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THE TREATIES OF CANADA WITH THE INDIANS OF MANITOBA AND THE NORTH-WEST TERRITORIES, INCLUDING THE NEGOTIATIONS ON WHICH THEY WERE BASED, AND OTHER INFORMATION RELATING THERETO.
BY THE HON. ALEXANDER MORRIS, P.C., LATE LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR OF MANITOBA, THE NORTH-WEST TERRITORIES, AND KEE-WA-TIN.
TO HIS EXCELLENCY The Right Honorable the Earl of Dufferin,
Her Britannic Majesty's Ambassador at St. Petersburg, K.P.P.C., K.C.B., G.C.M.G., &c., &c., &c.
Encouraged by the earnest interest, your Lordship ever evinced, in the work of obtaining the alliance and promoting the welfare of the Indian tribes in the North-West of Canada, and in opening up the Territories for settlement, by obtaining the relinquishment of the natural title of the Indians to the lands of the Fertile Belt on fair and just terms, I have the honor, by your kind permission, to dedicate this collection of the treaties made with them, to your Excellency, in the belief that its publication will be timely, and that the information now supplied in a compact form, may prove of service to the Dominion of Canada.
I have the honor to be Your Lordship's obedient servant, ALEXANDER MORRIS,
Late Lieut.-Gov. of Manitoba, the North-West Territories, and Kee-wa-tin.
TORONTO, March, 1880.
The question of the relations of the Dominion of Canada to the Indians of the North-West, is one of great practical importance The work, of obtaining their good will, by entering into treaties of alliance with them, has now been completed in all the region from Lake Superior to the foot of the Rocky Mountains. As an aid to the other and equally important duty--that of carrying out, in their integrity, the obligations of these treaties, and devising means whereby the Indian population of the Fertile Belt can be rescued from the hard fate which otherwise awaits them, owing to the speedy destruction of the buffalo, hitherto the principal food supply of the Plain Indians, and that they may be induced to become, by the adoption of agricultural and pastoral pursuits, a self supporting community--I have prepared this collection of the treaties made with them, and of information, relating to the negotiations, on which these treaties were based, in the hope that I may thereby contribute to the completion of a work, in which I had considerable part, that, of, by treaties, securing the good will of the Indian tribes, and by the helpful hand of the Dominion, opening up to them, a future of promise, based upon the foundations of instruction and the many other advantages of civilized life.
Introduction I. The Selkirk Treaty II. The Robinson Treaty III. The Manitoulin Island Treaty IV. The Stone Fort and Manitoba Post Treaties, Numbers One and Two V. Treaty Number Three; or, the North-West Angle Treaty VI. The Qu'Appelle Treaty, or Number Four VII. The Revision of Treaties Numbers One and Two VIII. The Winnipeg Treaty Number Five IX. The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt X. Treaty Number Seven; or, the Blackfeet Treaty XI. The Sioux in the North-West Territories XII. The Administration of the Treaties--The Half-breeds--The Future of the Indian Tribes APPENDIX--Texts of the Treaties and Supplementary Adhesions thereto
THE TREATIES WITH THE INDIANS OF MANITOBA, THE NORTH-WEST TERRITORIES, AND KEE-WA-TIN, IN THE DOMINION OF CANADA.
One of the gravest of the questions presented for solution by the Dominion of Canada, when the enormous region of country formerly known as the North-West Territories and Rupert's Land, was entrusted by the Empire of Great Britain and Ireland to her rule, was the securing the alliance of the Indian tribes, and maintaining friendly relations with them. The predecessors of Canada--the Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson's Bay, popularly known as the Hudson's Bay Company--had, for long years, been eminently successful in securing the good-will of the Indians--but on their sway, coming to an end, the Indian mind was disturbed. The events, that transpired in the Red River region, in the years 1869-1870, during the period when a provisional government was attempted to be established, had perplexed the Indians. They, moreover, had witnessed a sudden irruption into the country of whites from without. In the West, American traders poured into the land, and, freighted with fire-water, purchased their peltries and their horses, and impoverished the tribes. In the East, white men took possession of the soil and made for themselves homes, and as time went on steamboats were placed on the inland waters--surveyors passed through the territories--and the "speaking wires," as the Indian calls the telegraph, were erected. What wonder that the Indian mind was disturbed, and what wonder was it that a Plain chief, as he looked upon the strange wires stretching through his land, exclaimed to his people, "We have done wrong to allow that wire to be placed there, before the Government obtained our leave to do so. There is a white chief at Red River, and that wire speaks to him, and if we do anything wrong he will stretch out a long arm and take hold of us before we can get away." The government of Canada had, anticipating the probabilities of such a state of affairs, wisely resolved, that contemporaneously with the formal establishment of their rule, there should be formed alliances with the Indians. In 1870 the Parliament of Canada created the requisite machinery for the Government of the Province of Manitoba and of the North-West Territories respectively, giving to the former a Lieutenant-Governor and Legislature, and to the latter, a Lieutenant-Governor and Council, Executive and Legislative--the Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba being ex officio Lieutenant-Governor of the North-West Territories. Subsequently the North-West Territories were erected into a distinct government, with a Lieutenant-Governor and Executive, and Legislative Council. The District of Kee-wa-tin, "the land of the north wind," was also established, comprising the eastern and northern portions of the Territories, and placed under the control of the Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba, and an Executive and Legislative Council. Since 1870, no less than seven treaties have been concluded, with the Indian tribes, so that there now remain no Indian nations in the North-West, inside of the fertile belt, who have not been dealt with.
It is the design of the present work to tell the story of these treaties, to preserve as far as practicable, a record of the negotiations on which they were based, and to present to the many in the Dominion and elsewhere, who take a deep interest in these sons of the forest and the plain, a view of their habits of thought and speech, as thereby presented, and to suggest the possibility, nay, the certainty, of a hopeful future for them.
Prior to proceeding to deal, with the treaties of the Dominion of Canada, it will render this book more complete to present the reader, with information as to three treaties which preceded those of the Dominion, viz., the treaty made by the Earl of Selkirk in the year 1817, those popularly known as the Robinson Treaties, made by the late Hon. William B. Robinson, of the City of Toronto, with the Indians of the shores and islands of Lakes Superior and Huron in the year 1850, and that made by the Hon. William Macdougall, for the surrender of the Indian title, to the great Manitoulin Island, both acting for and on behalf of the Government of the late Province of Canada.
Ere however entering upon an explanation of these two first-mentioned treaties, I submit a few brief observations.
The Indians inhabiting the region covered by the treaties in question, extending in Canadian territory from Lake Superior to the foot of the Rocky Mountains, are composed of distinct tribes having different languages.
The Ojibbewas, Chippawas, or Saulteaux as they now call themselves, are found in numbers in the District of Kee-wa-tin and the Province of Manitoba. In the North-West Territories they are not numerous except within the limits of Treaty number Four. These Indians migrated from the older Provinces of Quebec and Ontario many years ago.
The Crees, inhabit the North-West Territories and are divided into Plain, Wood and Swampy Crees, according to the region of the country they dwell in. The Swampy Crees reside in Manitoba and Kee-wa-tin.
The Black Feet nation are to be found towards the slope of the Rocky Mountains, in the region comprised within the limits of the Treaty number Seven.
A few Chippawayans, or Northerners, dwell within the North-West Territories.
The once powerful nation of the Assiniboines, or Stonies--a kindred
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