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The Qu’appelle Treaty, Or Number Four – Third Day’s Conference

September 11, 1874. The Cree and their Chiefs met the Commissioners. The Saulteaux Chief was not present, though most of the tribe were present. An Indian, “the Crow,” advised the assembled Cree, the Saulteaux not having arrived, to listen attentively to what words he said. His Honor the Lieut.-Governor then arose and said: “I am glad to meet you here to-day. We have waited long and began to wonder whether the Queen’s red children were not coming to meet her messengers. All the ground here is the Queen’s and you are free to speak your mind fully. We want you to speak to me face to face. I am ready now with my friends here to give you the Queen’s message. Are your ears open to hear? Have you chosen your speakers?” THE LOUD VOICE–“There is no one to answer.” HIS HONOR–“You have had time enough to select your men to answer and I will give you the Queen’s message. The Queen knows that you are poor; the Queen knows that it is hard to find food for yourselves and children; she knows that the winters are cold, and your children are often hungry; she has always cared for her red children as much as for her white. Out of her generous heart and liberal hand she wants to do something for you, so that when the buffalo get scarcer, and they are scarce enough now, you may be able to do something for yourselves.” THE LOUD VOICE (to the Indians)–“I wonder very much at your conduct. You understand what is said and you understand what is right and...

The Qu’appelle Treaty, Or Number Four – Second Day’s Conference

September 9, 1874. The Indians, both Cree, Saulteaux and their Chiefs having arrived, His Honor Lieut.-Governor Morris said: “I am glad to see so many of the Queen’s red children here this morning. I told those I saw yesterday that I was one of the Queen’s councilors, and had another councilor with me from Ottawa and that the Queen had sent Mr. Christie who used to live amongst you to help us. Yesterday the Cree nation with their Chief were here, the Saulteaux did not come to meet the Queen’s servants, their Chief was not here. I thought that the Saulteaux could not have understood that the Queen had sent her servants to see them, or they would have come to meet them. If Loud Voice or any other Chief came down to Fort Garry to see me, and I sent one of my servants to meet them instead of shaking hands with them, would they be pleased? I wanted you to meet me here to-day because I wanted to speak to you before the Great Spirit and before the world. I want both Cree and Saulteaux to know what I say. I told those who were here yesterday that we had a message from the Queen to them. Last year I made a treaty with the Indians, 4,000 in number, at the Lake of the Woods. To-day the Queen sends us here. I told you yesterday that she loves her red children, and they have always respected her and obeyed her laws. I asked you yesterday, and ask you now, to tell me who would speak for you,...

The Manitoulin Island Treaty – Great Manitoulin Island

Some years after the completion of the Robinson Treaties, the then Government of the old Province of Canada deemed it desirable to effect a treaty with the Indians dwelling upon the Great Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron, as a complement to the former treaties, and with the object of rendering available for settlement the large tract of good land upon the Island. The duty was entrusted to the Honorable William McDougall, then Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs, who, in the month of October, 1862, proceeded to the Island, accompanied by the late William Spragge, Esq., Deputy Superintendent of Indian Affairs, and Mr. F. Assicknack, of the Indian Office, Toronto, as interpreter. Mr. McDougall encountered considerable difficulties, but by firmness and decision eventually succeeded in obtaining a surrender from the Indians of the Island, excluding however from the surrender that portion of it easterly of Heywood Island and the Manitoulin Gulf. The terms of the treaty, which will be found in the Appendix, were adapted to the peculiar circumstances of the Indians and were well and wisely framed. The result has been to render available for settlement a large tract of land on the Island, much of which is now occupied by a prosperous and thriving population. I conclude this brief notice of an important treaty by submitting, to the attention of the reader, the report of the Hon. W. McDougall, to His Excellency the Governor-General in Council, of the results of his mission. Articles of agreement and convention made and concluded at Manitowaning, on the Great Manitoulin Island, in the Province of Canada, the sixth day of October, Anno Domini...

