Treaty Negotiations, April 1871 to September 1876, Between Canada and First Nations of Manitoba and the Northwest Territories.

168 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians.
THE treaties made at Forts Carlton and Pitt in the year 1876, were of a very important character.
The great region covered by them, abutting on the areas included in Treaties Numbers Three and Four, embracing an area of apprpximately 120,000 square miles, contains a vast extent of fertile territory and is the home of the Cree nation. The Crees had, very early after the annexation of the North- West Territories to Canada, desired a treaty of alliance with the Government. So far back as the year 1871, Mr. Simpson, the Indian Commissioner, addressing the Secretary of State in a despatch of date, the 3rd November, 1871, used the following language :
" I desire also to call the attention of His Excellency to the state of affairs in the Indian country on the Saskatchewan. The intelligence that Her Majesty is treating with the Chippewa Indians has already reached the ears of the Cree and Blackfeet tribes. In the neighborhood of Fort Edmonton, on the Saskatchewan, there is a rapidly increasing population of miners and other white people, and it is the opinion of Mr. W. J. Christie, the officer in charge of the Saskatchewan District, that a treaty with the Indians of that country, or at least an assurance during the coming year that a treaty will shortly be made, is essential to the peace, if not the actual retention, of the country. I would refer His Excellency, on this subject, to the report of Lieut. Butler, and to the enclosed memoranda of Mr. W. J. Christie, the officer above alluded to."
The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 169
He also enclosed an extract of a letter from Mr. Christie, then Chief Factor of the Hudson's Bay Company, and subsequently one of the Treaty Commissioners, in which, he forwarded the messages of the Cree Chiefs to Lieut.-Gov. Archibald, " our Great Mother's representative at Fort Garry, Red River Settlement." This extract and messages are as follows :
EDMONTON HOUSE, 13th April, 1871.
On the 13th instant (April) I had a visit from the Cree Chiefs, representing the Plain Crees from this to Carlton, accompanied by a few followers.
The object of their visit was to ascertain whether their lands had been sold or not, and what was the intention of the Canadian Government in relation to them. They referred to the epidemic that had raged throughout the past summer, and the subsequent starvation, the poverty of their country, the visible diminution of the buffalo, their sole support, ending by requesting certain presents at once, and that I should lay their case before Her Majesty's representative at Fort Garry. Many stories have reached these Indians through various channels, ever since the transfer of the North- West Territories to the Dominion of Canada, and they were most anxious to hear from myself what had taken place.
I told them that the Canadian Government had as yet made no application for their lands or hunting grounds, and when anything was required of them, most likely Commissioners would be sent beforehand to treat with them, and that until then they should remain quiet and live at peace with all men. 1' further stated that Canada, in her treaties with Indians, heretofore, had dealt most liberally with them, and that they were now in settled houses and well off, and that I had no doubt in settling with them the same liberal policy would be followed.
As I was aware that they had heard many exaggerated stories about the troops in Red River, I took the opportunity of telling them why troops had been sent; and if Her Majesty sent troops to the Saskatchewan, it was as much for the protection of the red as the white man, and that they would be for the maintenance of law and order.
They were highly satisfied with the explanations offered, and said they would welcome civilization. As their demands were complied with, and presents given to them, their immediate followers, and for the young men left in camp, they departed well pleased for the present time, with fair promises for the future. At a subsequent interview with the Chiefs alone, they requested that I should write down their words, or messages to their Great Master in Red River. I accordingly did so, and have transmitted the messages as delivered. Copies of the proclamation issued, prohibiting the traffic in spirituous liquors to Indians or others, and the use of strychnine in the destruction of animal life, have been received, and due publicity 170 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. given to them. But without any power to enforce these laws, it is almost useless to publish them here ; and I take this opportunity of most earnestly soliciting, on behalf of the Company's servants, and settlers in this district, that protection be afforded to life and property here as soon as possible, and that Commissioners be sent to speak with the Indians on behalf of the Canadian Government.
