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The Treaties At Forts Carlton And Pitt – 24th of August

On the 24th the Commissioners again met the Indians, when I presented the Head Chiefs with their medals, uniforms and flags, and informed them that Mr. Christie would give the other Chiefs and Councilor the same in the evening. Some half a dozen of Saulteaux then came forward, of whom I found one was from Qu’Appelle, and had been paid there, and the others did not belong to the Carlton region. I told them that I had heard that they had endeavoured to prevent me crossing the river and to prevent a treaty being made, but that they were not wiser than the whole of their nation, who had already been treated with. They did not deny the charge, and their spokesman becoming insolent, I declined to hear them further, and they retired, some stating that they would go to Fort Pitt, which I warned them not to do. Besides these Saulteaux, there were others present who disapproved of their proceedings, amongst them being Kis-so-way-is, already mentioned, and Pecheeto, who was the chief spokesman at Qu’Appelle, but is now a Councillor of the Fort Ellice Band. I may mention here that the larger part of the Band to whom these other Saulteaux belonged, with the Chief Yellow Quill, gave in their adhesion to Treaty Number Four, at Fort Pelly about the time that their comrades were troubling me at Fort Carlton. Mr. Christie then commenced the payments, assisted by Mr. McKay, of Prince Albert, and was engaged in so doing during the 24th and 25th. Amongst those paid were the few resident Saulteaux, who were accepted by the Cree...

The Treaties At Forts Carlton And Pitt – 17th of September

The 17th being Sunday we remained at our camp, and on Monday morning, the 18th, we commenced our long return journey, with the incidents of which I will not trouble you further than to state that, on arriving on the 4th of October at an encampment about thirty miles from Portage la Prairie, we found it necessary to leave our tents and carts to follow us leisurely (many of the horses having become completely exhausted with the long journey of sixteen hundred miles) and push on to the Portage; on the 5th we reached the Portage, where Mr. Christie and Dr. Jackes remained, their horses being unable to go farther, and I went on to Poplar Point, forty-five miles from Fort Garry, where I found accommodation for the night from Mr. Chisholm, of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s Post there. I arrived at Fort Garry on the afternoon of the 6th of October having been absent for over two months and a half. Mr. McKay, having taken another road, had arrived before me; Mr. Christie and Dr. Jackes reached here subsequently. Having thus closed the narrative of our proceedings, I proceed to deal with the results of our mission, and to submit for your consideration some reflections and to make some practical suggestions. 1st. The Indians inhabiting the ceded territory are chiefly Cree, but there are a few Assiniboines on the plains and also at the slope of the mountains. There are also a small number of Saulteaux and one band of Chippewayans. 2nd. I was agreeably surprised to find so great a willingness on the part of the Cree...

The Treaties At Forts Carlton And Pitt – 31st of August

On the morning of the 31st, the previous day having been wet, Mr. Christie and I left for Fort Pitt, Mr. McKay having preceded us by the other road–that by way of Battle River. We arrived on the 5th September, the day appointed, having rested, as was our custom throughout the whole journey, on Sunday, the 3rd. About six miles from the fort we were met by Col. Jarvis and the police, with their band, as an escort, and also by Mr. McKay, the Factor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, who informed us that he had rooms ready for our occupation. We found over one hundred lodges of Indians already there, and received a message from them, that as their friends were constantly arriving, they wished delay until the 7th. On the morning of the 6th, Sweet Grass, who had come in, in consequence of my message, accompanied by about thirty of the principal men, called to see me and express their gratification at my arrival. Their greeting was cordial, but novel in my experience, as they embraced me in their arms, and kissed me on both cheeks, a reception which they extended also to Mr. Christie and Dr. Jackes. The Hon. James McKay arrived from Battle River in the evening, and reported that he had met there a number of Indians, principally Saulteaux, who had been camped there for some time. There had been about seventy lodges in all, but as the buffalo had come near, the poorer Indians had gone after them. They expressed good feeling, and said they would like to have waited until the 15th,...

