The Motto of Sioux "Then I Will Fight" - is an interesting story. While not the "official" story, it's the one I recall from Sioux's brochures for visitors.
US Army General Custer was determined to exterminate all Native Americans. He had chased various Indian tribes Westward - until a fatal day when the Sioux Nation put up a battle and did him in. The US Army was determined to avenge this Sioux victory. The Sioux, under Chief Sitting Bull departed in haste into Canada. They arrived tired, hungry and with little hope for peace. A single Northwest Police Officer [in a red coat] rode into the Sioux encampment to the tent of Sitting Bull. He enquired about the intentions of Sitting Bull. Sitting Bull stated that his people were tired and hungry and just wanted to live in peace. The Mountie said " You can stay and the Great White Queen will protect you. However, you must live in peace". Sitting Bull replied that he would ensure that the Sioux Nation would live in Canada and cause no trouble. However, he stated, " I will not make trouble, or annoy you, or give pain to the Queen. I will be quiet. I will never fight on your soil unless you ask me to help you... Then I will fight" (Army and Navy Journal, Nov. 17, 1877). It is reported that the US decided against invading Western Canada because the Sioux Nation was on guard.
In short, this motto was chosen in recognition of Aboriginal men and women loyally supporting and participating in the Canadian Armed Forces in war time.
Submitted By Brian Govan, London Ontario.
Additioanl contributor: Harald Prins
University Distinguished Professor of Anthropology (Emeritus)
Kansas State University
Edited Aug 4/18