Had I not complied with the demands of the Indians—giving them some little presents-and otherwise satisfied them, I have no doubt that they would have proceeded to acts of violence, and once that had commenced, there would have been the beginning of an Indian war, which it is difficult to say when it would have ended.
The buffalo will soon be exterminated, and when starvation comes, these Plain Indian tribes will fall back on the Hudson's Bay Forts and settlements for relief and assistance. If not complied with, or no steps taken to make some provision for them, they will most assuredly help themselves; and there being no force or any law up there to protect the settlers, they must either quietly submit to be pillaged, or lose their lives in the defence of their families and property, against such fearful odds that will leave no hope for their side.
Gold may be discovered in paying quantities, any day, on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains. We have, in Montana, and in the mining settlements close to our boundary line, a large mixed frontier population, who are now only waiting and watching to hear of gold discoveries to rush into the Saskatchewan, and, without any form of Government or established laws up there, or force to protect whites or Indians, it is very plain what will be the result.
I think that the establishment of law and order in the Saskatchewan District, as early as possible, is of most vital importance to the future of the country and the interest of Canada, and also the making of some treaty or settlement with the Indians who inhabit the Saskatchewan District.
W. J. CHRISTIE, Chief Factor, In charge of Saskatchewan District, Hudson's Bay Company.
Messages from the Cree Chiefs of the Plains, Saskatchewan, to His Excellency Governor Archibald, our Great Mother's representative at Fort Garry, Red River Settlement.
1. The Chief Sweet Grass, The Chief of the country.
GREAT FATHER,—I shake hands with you, and bid you welcome. We heard our lands were sold and we did not like it; we don't want to sell our lands; it is our property, and no one has a right to sell them.
The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt.   171
Our country is getting ruined of fur-bearing animals, hitherto our sole support, and now we are poor and want help—we want you to pity us. We want cattle, tools, agricultural implements, and assistance in everything when we come to settle—our country is no longer able to support us.
Make provision for us against years of starvation. We have had great starvation the past winter, and the small-pox took away many of our people, the old, young, and children.
We want you to stop the Americans from coming to trade on our lands, and giving firewater, ammunition and arms to our enemies the Blackfeet.
We made a peace this winter with the Blackfeet. Our young men are foolish, it may not last long.
We invite you to come and see us and to speak with us. If you can't come yourself, send some one in your place.
We send these words by our Master, Mr. Christie, in whom we have every confidence—That is all.
2. Ki-he-win, The Eagle.
GREAT FATHER—Let us be friendly. We never shed any white man's blood, and have always been friendly with the whites, and want workmen, carpenters and farmers to assist us when we settle. I want all my brother, Sweet Grass, asks. That is all.
3. The Little Hunter.
You, my brother, the Great Chief in Red River, treat me as a brother, that is, as a Great Chief.
4. Kis-ki-on, or Short Tail.
My brother, that is coming close, I look upon you, as if I saw you ; I want you to pity me, and I want help to cultivate the ground for myself and descendants. Come and see us.
The North-West Council, as already elsewhere stated, had urged the making of treaties with these Indians, and the necessity of doing so, was also impressed upon the Privy Council, by the Lieutenant-Governor of the North-West Territories, and Col. French, then in command of the Mounted Police therein. The Minister of the Interior, the 'Hon. David Mills, in his Report for the year 1876, thus alluded to this subject :
" Official reports received last year from His Honor Governor Morris and Colonel French, the officer then in command of the Mounted Police Force, and from other parties, showed that a feeling of discontent and uneasiness prevailed very generally amongst the Assiniboines and Crees lying in the unceded 172 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. territory between the Saskatchewan and the Rocky Mountains. This state of feeling, which had prevailed amongst these Indians for some years past, had been increased by the presence, last summer, in their territory of the parties engaged in the construction of the telegraph line, and in the survey of the Pacific Railway line, and also of a party belonging to the Geological Survey. To allay this state of feeling, and to prevent the threatened hostility of the Indian tribes to the parties then employed by the Government, His Honor Governor Morris requested and obtained authority to despatch a messenger to convey to these Indians the assurance that Commissioners would be sent this summer, to negotiate a treaty with them, as had already been done with their brethren further east.
