Breed Archive

The Ojibwe Horse Society maintains a small archive of materials related to the breed. We have loosely organized them into three sets of scans.

Breed registrar Trevor Kirczenow says:

“These documents represent the efforts of many, many people over the course of many years, including the people of Lac La Croix, Fred Isham, Walter Saatela, Bill Valentine, Walter McElderry, Lloyd Haas, Bob Walker, Jy Chiperzak, Val Blake, Jim Lawrence, Dr. Tom Hutchinson, Catherine Henderson, Jane Mullen, Tuffy Isham, Rhonda Snow, Gary Saatela, Debbie Atatise, Wally Olson, Dr. Kimberlee Campbell, Darcy Whitecrow, Dr. Robin Fischer, Michelle Feist, Heather French, Joyce Young, Dr. Angela McGinnis, Yvette Collins, Melany Moore, Heather O’Connor, and likely many others. For the most part, I have simply scanned, uploaded, shared, or otherwise benefited from the work that the above people have contributed, adding a few small notes. I re-interviewed a few original sources where possible.  

“Please forgive me for any mistakes I may have made. Do contact me if you have any corrections or information to add to the collection.”

The archive was indexed in 2019.


Scans 1 – click here to view

Pages 1-3: Letter from Catherine Henderson to Rare Breeds Canada members (Feb 2000). 

Pages 4-6: Jane Mullen’s conversations with Debbie Atatise (2002). Significance: Debbie Atatise resides at Lac La Croix and interviewed elders about the original four mares that were taken to Minnesota.

Page 7: Jane Mullen’s conversation with Wally Olsen (2003). Significance: Wally Olsen was one of the horsemen who rescued the mares in 1977 and he spent time at Lac La Croix regularly. He provided information about their names, ages, and colours. 

Pages 8-9: E-mail from Walter McElderry to LLCIPS (2003). Significance: Walter describes the reasons behind the name, Lac La Croix Indian Pony, and the history of the rescue of the mares in 1977.

Pages 10-17: Letter from Lloyd Haas to LLCIPS (2003). Significance: Lloyd mentioned Smokey SMR 169, the Spanish Mustang Stallion used to breed to the rescued mares after they were brought into Minnesota. Lloyd detailed his breeding records including birth dates and parentage. 

Page 11: Jane Mullen’s notes on Lloyd Haas’ letter (see pages 10-17, Scan 1). 

Page 19: E-mail from Bob Walker to LLCIPS (2002). Significance: Bob states he got Ahneen from Lloyd Haas. Bob states parentage of 4 year old black stud with blaze and one white foot (Makadaya?) – Ginseng and Wausimo. 

Page 20: Stock sheet for Talico Casseopia. Significance: States she was bred by Lloyd Haas but lived two years on Nett Lake Reservation (Fred Isham’s reservation). 

Page 21: Stock sheet for Penny.

Page 22: E-mail from Spanish Mustang Registry secretary to LLCIPS. Significance: details about horses mentioned in Lloyd Haas’ letter. States that Isabella and Medicine Hat are colours, not bloodlines.

Scans 2 – click here to view

Page 1: Letter from Bob Walker to Old Fort William (1992).

Page 2-4: Newspaper article from Duluth, Minn., Feb 20, 1977. Significance: Written by John Murrell, who was present during the rescue of the mares, this piece is a first-hand account of the rescue. 

Pages 5-7: Newspaper article, 1977, by John Murrell. Significance: Mentions plans to bring one of Bill Valentine’s Spanish Mustang studs to Walter’s to breed the mares, and also a plan to take one of the mares to Bill Valentine’s ranch to breed with a Medicine Hat stallion.

P 8: Article from Garden City Telegram, 1980. Significance: States Bill Valentine took one of the original mares to his ranch.

P 9-12: Article from 1979. Significance: States Bill Valentine had one of the original Lac La Croix mares at his ranch. The mare had a ring around her foot, possibly from having been caught in a snare at one time. 

P 13-14: Letter from Spanish Mustang Registry to Bob Walker, 1992. Significance: States that one of the original Lac La Croix mares was brought to Colorado for inspection by the Spanish Mustang Registry. The mare did not qualify and did not have any Spanish characteristics. She was believed to have been a bay with a blaze. 

P 15-16: E-mail from Spanish Mustang Registry to LLCIPS (2008). Significance: details the breeding and colour of Smokey, SMR 169.

P 17: Letter from Jy Chiperzak to Bob Walker, 1992. 

P 18: Note about conversation with Bob Walker, 1992.

P 19 – 23: Letter from Bob Walker to Jy Chiperzak, 1992. Significance: Bob Walker introduced Jy to five other people who got Lac La Croix Ponies that were originally from Walter Saatela – Walter McElderry, Lloyd Haas, Michelle Feist, Gary Saatela, Robin Fischer. 

P 24: Letter from Jy Chiperzak to the owners of horses that originated with Walter Saatela, 1992.

P 25: Letter from Bob Walker about Star (LLC005 Anoong), 1992. Significance: Bob stated that Star’s owner was convinced Star was a Spanish Barb mustang, but that he knew she came from the same stock at Walter Saatela’s as all the rest.

