According to oral history, Ta-Oθa ("Moose Killer") was born into an ancestral lineage of hereditary Chiefs of the Ĩyãħé Nakoda. His birthplace was near the mouth of Kiska Wa-ptadn (Big Horn River) in the northern region of Ĩyãħé Nakoda territory.
From an early age, Ta-Oθa displayed leadership qualities. He was an expert hunter of big game as well as a trapper, and became known as a provider for the people.
As a young man, Ta-Oθa was one of the representatives of the northern Ĩyãħé Nakoda group that participated in the Treaty 7 negotiations in 1877. The head emissary for the northern group was "Ki-chi-pwot" (a Cree name). He signed his mark on the Treaty document, and the government then recognized him as a "Stony Chief". The group became known as "Jacob's Band". (Jacob was the name given to him by missionaries.)
After Treaty 7 was signed, Jacob's Band was contained on the Morley Reserve together with the central and southern Ĩyãħé Nakoda groups. Ki-chi-pwot died in 1885 and Jonas Goodstoney became the new chief.
Ta-Oθa continued to hunt to provide for his family and the people. This was despite constraints of the government's laws imposed upon them, which were enforced by the Indian Agent on the Reserve and by territorial police.
A serious moral wrongdoing by Jonas Goodstoney resulted in him being ousted as Chief. Recognized for his leadership skills and abilities, Ta-Oθa was installed as the new Chief and thus restored hereditary Chieftainship rights of his lineage. Peter Wesley was the name that had been given to Ta-Oθa by missionaries, and Jacob's Band became known as "Wesley Band".
In 1894, Ta-Oθa led his loyal group away from the Morley Reserve and the harsh conditions there. They travelled north to their traditional hunting and camping grounds on the plains in the Kiska Wa-ptadn region. The government did not force them to return.
Ta-Oθa was a trustworthy man with boundless energy. He passed away in 1935 near the place of his birth.
All words in the Ĩyãħé Nakoda language that are written on this page are included in the Language menu segment for you to hear how they are correctly pronounced.