"The Rev. George McDougall, who had been resident as a missionary amongst these Indians for upwards of fourteen years, and who possessed great influence over them, was selected by His Honor to convey this intelligence to the Indians, a task which he performed with great fidelity and success: being able to report on his return that although he found the feeling of discontent had been very general among the Indian tribes, he had been enabled entirely to remove it by his assurance of the proposed negotiations during the coming year.
" For the purpose of negotiating this treaty with the Indians, Your Excellency availed yourself of the services of His Honor Governor Morris, who had been formerly employed in negotiating Treaties Numbers Three, Four and Five. With him were associated the Hon. James McKay and W. J. Christie, Esq., both of whom had had considerable experience in such work, and possessed moreover an intimate acquaintance with the Indians of the Saskatchewan, their wants, habits and dialects."
With reference to the Rev. George McDougall,* I may here The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt.  173 state, that when the application was made to him, to visit the Indians of the Plains, in the Saskatchewan Valley, he was on his way, with his family, to his distant mission, among the Assiniboines, near the Rocky Mountains, after a brief sojourn in the Province of Ontario, but on the request being made to him, to explain to the Indians the intentions of the Government, he at once undertook the duty, and leaving his family to follow him, went upon the long journey, which his mission involved, carrying with him a letter missive from the Lieutenant- Governor of the North-West Territories, promising the Indians, that Commissioners would visit them during the ensuing summer, to confer with them as to a treaty. The result of his tour, and Of the tidings which he bore was very gratifying, as the Indians were at once tranquilized, and awaited in full confidence, the coming of the Commissioners. The way in which be discharged his important duties and the success which followed his exertions, will be best set forth by giving place to his Report, addressed to the Lieutenant-Governor, of the results of his arduous mission:
Sir, —In accordance with my instructions, I proceeded with as little delay as possible to Carlton, in the neighborhood of which place I met with forty tents of Crees : From these I ascertained that the work I had undertaken would be much more arduous than I had expected, and that the principal camps would be found on the south branch of the Saskatchewan and Red Deer Rivers. I was also informed by these Indians that the Crees and Plain Assiniboines were united on two points: 1st. That they would not receive any presents from Government until a definite time for treaty was stated. 2nd. Though they deplored the necessity of resorting to extreme measures, yet they were unanimous in their determination to Oppose the running of lines, or the making of roads through their country, until a settlement between the Government and them had been effected. I was further informed that the danger of a collision with the whites was likely to arise from the officious conduct of minor Chiefs who were anxious to make themselves conspicuous, the principal men Of the large camps being much more 174 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. moderate in their demands. Believing this to be the fact, I resolved to visit every camp and read them your message, and in order that your Honor may form a correct judgment of their disposition towards the Government, I will give you a synopsis of their speeches after the message was read. Mistahwahsis, head Chief of the Carlton Indians, addressing the principal Chief of the Assiniboines and addressing me, said : "That is just it, that is all we wanted." The Assiniboines addressing me, said: "My heart is full of gratitude, foolish men have told us that the Great Chief would send his young men to our country until they outnumbered us, and that then he would laugh at us, but this letter assures us that the Great Chief will act justly towards us."
Beardy, or the Hairy Man, Chief of the Willow Indians, said : " If I had heard these words spoken by the Great Queen I could not have believed them with more implicit faith than I do now." The Sweet Grass was absent from camp when I reached the Plain Crees, but his son and the principal men of the tribe requested me to convey to the Great Chief, at Red River, their thanks for the presents received, and they expressed the greatest loyalty to the government. In a word, I found the Crees reasonable in their demands, and anxious to live in peace with the white men. I found the Big Bear, a Saulteaux, trying to take the lead in their council. He formerly lived at Jack Fish Lake, and for years has been regarded as atroublesome fellow. In his speech he said : "We want none of the Queen's presents ; when we set a fox-trap we scatter pieces of meat all round, but when the fox gets into the trap we knock him on the head ; we want no bait, let your Chiefs come like men and talk to us." These Saulteaux are the mischief-makers through all this western country, and some of them are shrewd men.
