Topic: Chippewa

The Blackfeet Treaty – Sunday Afternoon

On Sunday afternoon the Indians fought a sham battle on horseback. They only wore the breech-cloths. They fired off their rifles in all directions, and sent the bullets whistling past the spectators in such close proximity as to create most unpleasant feelings. I was heartily glad when they defiled past singly on the way back to their lodges, and the last of their unearthly yells had died away in the distance. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were occupied in paying off the different tribes. They were paid by Inspector Winder, Sub-Inspector Denny, and Sub-Inspector Antrobus, each assisted by a constable of the Force. It was hard work to find out the correct number of each family. Many after receiving their money would return to say that they had made a wrong count; one would discover that he had another wife, another two more children, and others that they had blind mothers and lame sisters. In some cases they wanted to be paid for the babies that were expected to come soon. On Wednesday the Chiefs presented an address to the Commissioners, expressing the entire satisfaction of the whole nation with the treaty, and to the way in which the terms had been carried out. They tendered their well wishes to the Queen, the Governor, Col. McLeod, and the Police Force. They spoke in the most flattering and enthusiastic manner of...

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The Blackfeet Treaty – Thursday, October 19th.

The Governor, on arriving at the Council House, where all the Chiefs were awaiting him, said that he was glad to see them all there, and that he had only a few words to say to them. He said, “I expect to listen to what you have to say to-day, but, first, I would explain that it is your privilege to hunt all over the prairies, and that should you desire to sell any portion of your land, or any coal or timber from off your reserves, the Government will see that you receive just and fair prices, and that you can rely on all the Queen’s promises being fulfilled. Your payments will be punctually made. You all know the Police; you know that no promise of theirs to you has ever been broken; they speak and act straight. You have perfect confidence in them, and by the past conduct of the Police towards you, you can judge of the future. I think I have now said all, and will listen to you and explain anything you wish to know; we wish to keep nothing back.” BUTTON CHIEF–“The Great Spirit sent the white man across the great waters to carry out His (the Great Spirit’s) ends. The Great Spirit, and not the Great Mother, gave us this land, The Great Mother sent Stamixotokon (Col. McLeod) and the Police to...

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The Blackfeet Treaty – Report from correspondence in The Globe newspaper

Fort Mcleod, October 4, 1877. The treaty with the Blackfeet nation has been concluded satisfactorily, and was signed by the Chiefs of the Blackfeet, Blood, Piegan and Sarcee tribes, in the presence of the Commissioners–Governor Laird and Col. McLeod, C.M.G., and of Major Irvine, Assistant Commissioner, North-West Mounted Police, and officers of the Police Force, at the Council House, near “Ridge under the Water,” or “The Blackfoot Crossing” the Great Bow River, on the 22nd September last. On the morning of the 4th of September, Col. McLeod received information from the ubiquitous Indian that the Queen’s father (Lieut.-Gov. Laird) was at Little Bow River, thirty miles north from McLeod, and was accompanied by the “Buffalo Bull” (Major Irvine), and that they would arrive before the sun sank below the western horizon. At three p.m. the Commissioner left Fort McLeod, accompanied by a guard of honor of one hundred mounted men, to meet and escort the representative of Vice-Royalty to the first white settlement in the Blackfeet country. The Governor was met three miles north of Willow Creek, and expressed his surprise and pleasure at the splendid appearance of the well-mounted, well-equipped, well-drilled body of men who formed the guard of honour. When the head of the column forming the escort wound round the bend of Willow Creek, and the extensive wooded valley on which McLeod is built appeared in...

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North-West Angle, October 1, 1873

The assembled Chiefs met the Governor this morning, as per agreement, and opened the proceedings of the day by expressing the pleasure they experienced at meeting the Commissioners on the present occasion. Promises had many times been made to them, and, said the speaker, unless they were now fulfilled they would not consider the broader question of the treaty. Mr. S. J. Dawson, one of the Commissioners, reciprocated the expression of pleasure used by the Chiefs through their spokesman. He had long looked forward to this meeting, when all matters relating to the past, the present, and the future, could be disposed of so as to fix permanently the friendly relations between the Indians and the white men. It was now, he continued, some years since the white men first came to this country–they came in the first place at the head of a great military expedition; and when that expedition was passing through the country all the chiefs showed themselves to be true and loyal subjects–they showed themselves able and willing to support their Great Mother the Queen. Subsequently, when we began to open up the road, we had to call upon the Indians to assist us in doing so, and they always proved themselves very happy to help in carrying out our great schemes. He was, he continued, one of the Commission employed by the Government to...

