Treaty Negotiations, October 1862 to November 1862, Between Canada and First Nations of Manitoba and the Northwest Territories.

22 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians.


SOME years after the completion of the Robinson Treaties, the then Government of the old Province of Canada deemed it desirable to effect a treaty with the Indians dwelling upon the Great Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron, as a complement to the former treaties, and with the object of rendering available for settlement the large tract of good land upon the Island. The duty was entrusted to the Honorable William McDougall, then Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs, who, in the month of October, 1862, proceeded to the Island, accompanied by the late William Spragge, Esq., Deputy Superintendent of Indian Affairs, and Mr. F. Assicknack, of the Indian Office, Toronto, as interpreter. Mr. McDougall encountered considerable difficulties, but by firmness and decision eventually succeeded in obtaining a surrender from the Indians of the Island, excluding however from the surrender that portion of it easterly of Heywood Island and the Manitoulin Gulf.
The terms of the treaty, which will be found in the Appendix, were adapted to the peculiar circumstances of the Indians and were well and wisely framed. The result has been to render available for settlement a large tract of land on the Island, much of which is now occupied by a prosperous and thriving population. I conclude this brief notice of an important treaty by submitting, to the attention of the reader, the report of the Hon. W. McDougall, to His Excellency the Governor-General in Council, of the results of his mission.
The Manitoulin Island Treaty. 23
MANITOULIN ISLAND, November 3rd, 1862.
The undersigned has the honor to state for the information of His Excellency the Governor-General in Council, that, under the authority of the Order in Council of the twelfth day of September, 1862, he proceeded early in the month of October last to visit the Great Manitoulin Island, accompanied by William Spragge, Esq., Deputy Superintendent of Indian Affairs, and Mr. F. Assicknack of the Indian Office, Toronto, as interpreter.
The resident agent, Captain Ironside, under instructions from the Department, had caused the Indians residing on the Island to be notified of the intended visit of the undersigned, and of its object, and had summoned them to attend at Manitowaning on the fourth ultimo.
The Chiefs and principal men, with the exception of one or two detained by illness, and nearly all the males above} the age of eighteen years, were present at the council.
The undersigned stated the object of his visit, explained the wishes of the Government in regard to the settlement of the Island, and proposed the terms in respect to the Indians specified in the Order in Council authorizing the negotiation. The Indians had selected one of their Chiefs to reply to the overtures of the Government, and without taking time to consider these overtures he proceeded to announce the determination of the Indians to reject them unconditionally.
The undersigned made some further explanations, and directed an ajournment of the council for an hour, during which time the Indians were requested to consider the propositions he had made with care and deliberation.
On re-assembling there was an evident disposition among the bands living westwardly of the place of meeting to listen favorably to the propositions of the Government, but the majority were still unwilling to treat, and by intimidation and threats of violence prevented any open expression of opinion except by the old war Chief, Assicknack, who declared his full assent to the wishes of the Government.
Ascertaining that the Chief's opposition came from Indians living eastwardly of Heywood Sound, the undersigned determined to modify the propositions of the Government, so as to meet in some degree the objections from that quarter.
He accordingly adjourned the council until the following Monday, the first day of meeting being Saturday, informing the Indians that those who were disposed to continue the negotiations would remain while those who had resolved to reject every proposition of the Government might go home. He also informed them that no threats or intimidation would be allowed, and that any one who should attempt violence would be surely punished. Nearly all the Indians remained or returned on Monday, and being apprised of the nature of the proposition the undersigned intended to submit, namely, to exclude that part of the island eastwardly of the Manitoulin Gulf and Heywood Sound from the proposed agreement, they came to the adjourned 24 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. meeting in a more friendly mood and expressed their willingness to surrender for sale and settlement all that part of the island westwardly of the Gulf and Sound. 
The undersigned submits herewith the deed or instrument which embodies the agreement made and concluded between the respective parties. It was executed by the undersigned and the Deputy-Superintendent of Indian Affairs on behalf of the Government, and by nineteen of the Chiefs and principal men on behalf of the Indians.
In consequence of the modification of the terms of agreement authorized by the Order in Council as above-mentioned and the addition of other terms deemed necessary to prevent future difficulty, and which will be found in the instrument, the undersigned caused a provision to be inserted that it was not to take effect until approved by the Governor-General in Council.
The undersigned therefore now begs to submit the same for such approval.
(Signed) WM. McDOUGALL, Superintendent—General of Indian Affairs.


Morris, Alexander. The Treaties of Canada with the Indians of Manitoba and the North-West Territories Including the Negotiations on Which They Are Based, and Other Information Relating Thereto.. Toronto: Willing & Williamson, 1880. Digitized by University of Alberta Libraries.



Selection of input documents and completion of metadata: Gordon Lyall.