This photo from the Library and Archives of Canada is currently captioned "Mary Greyeyes being blessed by her native Chief prior to leaving for service in the CWAC, 1942. Source: Library and Archives Canada/Department of National Defence fonds/PA-129070." But Mary Greyeyes Reid's daughter-in-law tells a very different story of what happened when it was taken. Mary, a Cree, was the first full-blooded native to join the Canadian Women's Army Corp.
One day her sergeant and two Mounties showed up and said, "We'll give you a good new uniform and a good lunch. We want you to take a picture."
And this is the picture.
They drove over out to the Piapot reserve. The man standing there is a man named Harry Ball. He's a World War One veteran. He wasn't the chief of the Piapot reserve [at the time he was a councilor, and later became chief], but he was a vet. And he happened to be hanging around.
The regalia that he's wearing was cobbled together by the Mounties. They went into people's houses and pulled out a blanket here, an old headdress from a powwow there. And they found a pipe. The stem on it was pieced together with some tape and a bit of twine one of the Mounties had.
And they told them to pose. And this picture is apparently an Indian princess getting a blessing from the chief of her tribe.