Monday, February 18, 2013

Treaties and Stuff - Part 3

Following the clause concerning liquor, comes one about hunting and fishing rights:

"Her Majesty further agrees with her said Indians that they, the said Indians, shall have the right to pursue their avocations of hunting and fishing throughout the tract surrendered as hereinbefore described, subject to such regulations as may from time to time be made by Her Government of her Dominion of Canada, and saving and excepting such tracts as may from time to time be required or taken up for settlement, mining, lumbering or other purposes by Her said Government of the Dominion of Canada, or by any of the subjects thereof duly authorized therefor by the said Government."

(Not quite what Indians understand their hunting and fishing rights to be today, is it?)

Next, is a clause pertaining to lands required for public works or buildings on reserve land:

"It is further agreed between Her Majesty and Her said Indians, (There we go again. It seems Her Majesty viewed "Her" Indians as "Her subjects".) that such sections of the reserves above indicated as may from time to time be required for public works or buildings, of what nature soever, may be appropriated for that purpose by Her Majesty for that purpose by Her Majesty's Government of the Dominion of Canada, due compensation being made for the value of any improvements thereon."

Following that:

"And further, that Her Majesty's Commissioners shall, as soon as possible after the execution of this treaty, cause to be taken an accurate census of all the Indians inhabiting the tract above described, distributing them in families, and shall, in every year ensuing the date hereof,and at some period in each year, to be duly notified to the Indians, at a place or places to be appointed for that purpose within the territory ceded, pay to each Indian person, the sum of $5 per head yearly.  (This practice is still in, place. Members of the RCMP, dressed in their red serge, attend Treaty Days, and assist with the distribution of the cash.)

"It is further agreed between Her Majesty and the said Indians, that the sum of $1,500 per annum shall be yearly and every year expended by Her Majesty in the purchase of ammunition, and twine for nets, for the use of the said Indians, in manner following, that is to say : In the reasonable discretion, as regards the distribution thereof among the Indians  inhabiting  the several reserves, or otherwise, included herein, of Her Majesty's Indian Agent having the supervision of this treaty." (I'll have more to say about this in a future installment. I doubt whether the amounts have been increased, as Her Majesty's government in Canada, at the time, were certain that Her subjects would be completely engrossed in farming in a few short years. In any case, those amounts in 1876 dollars would not buy much in 2013 dollars.)

Part 4...

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