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The Qu’appelle Treaty, Or Number Four – Afternoon Conference
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The Indians having assembled presented the Chiefs, whose names appear on the Treaty to the Commissioners as their Chiefs.
KAMOOSES–“To-day we are met together here and our minds are open. We want to know the terms of the North-West Angle Treaty.”
LIEUT.-GOV. MORRIS–“Do we understand that you want the same terms which were given at the Lake of the Woods (The Indians assented.) I have the Treaty here in a book. You must know that the steamboats had been running through their waters, and our soldiers had been marching through their country, and for that reason we offered the Ojibway a larger sum than we offered you. Last year it was a present, covering five years; with you it was a present for this year only. I paid the Indians there a present in money down of twelve dollars per head. I have told you why we offered you less, and you will see there were reasons for it. That is the greatest difference between what we offered you and what was paid them, but on the other hand there were some things promised you that were not given at the Lake of the Woods. (His Honor then explained the terms granted in that Treaty.) We promised there that the Queen would spend $1,500 per year to buy shot and powder, ball and twine. There were 4,000 of them. I offered you $1,000 although you are only one-half the number, as I do not think you number more than 2,000. Your proportionate share would be $750 which you shall receive. Then at the Lake of the Woods each Chief had their head men; we have said you would have four who shall have fifteen dollars each per year, and as at the Lake of the Woods each Chief and head man will receive a suit of clothing once in three years, and each Chief on signing the treaty will receive a medal and the promise of a flag. We cannot give you the flag now, as there were none to be bought at Red River, but we have the medals here. Now I have told you the terms we gave at the North-West Angle of the Lake of the Woods, and you will see that the only difference of any consequence between there and what we offered you is in the money payment that we give as a present, and I have told you why we made the difference, and you will see that it was just. We had to speak with them for four years that had gone away. We speak to you only for four days. It was not that we came in the spirit of traders, but because we were trying to do what was just between you and the Queen, and the other Indians who would say that we had treated you better than we had treated them because we put the children of this year on the same footing as these children through whose land we had been passing and running our steamboats for four years. You see when you ask us to tell you everything, we show you all that has been done, and I have to tell you again that the Ojibway at Lake Seul who number 400, when I sent a messenger this spring with a copy of those terms made at the North-West Angle with their nation, took the Queen’s hand by my messenger and made the same treaty. I think I have told you all you want to know, and our ears are open again.”
KAMOOSES–“I want to put it a little light for all my children around me, something more on the top. For my chief thirty dollars, for my four chief head men twenty dollars, and each of my young children fifteen dollars a year.”
LIEUT.-GOV. MORRIS–“I am afraid you are not talking to us straight; when we went away you asked us to give you the terms given at the Lake of the Woods; you asked to know what they were, and the moment I told you, you ask three times as much for your children as I gave them. That would not be right; and it is well that you should know that we have not power to do so; we can give you no more than we gave them. We hope you are satisfied. I have one word more to say, we are in the last hours of the day you asked us for and we must leave you. The utmost we can do, the furthest we can go or that we ought to go is, to do what you asked, to give you the terms granted last year at the Lake of the Woods. We can do no more, and you have our last words. It is for you to say whether you are satisfied or not.”
KAMOOSES–“We ask that we may have cattle.”
LIEUT.-GOV. MORRIS–“We offered you cattle on the first day, we offered your Chief cattle for the use of his band–not for himself, but for the use of his band; we gave the same at the Lake of the Woods. We can give no more here.”
KAMOOSES–“We want some food to take us home.”
LIEUT.-GOV. MORRIS–“When you sign the treaty, provisions will be given to take you home. Now I ask you, are you ready to accept the offer, the last offer we can make, you will see we have put you on the same footing as the Indians at the Lake of the Woods, and we think it is more than we ought to give, but rather than not close the matter we have given it, we have talked long enough about this. It is time we did something. Now I would ask, are the Cree and the Saulteaux and the other Indians ready to make the treaty with us. Since we went away we have had the treaty written out, and we are ready to have it signed, and we will leave a copy with any Chief you may select and after we leave we will have a copy written out on skin that cannot be rubbed out and put up in a tin box, so that it cannot be wet, so that you can keep it among yourselves so that when we are dead our children will know what was written.”