P 26-27: Stock sheet on Star (LLC005 Anoong). 

P 28: pedigree and breeding details of LLC013 Smokey (mare).

P 29: stock sheet on LLC013 Smokey (mare).

P 30: page of notes on Bob Walker’s horses – date and author unknown.

P 31: stock sheet on Westly

P 32: stock sheet on Java

P 33: stock sheet on Frisco

P34: stock sheet on Cloud

P 35: stock sheet on Tallico Casseopia

P 36: stock sheet on Tallico Casseopia

P 37: Letter from Walter McElderry to Jy Chiperzak, 1993

P 38: stock sheet on LLC022 Miskwah Niimiwin

P 39: stock sheet on LLC004 Makadewahzin

P 40: page of notes about Walter McElderry’s horses (date and author unknown but handwriting appears to be the same as that on Walter McElderry’s stock sheets)

P 41: stock sheet on Keokuk

P 42: stock sheet on LLC021 Manitou

P 43: stock sheet on Dakaasin

P 44: stock sheet on Terra Cotta

P 45: stock sheet on Wausimo

P 46: stock sheet on Sundown

P 47: stock sheet on Ginseng

P 48: stock sheet on Che Che

P 49-50: letter from Bob Walker to Jy Chiperzak, 1993

P 51-52: letter from Bob Walker to Jim Lawrence (undated – maybe 1995?). Significance: Bob had a correction on a brochure that Jim Lawrence and RBC had put out. Bob stated that none of the mares were pregnant at the time of their rescue in 1977.

P 53-57: summary of RBC’s first repatriation project and budget (1992). 

P 58: letter from Ontario Agricultural Museum (1993)

P 59: letter from RBC to Lloyd Haas (1993)

P 60-62: from History of Agriculture in Ontario, historical reference to Indian ponies from 1831

P 63-65: historical reference to settlers’ horses

P 66-67: historical reference to hardy Indian ponies

P 68: letter from Ministry of Agriculture and Food to Jy Chiperzak (1992). Significance: government refused to provide financial assistance for the ponies.

P 69: contact and reference list, Jy Chiperzak (1992)

P 70: letter from Bob Walker to Jy Chiperzak (1992), about his purchase of Ahneen.

P 71: export permit for Westly, 1993

P 72: export permit for Tally, 1993

P 73: export permit for Miswah Niimiwin, 1993

P 74: export permit for Penny, 1993

P 75: notes on Bob Walker’s horses, author and date unknown

P 76: e-mail from Bob Walker to Catherine Henderson, 1999

P 77: e-mail from Jane Mullen to Larry Hennessey, 2003. Significance: mentions Keokuk being one of the first offspring from original mares. 

P 78-79: historical reference to Indian ponies. Significance: 1889 reference to Mississauga Ojibwe and their “shaggy” ponies that hauled wild hay

P 80: e-mail from Bob Walker to Paula Salvador Productions. Significance: was a film made? Is there footage?

P 81-82: e-mail from Jane Mullen about Rawerarakie. Significance: DNA testing showed Rawerarakie was offspring of accidental breeding with an Arabian stallion (NOT from Westly). He was immediately culled from the breeding program. 

Scans 3 click here to view

P 1: Jane Mullen’s conversation with Tuffy Isham, 2003. Significance: Tuffy saw ponies in 1965 and told his dad, Fred Isham, about them. Tuffy knew the names Lilliam and Bizhiki.

P2: Letter from Tuffy Isham to Rhonda Snow, 2018. Significance: Mention of a stallion called Joe, who may have come from Bill Valentine. States that Lilliam and Bezhiki were with Fred Isham (Nett Lake Reservation).

P 3-6: Trevor MacDonald’s notes and e-mails with Bob Walker, 2019. Significance: Bob stated that an appaloosa stallion was tried the first year, in 1978, but did not produce any foals. For the next year, they brought in another (Smokey SMR 169). Therefore, no foals were born before 1979. States that Walter Saatela gave horses to Fred Isham but had to take them back.

P 7: Notes by Jane Mullen on conversation with Lloyd Haas (2004)

P 8-9: Story from Walter McElderry about how he acquired his horses from Walter Saatela (2004 Pony Express)

P 10: Story from  Walter McElderry about how he used Waiabikwed to pull a sleigh (from Pony Express)

P 11: Story from  Walter McElderry about Walter Saatela (from Pony Express)

P 12-14: “Wild Horses of Lac La Croix” by Walter McElderry, originally published in the Boundary Waters Journal in the 1980s. Significance: Walter interviewed Fred Isham about the history of the ponies before they were rescued in 1977.

P 15: “Destined to die, 5 rare ponies gallop off to new home in Ontario”, Peterborough Examiner, 1996. Significance: article seems to refer to Nimkii, Sunigo, Niibin, Tugwaughi, and Bebon, and states they came from a “relative” of one of the original horsemen (could be Gary Saatela). 

P 16-17: transcription of the previous page, notes and questions.

Scans 4 – click here to view

Conversation transcripts with Gary Saatela, Kim Kingsley, Marco Good, and Bill Valentine