A few weeks since, a land speculator wished to take a claim at the crossing on Battle River and asked the consent of the Indians, one of my Saulteaux friends sprang to his feet, and pointing to the east, said: "Do you see that great white man (the Government) coming?" " No," said the speculator. " I do," said the Indian, "and I hear the tramp of the multitude behind him, and when he comes you can drop in behind him and take up all the land claims you want; but until then I caution you to put up no stakes in our country." It was very fortunate for me that Big Bear and his party were a very small minority in camp. The Crees said they Would have driven them out of camp long ago, but were afraid of their medicines, as they are noted conjurers.
The topics generally discussed at their council and which will be brought before the Commissioner are as follows in their own language. "Tell the Great Chief that we are glad the traders are prohibited bringing spirits into our cofmtry ; when we see it we want to drink it, and it destroys us ; when we do not see it we do not think about it. Ask for us a strong law, prohibiting the free use of poison (strychnine). It has almost exterminated the animals of our country, and often makes us had friends with our white neighbors. We further request, that a law be made, equally applicable to The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 175 the Half-breed and Indian, punishing all parties who set fire to our forest or plain. Not many years ago we attributed a prairie fire to the malevolence of an enemy, now every one is reckless in the use of fire, and every year large numbers of valuable animals and birds perish in consequence. We would further ask that our chiefships be established by the Government. Of late years almost every trader sets up his own Chief and the result is we are broken up into little parties, and our best men are no longer respected." I will state in connection with this, some of the false reports I had to combat in passing through this country, all calculated to agitate th native mind. In the neighborhood of Carlton an interested party went to considerable trouble to inform the Willow Indians that I had $3000 for each band, as a present from the Government, and nothing in my long journey gave me greater satisfaction than the manner in which these Indians received my explanation of the contents of my letter of instructions. At the Buffalo Lake I found both Indians and Half-breeds greatly agitated. A gentlemen passing through their country had told them that the Mounted Police had received orders to prevent all parties killing buffalo or other animals, except during three months in the year, and these are only samples of the false statements made by parties who would rejoice to witness a conflict of races.
That your Honor's message was most timely, these are ample proofs.
A report will have reached you before this time that parties have been turned back by the Indians, and that a train containing supplies for the telegraph contractors, when west of Fort Pitt, were met by three Indians and ordered to return. Now after carefully investigating the matter and listening to 'the statements of all parties concerned, my opinion is, that an old traveller amongst Indians would have regarded the whole affair as too trivial to be noticed. I have. not met with a Chief who would bear with the responsibility of the act. ' ' ' '
Personally I am indebted both to the missionaries, and the Hudson's Bay Company's officials for their assistance at the Indian councils.
Believing it would be satisfactory to your Honor and of service to the Commissioners, I have kept the number of all the tents visited and the names of the places where I met the Indians.*
By reckoning eight persons to each tent, we will have a very close approximate to the number of Indians to be treated with at Carlton, and Fort Pitt. There may have been a few tents in the forest, and I have heard there are a few Crees at Lesser Slave Lake and Lac la Biche, but the number cannot exceed twenty tents.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
176 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians.
The Commissioners, in the discharge of their task, had to travel through the prairie district in going to their destination and returning to Winnipeg, a distance of over 1,800 miles. They first met the Indians in the vicinity of Fort Carlton, on the Saskatchewan, in the month of August, 1876, and eventually succeeded on the 23rd day of that month, in effecting a treaty with the Plain and Wood Crees, and on the 28th of the same month with the tribe of Willow Crees. The negotiations were difficult and protracted. The Hon. David Mills, then Minister of the Interior, in his Annual Report thus characterizes them :—" In view of the temper of the Indians of the Saskatchewan, during the past year, and of the extravagant demands which they were induced to prefer on certain points, it needed all the temper, tact, judgment and discretion, of which the Commissioners were possessed, to bring the negotiations to a satisfactory issue." The difficulties were encountered chiefly at Carlton. The main body of the Crees were honestly disposed to treat, and their head Chiefs, Mistowasis and Ah-tuk-uh-koop, shewed sound judgment, and an earnest desire to come to an understanding.