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North-West Angle – Boundaries Of The Lands To Be Ceded

Beginning at the North-West Angle eastward, taking in all the Lake of the Woods, including White Fish Bay, Rat Portage and north to White Dog in English River; up English River to Lake Seul, and then south east to Lake Nepigon; westward to Rainy River and down it to Lake of the Woods, and up nearly to Lac des Mille Lacs; then beginning at the 49th parallel to White Mouth River, thence down it to the north, along the eastern boundary of the land ceded in 1871, embracing 55,000 square miles. In the neighborhood of Lac des mille Lacs and Shebandowan are several bands, who have sent word that they cannot come as far as this point, but will accept the terms made at this treaty and ratify it with any one commissioner who will go there to meet them. The whole number of Indians in the territory is estimated at 14,000, and are represented here by Chiefs of the following bands: 1. North-West Angle. 2. Rat Portage. 3. Lake Seul. 4. White Fish Bay on Lake of the Woods. 5. Sha-bas-kang, or Grassy Narrows. 6. Rainy River. 7. Rainy Lake. 8. Beyond Kettle Falls, southward. 9. Eagle Lake. 10. Nepigon. 11. Shoal Lake (three miles to the north of this...

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North-West Angle, October 1, 1873 – Mill

GOVERNOR–“The mill is a private enterprise, and we have no power to give you boards from that.” CHIEF–“I will now show you a medal that was given to those who made a treaty at Red River by the Commissioner. He said it was silver, but I do not think it is. I should be ashamed to carry it on my breast over my heart. I think it would disgrace the Queen, my mother, to wear her image on so base a metal as this. [Here the Chief held up the medal and struck it with the back of his knife. The result was anything but the ‘true ring,’ and made every man ashamed of the petty meanness that had been practiced.] Let the medals you give us be of silver–medals that shall be worthy of the high position our Mother the Queen occupies.” GOVERNOR–“I will tell them at Ottawa what you have said, and how you have said it.” CHIEF–“I wish you to understand you owe the treaty much to the Half-breeds.” GOVERNOR–“I know it. I sent some of them to talk with you, and I am proud that all the Half-breeds from Manitoba, who are here, gave their Governor their cordial support.” The business of the treaty having now been completed, the Chief, Mawedopenais, who, with Powhassan, had with such wonderful tact carried on the negotiations, stepped up...

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North-West Angle, October 1, 1873 – Government to send Surveyors

COMMISSIONER PROVENCHER (the Governor being temporarily absent)–“As soon as it is convenient to the Government to send surveyors to lay out the reserves they will do so, and they will try to suit every particular band in this respect.” CHIEF–“We do not want anybody to mark out our reserves, we have already marked them out.” COMMISSIONER–“There will be another undertaking between the officers of the Government and the Indians among themselves for the selection of the land; they will have enough of good farming land, they may be sure of that.” CHIEF–“Of course, if there is any particular part wanted by the public works they can shift us. I understand that; but if we have any gardens through the country, do you wish that the poor man should throw it right away?” COMMISSIONER–“Of course not.” CHIEF–“These are matters that are the wind-up. I begin now to see how I value the proceedings. I have come to this point, and all that are taking part in this treaty and yourself I would wish to have all your names in writing handed over to us. I would not find it to my convenience to have a stranger here to transact our business between me and you. It is a white man who does not understand our language that is taking it down. I would like a man that understands our language...

