Saturday, February 16, 2013

Treaties And Stuff - Part 1

Further to this entry, I intend to go clause by clause through Treaty 6, as it was written when it was signed. (Bolded emphasis is mine, as are the comments in red.)

The opening clauses read as follows:
"Articles of a Treaty made and concluded near Carlton on the 23rd day of August  and on the 28th day of said month, respectively, and Near Fort Pitt  on the 9th day of September, in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-six, between Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen of  Great Britain and Ireland, by Her Commissioners, the Honourable Alexander Morris, Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Manitoba and the North-west Territories, and the Honourable James McKay, and the Honourable William Joseph Cristie, of the one part, and the Plain and Wood Cree and other Tribes (What? You mean they weren't Nations?) of Indians, inhabitants of the country within the limits hereinafter defined and as described by their Chiefs, chosen and named as hereinafter mentioned, of the other part.

And whereas the Indians inhabiting the said country have, pursuant to an appointment made by the said commissioners, been convened at meetings at Fort Carlton, Fort Pitt and Battle River, to deliberate upon certain matters of interest to Her Most Gracious Majesty, of the one part, and the said Indians of the other." (Is it little wonder Indians of today consider the treaties to have been made with the Queen of Britain?  But why is that the only thing they seem to remember, today, when there is so much more in the treaties?)
To continue:
"And whereas the said Indians have been notified and informed by her Majesty's said Commissioners that it is the desire of Her Majesty to open up for settlement, immigration and such other purposes as to Her Majesty may seem meet, (Opps. Does that mean mineral rights and other stuff beyond and over and above the "depth of a plow"?) a tract of country bounded and described as hereinafter mentioned, and to obtain the consent thereto of Her Indian subjects (What??!! You mean they were already "subjects" of the crown? How could that be????) inhabiting the said tract, and to make a treaty and arrange with them, so that there may be peace and good will between them and Her Majesty, and that they may know and be assured of what allowance they are to count upon and receive from Her Majesty's bounty and benevolence.

And whereas the Indians of the said tract, duly convened in council, as aforesaid, and being requested by Her Majesty's said Commissioners to name certain Chiefs and Headmen, who should be authorized on their behalf to conduct such negotiations and sign any treaty to be founded thereon, and to become responsible to Her Majesty for their faithful performance by their respective Bands of such obligations as shall be assumed by them, the said Indians have thereupon named for that purpose, that is to say, representing the Indians who make the treaty at Carlton, the several Chiefs and Councillors who have subscribed hereto, and representing  the Indians who make the treaty at Fort Pitt, the several Chiefs and Councillors who have subscribed hereto."
Following these clauses is a description of the territory so ceded, after which is the following:
"And also, all their rights, titles and privileges whatsoever to all other lands wherever situated in the North-west Territories, or in any other Province or portion of Her Majesty's Dominions, situated and being within the Dominion of Canada.

The tract comprised within the lines above described embracing an area of 121,000 square miles, be the same, more or less.

To have and to hold the same to Her Majesty the Queen and Her successors forever."
(Whoa!! You mean, Her Majesty did not recognize these territories as belonging to anyone but herself?  Say it ain't so!!)

Following these clauses are the standard clauses, found in all the numbered treaties negotiated in the 1870s, whereby the Indians were to select the locations where they wanted their "reserves" located, and Her Majesty would arrange to have surveyors mark out the said tracts of land.

(Yup. The Indians got to select their own reserves, contrary to what the Indian Industry would have us believe. Mind you, the intent was to train the Indians how to farm, and in those days, one could make a good living farming on a much smaller tract of land than would be necessary today.)

Part 2...

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Blogger Dave in Pa. said...

So, can we infer then that, along with the land they still possess, plus the billion$ and billion$ that have been guilted out of the Canadian Govt, the Indians have gotten more, way more, WAY MORE than they contractually agreed to, back in the day. And that it's high time they got off their arses and did something for themselves?

February 10, 2013 12:12 am  
Blogger Louise said...

What pisses me off even more is we have yet to see a government that is courageous enough to put an end to this. Sometime today or tomorrow, I intend to finish off with Part II, III, IV or whatever. I've got lots to say, and I don't know where to begin.

February 10, 2013 7:55 am  

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