The Stone Fort And Manitoba Post Treaties

In the year 1871, the late Honorable Joseph Howe, then Secretary of State of Canada, recommended the appointment by the Privy Council of Canada, of Mr. Wemyss McKenzie Simpson, as Indian Commissioner, in consequence of “the necessity of arranging with the bands of Indians inhabiting the tract of country between Thunder Bay and the Stone Fort, for the cession, subject to certain reserves such as they should select, of the lands occupied by them.” Mr. Simpson accepted the appointment, and in company with Messrs. S. J. Dawson and Robert Pether visited the Ojjibewa or Chippawa Indians, between Thunder Bay and the north-west angle of the Lake of the Woods, and took the initiatory steps for securing a treaty with them thereafter. On his arrival at Fort Garry, he put himself, as directed by his instructions, in communication with his Honor, the Hon. A. G. Archibald, then Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba and the North-West Territories. A conference took place between His Honor, Messrs. Simpson, Dawson and Pether, and the Hon. James McKay, a member, at that time, of the Executive Council of Manitoba, and himself a half-breed intimately acquainted with the Indian tribes, and possessed of much influence over them. The Indians in Manitoba, in the fall of 1870, had applied to the Lieutenant-Governor to enter into a treaty with them, and had been informed that in the ensuing year negotiations would be opened with them. They were full of uneasiness, owing to the influx of population, denied the validity of the Selkirk Treaty, and had in some instances obstructed settlers and surveyors. In view of the anxiety and uneasiness prevailing,...

The Stone Fort And Manitoba Post Treaties – Second Day

On the next day the conference was resumed, the chiefs and spokesmen being presented. The Indians, on being asked to express their views, “stated that there was a cloud before them which made things dark, and they did not wish to commence the proceedings till the cloud was dispersed.” On inquiry it was ascertained that they referred to the imprisonment of four Swampy Cree Indians, who had been convicted under a local law, of breach of contract, as boatmen, with the Hudson’s Bay Company, and on default of payment of a fine, had been sent to prison. The Lieutenant Governor, as a matter of favor, ordered the release of these prisoners, and the sky became clear. Next day the Indians met again and declared that they would never again raise their voice against the enforcement of the law, but much difficulty was experienced in getting them to understand the views of the Government–they wishing to have two-thirds of the Province as a reserve. Eventually on the 3rd of August, 1871, a treaty was concluded, its principal features being the relinquishment to Her Majesty of the Indian title; the reserving of tracts of land for the Indians, sufficient to furnish 160 acres of land to each family of five; providing for the maintenance of schools, and prohibition of the sale of intoxicating liquors on the reserves; a present of three dollars per head to the Indians and the payment to them of an annuity of three dollars per head. On the 21st of August Mr. Commissioner Simpson, accompanied by the Lieutenant-Governor, the Hon. James McKay, and Mr. Molyneux St. John...

The Stone Fort And Manitoba Post Treaties – Proclamations

Mr. Simpson accordingly issued proclamations, inviting the Indians to meet him on the 25th of July and 17th of August 1871, at these points respectively, to negotiate an Indian treaty. The Lieutenant-Governor also issued a proclamation forbidding the sale or gift of intoxicating liquors during the negotiation of the treaty, and applied to Major Irvine to detail a few of the troops under his command to preserve order, which request was acceded to. The Lieutenant-Governor and Mr. Simpson arrived at the Stone Fort on the 24th of July, 1871, but as the Indians had not all arrived the meeting was postponed till the 27th, when a thousand Indians were found to have assembled, and a considerable number of half-breeds and other inhabitants of the country were present, awaiting with anxiety to learn the policy of the Government. Lieutenant-Governor Archibald, after the Indians were assembled opened the proceedings by delivering the following address: “On the 13th September last, on my first arrival in the country, I met a number of you at the mission, I told you I could not then negotiate a Treaty with the Indians, but that I was charged by your Great Mother, the Queen, to tell you that she had been very glad to see that you had acted during the troubles like good and true children of your Great Mother. I told you also that as soon as possible you would all be called together to consider the terms of a treaty to be entered into between you and your Great Mother. “I advised you to disperse to your homes, and gave you some ammunition...

The Blackfeet Treaty – Fort Pitt, September 8th, 1876

To His Excellency The Governor Of Manitoba. Excellent Governor,–Having had some years of experience as a missionary amongst the Cree and Blackfeet Indians of the North-West Territory, I humbly undertake to submit to your consideration a few details regarding the latter tribe of Her Majesty’s Indian subjects. I do this with all the more confidence as the successful way in which you conducted the treaty with the Carlton Indians (a treaty including no small difficulties), has convinced me of your thorough knowledge of the character of this people. But, although the general character of all the tribes may be nearly the same, yet in their social dispositions they sometimes materially differ, and this, I think, will be found to be the case with the Cree and Blackfeet when compared on that point. The Cree have always looked upon the white man as a friend, or, to use their own language, as a brother. They have never been afraid of him, nor have they given him any cause to be afraid of them. The Blackfeet have acted somewhat differently; they have regarded the white man as a demi-god, far superior to themselves in intelligence, capable of doing them good or evil, according as he might be well or ill disposed towards them, unscrupulous in his dealings with others, and consequently a person to be flattered, feared and shunned, and even injured, whenever this could be done with impunity. I am not now describing the Blackfeet of the present day, but those of fifteen years ago, when I first saw them. They were then a proud, haughty, numerous people (perhaps ten...

