Treaties and Stuff - Part 6
"It is further agreed between Her Majesty and the said Indians, that each Chief duly recognized as such, shall receive an annual salary of twenty-five dollars per annum; and each subordinate officer, not exceeding four for each Band, shall receive fifteen dollars per annum; and each such Chief and subordinate officer, as aforesaid, shall also receive once every three years, a suitable suit of clothing, and each Chief shall receive, in recognition of the closing of the treaty, a suitabe flag and medal, and also as soon as convenient, one horse, harness and waggon."
(You may note the payment is in dollars, not Pounds Sterling, as would have been the currency in use in Great Britain, where "Her Majesty" lived. The sum of twenty-five dollars is a paltry amount, considering what the Chiefs pay themselves today, isn't it? It was also a paltry amount in 1876, when the treaty was negotiated. A few years later, when Industrial Schools were opened, the lowest paid employees at those institutions made almost as much in one month as the Chiefs did in a whole year.)
"That in lieu of waggons, if they desire it and declare their option to that effect, there shall be given to each of the Chiefs adhering hereto at Fort Pitt or elsewhere hereafter (exclusively of those in the Carlton district), in recognition of this treaty, as soon as the same can be conveniently transported, two carts with iron bushings and tires."
(It seems Her Majesty's Government in Canada had a role which they decided the Chiefs should play.)
The last section worthy of note in the Treaty 6 text pertains to obeying the law, which also pertains, to some extent, to the role envisaged for the Chiefs:
"And the undersigned Chiefs on their own behalf and on behalf of all other Indians inhabiting the tract within ceded, do hereby solemnly promise and engage to strictly observe this treaty, and also to conduct and behave themselves as good and loyal subjects of Her Majesty the Queen.
They promise and engage that they will in all respects obey and abide by the law, and they will maintain peace and good order between each other, and also between themselves and other tribes of Indians, and also between themselves and others of Her Majesty's subjects, whether Indians or whites, now inhabiting or hereafter to inhabit any part of said ceded tracts, and that they will not molest the person or property of any inhabitant of such ceded tracts. or the property of Her Majesty the Queen, or interfere with or trouble any person passing or travelling through the said tracts, or any part thereof, and that they will aid and assist the officers of Her Majesty in bringing to justice, and punishment any Indian offending against the stipulations of this treaty, or infringing the laws in force in the country so ceded. (I think it's safe to say that promise has been broken, and not by the "whites".)
So, should we call the Treaties off?
In the next several segments of this series I will examine what little evidence exists in support of the contemporary Indian view of the Treaties, which is obviously very different from this dry legalistic, stilted language in the text of Treaty 6 as well as, to some extent, the rise of the Indian Industry, which has developed a very lucrative grievance mongering business.