KAMOOSES–“Yes, we want each Chief to have a copy of the treaty, we ask that the Half-breeds may have the right of hunting.”
LIEUT.-GOV. MORRIS–“We will send a copy to each Chief. As to the Half-breeds, you need not be afraid; the Queen will deal justly, fairly and generously with all her children.”
The Chiefs then signed the treaty, after having been assured that they would never be made ashamed of what they then did.
One of the Chiefs on being asked to do so signed; the second called on said he was promised the money when he signed, and returned to his seat without doing so. The Lieutenant Governor called him forward–held out his hand to him and said, take my hand; it holds the money. If you can trust us forever you can do so for half an hour; sign the treaty. The Chief took the Governor’s hands and touched the pen, and the others followed. As soon as the treaty was signed the Governor expressed the satisfaction of the Commissioners with the Indians, and said that Mr. Christie and Mr. Dickieson, the Private Secretary of the Minister of the Interior, were ready to advance the money presents, but the Indians requested that the payment should be postponed till next morning, which was acceded to. The Chiefs then formally approached the Commissioners and shook hands with them, after which the conference adjourned, the Commissioners leaving the place of meeting under escort of the command of Lieut.-Col. Smith, who had been in daily attendance.
Report of the interview at Fort Ellice between the Indian Commissioners and certain Saulteaux Indians not present at Qu’Appelle, and not included in Treaty Number Two, the Chief being Way-wa-se-ca-pow, or “the Man proud of standing upright:”
Lieut.-Governor Morris said he had been here before, and since that time he had met the Cree and Saulteaux nations, and had made a treaty with them. The Indians there were from Fort Pelly and as far distant as the Cypress Hills. He wished to know the number of the Saulteaux to be found in this locality.
The Chief said there were about thirty tents who were not at Qu’Appelle, and ten who were there.
LIEUT.-GOV. MORRIS–“The Commissioners here are representing the Queen. I made a treaty with the Saulteaux last year at the Lake of the Woods. They were not a little handful; but there were 4,000 of them–and now we have made a treaty with the Cree and Saulteaux at Qu’Appelle. There is not much need to say much–it is good for the Indians to make treaties with the Queen–good for them and their wives and children. Game is getting scarce and the Queen is willing to help her children. Now we are ready to give you what we gave the Saulteaux at the Lake of the Woods and the Saulteaux and Cree at Qu’Appelle. It will be for you to say whether you will accept it or not.” His Honor then explained the treaty to them.
“What we offer will be for your good, as it will help you, and not prevent you from hunting.
“We are not traders. I have told you all we can do and all we will do. It is for you to say whether you will accept my hand or not. I cannot wait long. I think you are not wiser than your brothers. Our ears are open, you can speak to us.”
LONG CLAWS–“My father–I shake hands with you, I shake hands with the Queen.”
SHAPONETUNG’S FIRST SON–“I find what was done at Qu’Appelle was good, does it take in all my children?”
SHAPONETUNG’S FIRST SON–“I thank you for coming and bringing what is good for our children.”
LIEUT.-GOV. MORRIS–“I forgot to say that we will be able to give you a small present, some powder and shot, blankets and calicoes. Each band must have a Chief and four headmen, but you are not all here to-day. I want to-day to know the Chief and two headmen.
“Now I want to know will you take my hand and what is in it.”
The Indians came up and shook hands in token of acceptance.
LIEUT.-GOV. MORRIS–“I am glad to shake hands with you; the white man and the red man have shaken hands and are friends. You must be good subjects to the Queen and obey her laws.”
The Indians introduced as their Chief, Way-wa-se-ca-pow; and as their headmen, Ota-ma-koo-euin and Shaponetung’s first son.
His Honor then explained the memorandum to them, when it was signed.
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