The Blackfeet Treaty – Friday, October 20th

On this day the Indians accepted the terms of the treaty, and several of the Chiefs made speeches. The first speaker was Crowfoot. CROWFOOT–“While I speak, be kind and patient. I have to speak for my people, who are numerous, and who rely upon me to follow that course which in the future will tend to their good. The plains are large and wide. We are the children of the plains, it is our home, and the buffalo has been our food always. I hope you look upon the Blackfeet, Blood, and Sarcees as your children now, and that you will be indulgent and charitable to them. They all expect me to speak now for them, and I trust the Great Spirit will put into their breasts to be a good people–into the minds of the men, women and children, and their future generations. The advice given me and my people has proved to be very good. If the Police had not come to the, country, where would we be all now? Bad men and whiskey were killing us so fast that very few, indeed, of us would have been left to-day. The Police have protected us as the feathers of the bird protect it from the frosts of winter. I wish them all good, and trust that all our hearts will increase in goodness from this time forward. I am satisfied. I will sign the treaty.” BUTTON CHIEF–“I must say what all the people say, and I agree with what they say. I cannot make new laws. I will sign.” RED CROW–“Three years ago, when the Police first...

The Blackfeet Treaty – Monday, 17th October

This was the day appointed for the opening of the Treaty, but as a number of the Indian Chiefs, who had a long distance to come, were absent, it was deferred until the following Wednesday. The Governor, however, addressed a number of the Chiefs who were assembled at the Council House. He said, “Last year a message was sent to you by the Councilors of the Great Mother that they would meet you at an early date, and as her Councilors always keep their promises, they have appointed Col. McLeod and myself to meet you here now. We appointed this day, and I have come a very long distance to keep my promise, and have called you together to discover if you all have responded to my summons, and if any Chiefs are now absent, to learn when they shall arrive. You say that some of the Blood Chiefs are absent, and as it is our wish to speak to them as well as to you, and as they have a very long way to come to reach this place, we shall give them until next Wednesday to come in. On that day, I will deliver to you the Queen’s message, but if any of the Chiefs would desire to speak now, we will be glad to listen to them. I would tell you now, that while you remain, provisions will be issued for the use of those who wish to accept them.” CROWFOOT–“I am glad to see the Queen’s Chief and Stamixotokon (Col McLeod), who is a great Chief and our friend. I will wait and hold a...

The Blackfeet Treaty – Government House, Battleford, North-West Territory

Sir,–I have the honor to inform you that on the 4th August I received at Swan River your telegram dated on the first of that month. It notified me that a Commission appointing Lieut.-Col. James F. McLeod, C.M.G., and myself, Commissioners to negotiate a treaty with the Blackfeet and other Indians of the unsurrendered parts of the North-West Territories adjoining the United States boundary, had been forwarded to Fort McLeod. I immediately made preparations for the journey. These occupied me a week, as arrangements had to be made for the removal of furniture and other property to Battle River, where the Government House for the territories, in course of construction, would probably be ready for occupation on my return from the treaty negotiations. On the 11th August I left Swan River for Fort McLeod, via Battleford, proposing to go from the latter place by Cypress Hills to my destination. I took the Quill Lake trail and came to the telegraph line, about four miles from Big Stone Lake. Thence I followed that line until I came to the trail at the elbow of the North Saskatchewan leading to Battle River. Where the telegraph crosses the South Saskatchewan I found an excellent ferry scow, and a ferryman placed there by the Public Works Department. I arrived at the ferry about noon on the 20th, and though a high wind rendered it difficult to manage the scow, the horses, with the vehicles and their contents, were safely ferried before sunset. On the following evening I reached the Elbow, and the morning thereafter before leaving camp, Inspector Walker, of Battleford, drove up,...
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