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North-West Angle, October 1, 1873 – Third Day

Proceedings were opened at eleven o’clock by the Governor announcing that he was ready to hear what the Chiefs had to say. The Fort Francis Chief acted as spokesman, assisted by another Chief, Powhassan. MA-WE-DO-PE-NAIS–“I now lay down before you the opinions of those you have seen before. We think it a great thing to meet you here. What we have heard yesterday, and as you represented yourself, you said the Queen sent you here, the way we understood you as a representative of the Queen. All this is our property where you have come. We have understood you yesterday that Her Majesty has given you the same power and authority as she has, to act in this business; you said the Queen gave you her goodness, her charitableness in your hands. This is what we think, that the Great Spirit has planted us on this ground where we are, as you were where you came from. We think where we are is our property. I will tell you what he said to us when he planted us here; the rules that we should follow–us Indians–He has given us rules that we should follow to govern us rightly. We have understood you that you have opened your charitable heart to us like a person taking off his garments and throwing them to all of us here. Now, first of...

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North-West Angle, October 1, 1873 – Treaty Closed

The treaty was finally closed on Friday afternoon, and signed on Saturday, after which a large quantity of provisions, ammunition and other goods were distributed. When the council broke up last (Thursday) night, 3rd October, it looked very improbable that an understanding could be arrived at, but the firmness of the Governor, and the prospect that he would make a treaty with such of the bands as were willing to accept his terms, to the exclusion of the others, led them to reconsider their demands. The Hon. James McKay, and Messrs. Nolin, Genton, and Leveillee were invited in to their council, and after a most exhaustive discussion of the circumstance in which they were placed, it was resolved to accept the Governor’s terms, with some modifications. Word was sent to this effect, and at eleven o’clock on Friday, conference was again held with His Excellency. The Fort Francis Chief opened negotiations by saying: –“We present our compliments to you, and now we would tell you something. You have mentioned our councilors, warriors and messengers–every Chief you see has his councilors, warriors and messengers.” GOVERNOR–“I was not aware what names they gave me–they gave their chief men. I spoke of the subordinates of the head Chiefs; I believe the head Chiefs have three subordinates–I mean the head Chief and three of his head men.” CHIEF–“I am going to tell you...

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North-West Angle, September 30, 1873

The Lieutenant Governor and party, and the other Commissioners appointed to negotiate a treaty with the Indians, arrived here on Thursday, 24th inst., having enjoyed delightful weather during the entire trip from Fort Garry. The Governor occupies the house of the officer in charge of the H. B. Post. The grounds around it have been nicely graded and cleared of brush, and surrounded by rows of evergreens planted closely, so as to completely screen the house from wind, and at the same time contribute much to relieve the monotony of the scenery. Immediately west of this, and likewise enclosed by walls of evergreens, is the large marquee used as a Council House, by the contracting parties; and immediately surrounding it to the north and west are the tents of the other officers of the Commission and the officers and men of the Volunteers on detachment duty. Situated to the eastward, and extending all along the river bank, are the tents of the Indians to the number of a hundred, with here and there the tent of the trader, attracted thither by the prospect of turning an honest penny by exchanging the necessaries of Indian life for such amounts of the price of their heritage as they can be induced to spend. The natives now assembled here number about 800 all told, and hail from the places given below. Among...

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

On the 17th, on his return, he informed me that the Chief said “He had not given me leave to meet the Indians anywhere except at Duck Lake, and that they would only meet me there.” The Carlton Indians, however, sent me word, that they would be ready next morning at ten o’clock. On the 18th, as I was leaving for the Indian encampment, a messenger came to me from the Duck Lake Indians, asking for provisions. I replied, that Mr. Christie was in charge of the distribution of provisions, but that I would not give any to the Duck Lake Indians, in consequence of the unreasonableness of their conduct, and that provisions would only be given to the large encampment. I then proceeded to the Indian camp, together with my fellow Commissioners, and was escorted by Captain Walker and his troop. On my arrival I found that the ground had been most judiciously chosen, being elevated, with abundance of trees, hay marshes and small lakes. The spot which the Indians had left for my council tent overlooked the whole. The view was very beautiful: the hills and the trees in the distance, and in the foreground, the meadow land being dotted with clumps of wood, with the Indian tents clustered here and there to the number of two hundred. On my arrival, the Union Jack was hoisted, and...

