, and several other natives has hatched a plan to tar and feather a division of soldiers. This plan, however, quickly goes downhill, and Eagle Flies is captured. Arthur will then team up with Charles, and the two will assault Fort Wallace. The two men scale the back wall, before fighting their way to Eagle Flies, and rescuing him from the fort. They face heavy resistance while retreating, but succeed in escaping the fort.

Arthur will along with Charles and Rains Fall attend peace talks with Colonel Favours. The peace talks will soon collapse, and Favours says that he is hanging Monroe for treason. Charles and Arthur will then fight their way out of the meeting, in order to save Monroe.

Later, a band of Indians led by Eagle Flies will ride into the gangs camp, and try to convince them to help them attack the Cornwall company. This is due to the soldiers attacking the reservation, and killing many. Rains Fall quickly interrupts this, and tries to convince them to stand down, but they refuse and ride off to attack the refinery. After urging from Rains Fall, the gang will ride after the Indians in the hope of saving them. Alas, the gang arrives to find the Indians all but defeated. Many are dead, Eagle Flies is fighting for his life in the center of the refinery, and a small remnant are fighting for their life near the warehouse. The remaining natives will join the gang, and they will assault on two fronts. Dutch leads most of the gang members to attack the warehouse, while Arthur leads the Indians, Charles, and Sadie to rescue Eagle Flies. Arthur saves Eagle Flies, before cutting their way past squads of soldiers and a Gatling gun to meet up with Dutch. They will take the factory, and search it, finding thousands of dollars in bonds. It is when leaving that Arthur is incapacitated by a bursting pipe. Dutch leaves him to die, but Eagles Flies kills the soldiers holding him down. Colonel Favours will then enter, and shoot Eagle Flies, before he is himself shot by Arthur. Arthur brings Eagle Flies back to the reservation with Paytah, where Rains Fall will mourn his son's death.

In the aftermath, Arthur's friend, Charles Smith, who is half-Indian himself, decides to stay with the tribe. While Rains Fall mourns for Eagle Flies, Charles orders the rest of the tribe to start packing their belongings immediately, as the army would likely attack them in retribution for the battle. Before leaving, the tribe also buried Eagle Flies near the reservation.

Epilogue

The surviving Wapiti Indians were forced to depart to Canada, finally abandoning their ancestral homelands in order to avoid government persecution. Perhaps the most tragic part of their struggles on the reservation was that, as revealed in a 1907 newspaper article, the amount of oil beneath their land turned out to be extremely small, causing drilling to be quickly abandoned due to the costs outweighing the profits. This means that the efforts of Cornwall and Favours to drive the Indians off their lands was for nothing.

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 his tribe has become nothing more than a "bunch of families".

Events of Red Dead Redemption

Despite never appearing or being mentioned, the Wapiti Avenue in Blackwater is named after the tribe. The fact that a street was named after the original inhabitants of the land implies that there are still some people who view them in a positive light. It is also important to note that naming streets after Indian names is common practice in American cities, even still today.

Trivia

  • 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."
  • By 1907, the player can find Eagle Flies' grave west of Donner Falls.
  • 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 other mistreatments 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.
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