Early one summer in the 1690s, a band of Assiniboines was camped on the banks of the Assiniboine River, about ten miles west of present day Winnipeg.
A young Cree brave from Lake Winnipegosis entered the Assiniboine camp and asked if he might marry the chief's daughter. The chief was offered a beautiful and spirited snow-white steed, a Blanco Diablo, which came from the famed breed in Mexico, and an agreement was reached.
This agreement upset a Sioux brave from Devil's Lake in North Dakota, also in love with the chief's daughter. He vowed to capture and torture his rival under the pretext of a reprisal for past wars. Aware of the danger, the Assiniboine chief saddled the white horse, and advised the couple to escape under cover of darkness.
When the Sioux learned of the escape, they followed, and eventually overtook the couple on the west bank of the Assiniboine River a few miles west of where the St. Francois-Xavier parish church now stands. Arrows killed both warrior and his bride.
The white horse escaped, and according to legend, continued to roam the neighbouring plains for many years. The Assiniboines believed that the spirits carried the horse to the spirit world where he was reunited with the Cree brave.
The aboriginal peoples named this land, where the white horse ran free in honour of the powerful animal.