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The Treaties At Forts Carlton And Pitt – 10th of August

On Sunday, the 10th, the Rev. Mr. McKay conducted the service for the police and others, who might attend, and in the afternoon the Rev. Mr. McDougall had a service in Cree; Bishop Grandin and the Rev. Mr. Scollen also had services for the Cree and Chippewayans. On Monday, the 11th, Mr. Christie completed the payments and distribution of provisions. The police commenced crossing the Saskatchewan, with a view to leaving on Tuesday, the 12th, for Battle River. We therefore sent our horses and carts across the river, and had our tents pitched with the view of commencing our return journey, early in the morning. Just as we were about to leave Port Pitt, however, the Great Bear, one of the three Cree Chiefs who were absent, arrived at the fort and asked to see me. The Commissioners met him, when he told me that he had been out on the plains hunting the buffalo, and had not heard the time of the meeting; that on hearing of it he had been sent in by the Cree and by the Stonies or Assiniboines to speak for them. I explained to him what had been done at Carlton and Pitt, he expressed regret that I was going away as he wished to talk to me. I then said we would not remove until the next day, which gratified him much....

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The Treaties At Forts Carlton And Pitt – Narrative of the Proceedings

Narrative of the proceedings connected with the effecting of the treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt, in the year 1876, together with a report of the speeches of the Indians and Commissioners, by A. G. Jackes, Esq., M.D., Secretary to the Commission. The expedition for the proposed Treaty Number Six, reached the South Saskatchewan on the afternoon of August 14th, where they were met by a messenger from the Cree Indians expressing welcome, also a messenger from Mr. L. Clarke, of Carlton House, offering to the Governor and party the hospitality of the Fort. The next morning, when about ten miles from Carlton, the Commissioners were met by a detachment of Mounted Police under Major Walker, who escorted them to the Fort; on the way the Commissioners passed an encampment of Cree whose Chief had previously seen the Governor at Duck Lake and asked him to make the treaty there; he replied that he could not promise, that he would meet the Indians where the greater number wished. These Cree joined in an invocation to the deity for a blessing on the Governor, and deputed one of their number to welcome him by shaking hands. Near the Fort were encamped about two hundred and fifty lodges of Cree, to whom the Commissioners at once served out two days’ allowance of provisions. On the 16th the Cree reported that they...

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The Treaties At Forts Carlton And Pitt – Government House

Government House, Fort Garry, Manitoba, 4th. December, 1876. Sir,–I beg to inform you that in compliance with the request of the Privy Council that I should proceed to the west to negotiate the treaties which I had last year, through the agency of the late Rev. George McDougall, promised the Plain Cree, would be undertaken, I left Fort Garry on the afternoon of the 27th of July last, with the view of prosecuting my mission. I was accompanied by one of my associates, the Hon. J. W. Christie, and by A. G. Jackes, Esq., M.D., who was to act as secretary. I selected as my guide Mr. Pierre Levailler. The Hon. James McKay, who had also been associated in the commission, it was arranged, would follow me and meet me at Fort Carlton. On the morning of the 4th of August, I forded the Assiniboine about five miles from Fort Ellice, having accomplished what is usually regarded as the first stage of the journey to Fort Carlton, about two hundred and twenty miles. After crossing the river, I was overtaken by a party of the Sioux who have settled on the reserve assigned to them at Bird Tail Creek, and was detained the greater part of the day. I am sanguine that this settlement will prove a success, as these Sioux are displaying a laudable industry in cutting hay...

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The Treaties At Forts Carlton And Pitt – 23rd of August

August 23rd. Shortly after the business had commenced, proceedings were interrupted by the loud talking of a Chippewa, who was addressing the Indians gathered in front of the tent. The Governor said, “There was an Indian, a Chippewa, stood and spoke to you, he did not speak to his Governor as he should have done: I am willing to hear what any band has to say, but they must speak to me. I have been talking to the Cree for several days. I wish to go on with the work; if the Chippewa want to talk with me I will hear them afterwards. They are a little handful of strangers from the east, I have treated with their whole nation, they are not wiser than their people. “There are many reasons why business should go on; I hear that the buffalo are near you and you want to be off to your hunt; there are many mouths here to feed and provisions are getting low; now my friends I am ready to hear you.” TEE-TEE-QUAY-SAY–“Listen to me, my friends, all you who are sitting around here, and you will soon hear what the interpreter has to say for us.” The interpreter then read a list of the things the Indians had agreed in council to ask, viz.:–One ox and cow for each family. Four hoes, two spades, two scythes...

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