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The Selkirk Treaty

This indenture, made on the eighteenth day of July, in the fifty-seventh year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King George the Third, and in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and seventeen, between the undersigned Chiefs and warriors of the Chippeway or Saulteaux Nation and of the Killistine or Cree Nation, on the one part, and the Right Honorable Thomas Earl of Selkirk, on the other part: Witnesseth, that for and in consideration of the annual present or quit rent hereinafter mentioned, the said Chiefs have given, granted and confirmed, and do, by these presents, give, grant and confirm unto our Sovereign Lord the King all that tract of land adjacent to Red River and Ossiniboyne River, beginning at the mouth of Red River and extending along same as far as Great Forks at the mouth of Red Lake River, and along Ossiniboyne River, otherwise called Riviere des Champignons, and extending to the distance of six miles from Fort Douglas on every side, and likewise from Fort Doer, and also from the Great Forks and in other parts extending in breadth to the distance of two English statute miles back from the banks of the said rivers, on each side, together with all the appurtenances whatsoever of the said tract of land, to have and to hold forever the said tract of land and appurtenances to the use of the said Earl of Selkirk, and of the settlers being established thereon, with the consent and permission of our Sovereign Lord the King, or of the said Earl of Selkirk. Provided always, and these presents are under...

Cree Tribe

Cree Indians, Cree First Nation (contracted from Kristinaux, French form of Kenistenoag, given as one of their own names). An important Algonquian tribe of British America whose former habitat was in Manitoba and Assiniboin, between Red and Saskatchewan rivers. They ranged northeastward down Nelson river to the vicinity of Hudson Bay, and northwestward almost to Athabasca lake. When they first became known to the Jesuit missionaries a part of them resided in the region of James Bay, as it is stated as early as 1640 that “they dwell on the rivers of the north sea where Nipissing go to trade with them”; but the Jesuit Relations of 1661 and 1667 indicate a region farther to the northwest as the home of the larger part of the tribe. A portion of the Cree, as appears from the tradition given by Lacombe1, inhabited for a time the region about Red river, intermingled with the Chippewa and Maskegon, but were attracted to the plains by the buffalo, the Cree like the Chippewa being essentially a forest people. Many bands of Cree were virtually nomads, their movements being governed largely by the food supply. The Cree are closely related, linguistically and of otherwise, to the Chippewa. Hayden regarded them as an offshoot of the latter, and the Maskegon another division of the same ethnic group. Cree Tribe History At some comparatively recent time the Assiniboin, a branch of the Sioux, in consequence of a quarrel, broke away from their brethren and sought alliance with the Cree. The latter received them cordially and granted them a home in their territory, thereby forming friendly relations...

Biography of John Flett

JOHN FLETT. – Among the schemes of the Hudson’s Bay Company, in 1839 and 1840, to acquire occupancy and secure British title to the territory on the north side of the Columbia river, was an immigration to the Cowlitz and Nisqually Plains from the Selkirk settlement in the valley of the Red river of the North. It will be remembered that the Hudson’s Bay Company was present in the territory west of the Rocky Mountains by virtue of a license of trade from the British Crown, which precluded it from acquiring landed possessions. Its right was a mere tenancy for years. To evade this provision, the attempt was made to form the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, which, though not consummated, yet fostered this scheme of colonization and occupancy. Under its auspices was formed the Red river colony of 1841, of which John Flett, now an aged farmer residing on Steilacoom Plains in Pierce county, is the lat survivor of the then married men or heads of families who, with their families, flocks, herds and worldly possessions, constituted the Red river immigration to the Oregon territory in 1841. Mr. Flett gives the following graphic description of the journey to Oregon of that colony: “An agreement was entered into by Duncan Fenelon, acting governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, on the one side, and a party of immigrants on the other, to the following effect: “That the company should furnish as captain James Sinclair, Esq., should also furnish each head of a family ten pounds sterling in advance (which all accepted by A. Buxton and John Flett) also, goods for the...
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