They were embarrassed, however, by the action of the Willow Crees, who, under the guidance of one of their Chiefs, Beardy, interposed every obstacle to the progress of the treaty, and refused to attend the Council, unless it was held at the top of a hill some miles off, where the Chief pretended it had been revealed to him in a vision that the treaty was to be made. The Willow Crees were, moreover, under the influence of a wandering band of Saulteaux, the chief portion of whom resided within the limits of the other treaties, and who were disposed to be troublesome. Before the arrival of the Commissioners, the Saulteaux conceived the idea of forming a combination of the French Half-breeds, the Crees, and themselves, to prevent the crossing of the Saskatchewan by the Lieutenant- Governor, and his entrance into the Indian territories. They made the proposal first to the French Half-breeds, who declined The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 177 to undertake it, and then to the Crees, who listened to it in silence. One of them at length arose, and pointing to the River Saskatchewan, said, "Can you stop the flow of that river?" The answer was, "No," and the rejoinder was "No more can you stop the progress of the Queen's Chief." When the Commissioners arrived at the Saskatchewan, a messenger from the Crees met them, proffering a safe convoy, but it was not needed. About a hundred traders' carts were assembled at tiie crossing, and Kissowayis, a native Indian trader, had the right of passage, which he at once waived, in favor of Messrs. Christie and Morris, the Commissioners. The other Commissioner, Mr. McKay, met them at Duck Lake next day, having proceeded by another route, and there they encountered Chief Beardy, who at once asked the Lieutenant-Governor to make the treaty at the hill, near the lake. On his guard, however, he replied, that he would meet the Cree nation wherever they desired, but must first go on and see them at Carlton, as he had appointed. An escort of Mounted Police also met the Commissioners at Duck Lake, having been sent from Carlton, in consequence of the information given by the Crees of the threatened interference with their progress. After several days' delay the Commissioners were obliged to meet the Crees without the Willow Crees. But after the conference had opened, the Beardy sent a message asking to be informed of the terms the Commissioners intended to offer in advance. The reply was that the messenger could sit with the other Indians, and report to his Chief what he heard, as it was his own fault that the Chief was not there to take part in the proceedings. The negotiations then went on quietly and deliberately, the Commissioners giving the Indians all the time they desired. The Indians were apprehensive of their future. They saw the food supply, the buffalo, passing away, and they were anxious and distressed. They knew the large terms granted to their Indians by the United States, but they had confidence in their Great Mother, the Queen, and her benevolence.
178 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians.
They desired to be fed. Small-pox had destroyed them by hundreds a few years before, and they dreaded pestilence and famine.
Eventually the Commissioners made them an offer. They asked this to be reduced to writing, which was done, and they asked time to consider it, which was of course granted. When the conference resumed, they presented a written counterproposal. This the Commissioners considered, and gave full and definite answers of acceptance or refusal to each demand, which replies were carefully interpreted, two of the Commissioners, Messrs. Christie and McKay, being familiar with the Cree tongue, watching how the answers were rendered, and correcting when necessary. The food question, was disposed of by a promise, that in the event of a National famine or pestilence such aid as the Crown saw fit would be extended to them, and that for three years after they settled on their reserves, provisions to the extent of $1,000 per annum would be granted them during seed-time.
The other terms were analogous to those of the previous treaties. The Crees accepted the revised proposals. The treaty was interpreted to them carefully, and was then signed, and the payment made in accordance therewith. After the conclusion of the treaty, the Comissioners were unwilling that the Willow Crees should remain out of the treaty, and sent a letter to them by a messenger, Pierre Levailler, that they would meet them half way, at the camp of the Hon. James McKay, and give them the opportunity of accepting the terms of the treaty already concluded. The letter was translated to the Indians by the Rev. Pere André, a Catholic missionary, who, as well as M. Levailler, urged the Indians to accede to the proposal made to them, which they agreed to do. The Commissioners met the Indians accordingly, at the place proposed, and received, after a full discussion, the adhesion of the three Chiefs and head men of the Willow Crees to the treaty, and the payments were then made to them.
