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The Treaties
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Treaty Three
The Third of the Eleven Treaties
  • After the Province of Manitoba had been established, the Canadian government planned to build a route that connected Lower Fort Garry to Thunder Bay, by way of a series of river systems. Most of the land belonged to the Saulteaux tribe of the Ojibway Indians, and to secure the use of the rivers and the land, the government wanted to enter into treaties with the Saulteaux, under much of the same terms as treaty one and treaty two.
  • In 1870,Robert Pither, a former Hudson's Bay employee was sent as an Indian agent to negotiate among the Saulteaux tribes.
  • Later that year, member of Parliament Wemyss M. Simpson was told to go visit the Saulteaux Indians to prepare a passage for soldiers who were to handle Metis uprisings in Manitoba. When Simpson talked to the Saulteaux, a chief said they would not interfere with the troops, but that their tribes would have to be paid, if the government expected to build a right-of-way and demanded what Simpson expressed as an exorbitant amount. However, the demands revealed that the Saulteaux were quite willing to sign a treaty.
  • Simpson then talked to Lieutenant-Governor Archibald of Manitoba about a treaty, and Archibald responded that the land belonging to the Woodlands Saulteaux was agriculturally poor, and therefore not worth that much, so an offer to buy it should be cheap. Also, he thought paying for a right-of-way might not be the best plan, since the majority of travelers preferred the easier route by rail, through the United States.
  • In 1871, the government changed policy and decided that instead of paying for a right of way, a treaty should be signed to cede the lands. On May 5 of that year, Simpson became Indian commissioner, was given authority to make treaties and traveled to the area with Robert Pither and a man named S.J. Dawson.
  • In 1872, they met with the Saulteaux Indians, who did not want to sign a treaty on the government's terms, offering claims considered to extravagant by government representatives. Gold and silver had been found on the land, and the Saulteaux Indians concluded that the find made their land more valuable. Also, the Saulteaux were under the impression that the American counterparts of their tribes were paid much more for their lands.
  • Simpson tried again to negotiate, offering the Saulteaux chiefs and headmen higher annual salaries, but by the time that offer appeared, many from the semi-nomadic tribes had dispersed.
  • In June 1873, more negotiations took place. At that time, Sir John A MacDonald was well into plans for building a national railway, and securing the Saulteaux lands for passage became a priority. Research was done into how much should be offered to the tribes. Dawson thought an original gift of 14 dollars each, with an annuity within the limit of 10 dollars would be sufficient. However, opinions varied. Also, investigations into the American treaties revealed that their offers had been more limited, and that annuities offered were constricted to a time period. Eventually, after some resistance from the Saulteaux over location, a treaty date was set for September 25, at the North-West Angle. Lieutenant Governor Morris, who filled the position in 1872, came along with James McKay, a signer of treaty one and two. The day was delayed, until Morris demanded they meet or that he would go home. Therefore, everyone met on October 1.
  • However, the Saulteaux demands were still un-negotiable. They wanted 50 dollars per chief per year, and twenty dollars per year for each member of their council. Additionally, they wanted trade goods and farm implements. However, Lieutenant Governor Morris refused their demands.
  • However, towards the end of the day, after Morris explained that the Canadian government and settlers would be using the territory regardless of a signed or unsigned treaty, one of the Saulteaux chiefs, named Ka-Katche-way broke from the majority of chiefs, and came forward. Representing 400 people, he said he would like to sign the treaty.
  • Treaty negotiations continued on October 3, and Morris said while he would like to treat the Saulteaux as a nation, he would negotiate with individual bands if necessary. He told the Lac Seul band, under Ka-Katche-way, that he would provide $1,500 per year for ammunition and twine, that they would learn agriculture, and they would have food supplied for them, when crop and hunt were insufficient.
  • Other bands and their chiefs appeared to be impressed at this latest offer, but still continued to negotiate, in terms of goods, and terms. They wondered about the mineral content of the land, about eligibility for annuities and conscription. After negotiating terms, the Sautleaux came to an agreement with the government. Treaty three was signed on Friday, October 3,1873 and the Saulteaux Indians were paid their annuities.
The Terms of the Treaty
  • By the terms of the treaty, Canada acquired a territory of some 55,000 square miles and the Dawson route and the Railway route were secured.
  • Reserves for the Saulteaux were to be set up, and they were to be provided with farming implements. Each person received 12 dollars initially, and a five dollar annuity. Each Chief received 25 dollars annually and each officer 15 dollars. $1,500 per annum was provided for the purchase of ammunition and twine for nets.
  • For each family who wanted to farm, two hoes, a spade and a scythe with a plow for every ten families and five harrows for every twenty families.
  • Each band received axes, cross-cut saws, a pit saw, an auger, grindstone, a chest of carpenter's tools as well as seed for wheat, barley, potatoes and oats. Each band was also to receive a yoke of oxen, one bull and four cows.
  • All liquor was prohibited from being sold on the reserve.
The Difficulties of the Treaty
  • Some issues discussed during treaty negotiations were omitted from the treaty document. There was no mention of mineral rights, military conscription, or any terms surrounding migration from the U.S. The Saulteaux attested that this treaty was incorrect and that the true treaty was the 'Paypom treaty' a recorded document of treaty negations written in French by Joseph Nolin, who was hired by the Saulteaux.
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The Difficult
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