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From Field to Studio: The art of Paul Kane - page 33 / 36





33 / 36

PKI Teaching Guide

Page 33 of 36

Proceed to Activity 12c. – Field Notes Comparison

12c. - Activity – Compare Field Notes

Using the example of Kee-a-Kee-Ka-sa-coo-way, this activity as well as the one in 12d addresses the differences between the facts in Paul Kane’s field notes, and what was published in his Victorian travelogue in 1859.

Classroom Activities:


Guide students through both 12a and 12d to piece together the differences between

the field notes Kane took in on his travels and the contents of the published text in Wanderings of an Artist.


Find situations of where telling a good story may take priority over the facts.

12b. – Video – A Cree Chief

This video raises the problem of what Kane records in his field notes vs. what appears in his published book as it relates to the story of Kee-a-kee-ka-sa-coo-way.

Video Script: A Cree Chief (R/T: 1:25)

In Paul Kane’s published book, Wanderings of an Artist, Kee-a-kee-ka-sa-coo-way is described as the head chief of all the Cree. But because we don’t know for certain whether Kane actually wrote this book himself, we have to piece together a picture from the most reliable sources to find out whether or not Kee-a-kee-ka-sa-coo- way was indeed Cree and a head chief.

Kane’s field notes, which are more reliable, imply that Kane at least believed Kee-a-kee-ka-sa-coo-way was Cree. The notes also say that Kane met him at Fort Pitt, which was well within Cree territory in the mid-19th century. But at that time, this territory was shared with the Plains Ojibwa, who were allied with the Cree in what was known as the Iron Confederacy. Interestingly, Kane’s field notes mention a chief Mukeetoo as an associate of Kee-ak-kee-ka-sa-coo-way and who historians tell us was Chief Black Powder, a Plains Ojibwa.

But Kane’s field notes don’t identify Kee-a-kee-ka-sa-coo-way as a chief, let alone a head chief. In fact, there was not really any such title as head chief in Cree culture. But the published book, Wanderings of an Artist, creates a different impression.

Now compare what Kane wrote in his field notes in September 1846 and what ends up in the book published under his name in 1859.

Proceed to Activity 12d.

12d. - Activity - Compare Chief Text

From Field to Studio: The art of Paul Kane

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