The Treaties At Forts Carlton And Pitt – 7th of September

At ten in the morning the Governor and Commissioners, escorted by the Mounted Police, proceeded to the treaty tent a short distance from the fort. About eleven o’clock the Indians commenced to gather, as at Carlton, in a large semi-circle. In front were the young men, galloping about on their horses, then the Chiefs and head men, followed by the main body of the band to the number of two or three hundred. As they approached the manoeuvres of the horsemen became more and more excited and daring, racing wildly about so rapidly as to be barely distinguishable; unfortunately, from some mischance, two horses and their riders came into collision with such tremendous force as to throw both horses and men violently to the ground; both horses were severely injured and one of the Indians had his hip put out of joint; fortunately, Dr. Kittson of the police, was near by and speedily gave relief to the poor sufferer. The ceremonies, however, still went on; four pipe-stems were carried about and presented to be stroked in token of good feeling and amity (during this performance the band of the Mounted Police played “God save the Queen”), blessings invoked on the whole gathering, the dances performed by the various bands, and finally the pipes of peace smoked by the Governor and Commissioners in turn. The stems, which were finely decorated, were placed with great solemnity on the table in front of the Governor, to be covered for the bearers with blue cloth. The Chiefs and head men now seated themselves in front of the tent, when the Governor addressed them:...

The Treaties At Forts Carlton And Pitt – Commissioners crossed the Saskatchewan

The Commissioners crossed the Saskatchewan and journeyed to Fort Pitt. Near it they were met by an escort of Mounted Police, who convoyed them to the fort. There they found a number of Indians assembled, and, during the day, Sweet Grass arrived. In the evening the Chief and head men waited upon the Commissioners. Delay was asked and granted before meeting. Eventually the conference was opened. The ceremonies which attended it were imposing. The national stem or pipe dance was performed, of which a full narrative will be found hereafter. The conference proceeded, and the Indians accepted the terms made at Carlton with the utmost good feeling, and thus the Indian title was extinguished in the whole of the Plain country, except a comparatively small area, inhabited by the Black Feet, comprising about 35,000 square miles, I regret to record, that the Chief Sweet Grass, who took the lead in the proceedings, met with an accidental death a few months afterwards, by the discharge of a pistol. The Indians, in these two treaties, displayed a strong desire for instruction in farming, and appealed for the aid of missionaries and teachers. The latter the Commissioners promised, and for the former they were told they must rely on the churches, representatives of whom were present from the Church of England, the Methodist, the Presbyterian and the Roman Catholic Church. The Bishop (Grandin) of the latter Church traveled from Edmonton to Fort Pitt and Battleford to see the Commissioners and assure them of his good will. After the conclusion of the treaty, the Commissioners commenced their long return journey by way of...

The Treaties At Forts Carlton And Pitt – Memoranda

Had I not complied with the demands of the Indians–giving them some little presents–and otherwise satisfied them, I have no doubt that they would have proceeded to acts of violence, and once that had commenced, there would have been the beginning of an Indian war, which it is difficult to say when it would have ended. The buffalo will soon be exterminated, and when starvation comes, these Plain Indian tribes will fall back on the Hudson’s Bay Forts and settlements for relief and assistance. If not complied with, or no steps taken to make some provision for them, they will most assuredly help themselves; and there being no force or any law up there to protect the settlers, they must either quietly submit to be pillaged, or lose their lives in the defence of their families and property, against such fearful odds that will leave no hope for their side. Gold may be discovered in paying quantities, any day, on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains. We have, in Montana, and in the mining settlements close to our boundary line, a large mixed frontier population, who are now only waiting and watching to hear of gold discoveries to rush into the Saskatchewan, and, without any form of Government or established laws up there, or force to protect whites or Indians, it is very plain what will be the result. I think that the establishment of law and order in the Saskatchewan District, as early as possible, is of most vital importance to the future of the country and the interest of Canada, and also the making of some...

The Treaties At Forts Carlton And Pitt – Your Honor’s message

That your Honor’s message was most timely, these are ample proofs. A report will have reached you before this time that parties have been turned back by the Indians, and that a train containing supplies for the telegraph contractors, when west of Fort Pitt, were met by three Indians and ordered to return. Now after carefully investigating the matter and listening to the statements of all parties concerned, my opinion is, that an old traveler amongst Indians would have regarded the whole affair as too trivial to be noticed. I have not met with a Chief who would bear with the responsibility of the act…. Personally I am indebted both to the missionaries, and the Hudson’s Bay Company’s officials for their assistance at the Indian councils. Believing it would be satisfactory to your Honor and of service to the Commissioners, I have kept the number of all the tents visited and the names of the places where I met the Indians. By reckoning eight persons to each tent, we will have a very close approximate to the number of Indians to be treated with at Carlton, and Fort Pitt. There may have been a few tents in the forest, and I have heard there are a few Cree at Lesser Slave Lake and Lac la Biche, but the number cannot exceed twenty tents. All of which is respectfully submitted. G. Mcdougall. The Commissioners, in the discharge of their task, had to travel through the prairie district in going to their destination and returning to Winnipeg, a distance of over 1,800 miles. They first met the Indians in the vicinity...

