Few visitors leave the Canadian Lakehead without viewing the beautiful "Kakabeka Falls." This remarkable work of nature is truly something to marvel at, but the story of the heroism of a lovely Indian princess is still more enchanting than the rushing, swirling water and the crystal-studded mist rising endlessly from the great gorge.
Interested only in the welfare of his people, peace-loving chieftain White Bear, grand old leader of the Ojibway encampment situated at the mouth of the Kaministiquia River, was greatly vexed one day to learn that large numbers of fierce warlike Sioux were approaching the river bent on the destruction of his tribe.
Being too old to go to battle himself and not knowing how to ward off the enemy, the old chief was greatly distressed. Seeing her father's dilemma, Princess Green Mantle devised a plan.
Bidding her father farewell, she hurriedly left the camp and paddled swiftly up the Kaministiquia. Many times before she had gone for long canoe rides with her brother, and she well knew of the Great White Falls. Leaving her canoe at the foot of the falls, she ran swiftly along the bank until she reached a point above the waterfall.
Soon she came within sight of the Sioux camp. Boldly the young maiden walked into the camp of her tribe's bitter enemies. At once they pounced upon her and captured her. Pretending to have lost her way, she led them to believe she was very frightened. Beginning with them, she followed through with her plan and told them that if they would spare her life, she would lead them to her father's camp. The Sioux chiefs were elated, thinking that they had indeed been blessed by the gods.
The following morning the young princess was placed in the lead canoe, and the great band of warriors in their war canoes followed, tied as Green Mantle had suggested one behind the other so that they would not be lost. However, she had not told them about the falls, and as they turned the bend of the swiftly flowing river they plunged headlong into the great gorge, drowning them all.
Princess Green Mantle of course lost her life also, but her tribe was saved from the vengeful hands of the most dreaded of all Indian tribes.
The Great Spirit looked kindly upon the brave little Indian girl, and if one takes the trouble to walk down the river bank to a point where the falls are visible, the figure of Green Mantle can be observed in the mist, standing as a monument to the memory of the princess who gave her life for her people.