Treaty One 1871

Treaties-One-to-Five

i) Why was a treaty required in this time and place?

A treaty was required in this case, because the government of Canada was attempting to gain legal control over lands which were held at that time by various Native groups residing in Manitoba. The treaty states that Her Majesty was interested in expanding settlement westward, onto tracts of land which were occupied by Natives. This treaty was also used as a supposed act of good will and peace between Natives at the Canadian government. It furthermore stipulates the precise areas of land being ceded, and what each Chief and his band shall receive in lieu of the land being turned over to the crown.

ii) What First Nations were included in this treaty?

Treaty One included many bands of First Nations from the territory around Lower Fort Gary, Manitoba where it was signed. These nations included the Ojibwa of Brokenhead band, the First Nations of Sangkeeng, the Long Plain First Nation, Peguis First Nation, the Anishinabe nation from Roseau River, the Sandy Bay First Nation and the Swan Lake First Nation.

iii) What did these people want from the treaty process?

The First nations people were looking to prevent conflict by entering the treaty process, as well they hoped to keep as much of their land as they could. The natives also saw the treaty as a peace bond between themselves and the settlers, they also saw the addition of schools on reserves and the 3 dollars allotted to every man woman and child in the tribe as a good thing. They were not keen on losing their land but saw it as a better alternative to losing lives in another conflict.

iv)   What did the government want from the treaty process?

In drafting Treaty One, the government wanted to permanently remove the First Nations from South Eastern Manitoba. One can argue that the government wanted the First Nations removed from the land for numerous reasons, rather than a singular aim. Firstly, it is clear that Ontario was becoming extremely populated by many immigrants and as a result, much of the land was occupied. Thus, Manitoba served as another place for immigrants to inhabit and settle, while still remaining geographically and politically tied to Ontario.  Furthermore, the fertile land and rivers of South Eastern Manitoba also allowed for industries to grow and develop creating more exports such as grain and the need for less exports. Moreover, the bloodshed of the America Civil War threatened to leak into Canada and would inevitably hinder or destroy the creation and further consolidation of Canada. Therefore, by populating South Eastern Manitoba, this threat was greatly weakened

The government not only wanted the land from the First Nation’s, it also wanted the destruction of the First Nations people. Much of the land given to the First Nation’s was less desirable and more difficult to cultivate.  Moreover, the government also gave the First Nation’s less land than they had promised in the treaties.  As well, the government did not provide the amount of livestock promised nor were the First Nations provided with proper farming equipment. The lack of the prior mentioned almost certainly equated to disaster and not the promised prosperity.

v. What were the treaties core provisions?

A treaty was required in this case, because the government of Canada was attempting to gain legal control over lands which were held at that time by various Native groups residing in Manitoba. The treaty states that Her Majesty was interested in expanding settlement westward, onto tracts of land which were occupied by Natives. This treaty was also used as a supposed act of good will and peace between Natives at the Canadian government. It furthermore stipulates the precise areas of land being ceded, and what each Chief and his band shall receive in lieu of the land being turned over to the crown.

vi. What is the status of the treaty today?

Indian Treaty No. 1, or The Stone Fort treaty, as it is also known as set the precedent for the 10 subsequent numbered treaties in Western Canada. It is still in effect today and is commemorated by a plaque at Lower Fort Garry national historic site of Canada, near Winnipeg, Manitoba. The fort, dubbed the Stone Fort by local First Nations peoples, was commemorated for its association with treaty negotiations and as an important Hudson’s Bay Company post.

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