The Treaties At Forts Carlton And Pitt

The treaties made at Forts Carlton and Pitt in the year 1876, were of a very important character. The great region covered by them, abutting on the areas included in Treaties Numbers Three and Four, embracing an area of approximately 120,000 square miles, contains a vast extent of fertile territory and is the home of the Cree nation. The Cree had, very early after the annexation of the North-West Territories to Canada, desired a treaty of alliance with the Government. So far back as the year 1871, Mr. Simpson, the Indian Commissioner, addressing the Secretary of State in a dispatch of date, the 3rd November 1871, used the following language: “I desire also to call the attention of His Excellency to the state of affairs in the Indian country on the Saskatchewan. The intelligence that Her Majesty is treating with the Chippewa Indians has already reached the ears of the Cree and Blackfeet tribes. In the neighborhood of Fort Edmonton, on the Saskatchewan, there is a rapidly increasing population of miners and other white people, and it is the opinion of Mr. W. J. Christie, the officer in charge of the Saskatchewan District, that a treaty with the Indians of that country, or at least an assurance during the coming year that a treaty will shortly be made, is essential to the peace, if not the actual retention, of the country. I would refer His Excellency, on this subject, to the report of Lieut. Butler, and to the enclosed memoranda of Mr. W. J. Christie, the officer above alluded to.” He also enclosed an extract of a letter from...

The Treaties At Forts Carlton And Pitt – 22nd of August

On the 22nd the Commissioners met the Indians, when I told them that we had not hurried them, but wished now to hear their Chiefs. A spokesman, The Pond Maker, then addressed me, and asked assistance when they settled on the land, and further help as they advanced in civilization. I replied that they had their own means of living, and that we could not feed the Indians, but only assist them to settle down. The Badger, Soh-ah-moos, and several other Indians all asked help when they settled, and also in case of troubles unforeseen in the future. I explained that we could not assume the charge of their every-day life, but in a time of a great national calamity they could trust to the generosity of the Queen. The Honourable James McKay also addressed them, saying that their demands would be understood by a white man as asking for daily food, and could not be granted, and explained our objects, speaking with effect in the Cree tongue. At length the Indians informed me that they did not wish to be fed every day, but to be helped when they commenced to settle, because of their ignorance how to commence, and also in case of general famine; Ah-tuk-uk-koop winding up the debate by stating that they wanted food in the spring when they commenced to farm, and proportionate help as they advanced in civilization, and then asking for a further adjournment to consider our offers. The Commissioners granted this, but I warned them not to be unreasonable, and to be ready next day with their decision, while we on...

The Winnipeg Treaty – Boundaries

I now beg to call your attention to the boundaries of the treaty, which, you will observe, vary somewhat from those suggested in your memorandum to the Privy Council. The Commissioners adopted as the southern boundary of the treaty limits, the northern boundary of Treaties Numbers Two and Three. They included in the limits all the territory to which the Indians ceding, claimed hunting and other rights, but they fixed the western boundary as defined in the treaty, for the following reasons: 1st. The extension of the boundary carries the treaty to the western limit of the lands claimed by the Saulteaux and Swampy Cree Tribes of Indians, and creates an eastern base for the treaties to be made with the Plain Cree next year. 2nd. The Swampy Cree at the Pas, on the Saskatchewan, would otherwise have had to be included in the western treaties. 3rd. That the extension of the boundaries will add some six hundred to the number of Indians in the suggested limits, of whom three hundred at Wahpahhuha or the Pas on the Saskatchewan would have had to be treated with owing to the navigation of the Saskatchewan, in any event. 4th. The inclusion of the Norway House Indians in the treaty, and the surrender of their rights, involved a larger area of territory. 5th. That a number of the Norway House Indians came from Moose Lake and the Cumberland region, and possessed rights there which have been included in the boundaries. 6th. Unless the boundaries had been properly defined, in conformity with known geographical points, a portion of the country lying between the...
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