The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 179
The Commissioners then prepared to leave for Fort Pitt, but having been apprised by the Rev. Mr. Scollan, a Catholic missionary, who had been sent by Bishop Grandin, to be present at the making of the treaty, that Sweet Grass, the principal Chief of the Plain Crees, at Fort Pitt, was unaware of the place and time of meeting, they despatched a messenger to apprise him of them, and request him to be present.
The Commissioners crossed the Saskatchewan and journeyed to Fort Pitt. Near it they were met by an escort of Mounted Police, who convoyed them to the fort.
There they found a number of Indians assembled, and, during the day, Sweet Grass arrived. In the evening the Chief and head men waited upon the Commissioners. Delay was asked and granted before meeting. Eventually the conference was opened. The ceremonies which attended it were imposing. The national stem or pipe dance was performed, of which a full narrative will be found hereafter. The conference proceeded, and the Indians accepted the terms made at Carlton with the utmost good feeling, and thus the Indian title was extinguished in the whole of the Plain country, except a comparatively small area, inhabited by the Black Feet, comprising about 35,000 square miles. I regret to record, that the Chief Sweet Grass who took the lead in the proceedings, met with an accidental death a few months afterwards, by the discharge of a pistol. The Indians, in these two treaties, displayed a strong desire for instruction in farming, and appealed for the aid of missionaries and teachers.
The latter the Commissioners promised, and for the former they were told they must rely on the churches, representatives of whom were present from the Church of England, the Methodist, the Presbyterian and the Roman Catholic Church. The Bishop (Grandin) of the latter Church travelled from Edmonton to Fort Pitt and Battleford to see the Commissioners and assure them of his good will. After the conclusion of the treaty, the Commissioners commenced their long return 180 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. journey by way of Battleford, and arrived at Winnipeg on the 6th day of October, with the satisfaction of knowing that they had accomplished a work which, with the efficient carrying out of the treaties, had secured the good will of the Cree Nation, and laid the foundations of law and order in the Saskatchewan Valley.
The officers of the Hudson's Bay Company, the missionaries of the various churches, Colonel McLeod of the Mounted Police Force, his officers and men, and the Half-breed population, all lent willing assistance to the commissioners, and were of substantial service.
I now submit the despatch of the Lieutenant-Governor, giving an account of the journey and of the negotiations attending the treaty, and I include a narrative of the proceedings taken down, day by day, by A. G. Jackes, Esq., M.D., Secretary to the Commission, which has never before been published, and embraces an accurate account of the speeches of the Commissioners and Indians. It is satisfactory to be able to state, that Lieut.-Gov. Laird, officers of the police force and Mr. Dickieson have since obtained the adhesion to the treaty, of, I believe, all but one of the Chiefs included in the treaty area, viz.: The Big Bear, while the head men even of his band have ranged themselves under the provisions of the treaty.
SIR,—I beg to inform you that in compliance with the request of the Privy Council that I should proceed to the west to negotiate the treaties which I had last year, through the agency of the late Rev. George McDougall, promised the Plain Crees, would be undertaken, I left Fort Garry on the afternoon of the 27th of July last, with the view of prosecuting my mission. I was accompanied by one of my associates, the Hon. J. W. Christie, and by A. G. Jackes, Esq., M.D., who was to act as secretary. I selected as my guide Mr. Pierre Levailler. The Hon. James McKay, who had also been associated in the commission, it was arranged, would follow me and meet me at Fort Carlton.
On the morning of the 4th of August, I forded the Assiniboine about five miles from Fort Ellice, having accomplished what is usually regarded as The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 181 the first stage of the journey to Fort Carlton, about two hundred and twenty miles. After crossing the river, I was overtaken by a party of the Sioux who have settled on the reserve assigned to them at Bird Tail Creek, and was detained the greater part of the day.
I am sanguine that this settlement will prove a success, as these Sioux are displaying a laudable industry in cutting hay for their own use and for sale, and in breaking up ground for cultivation. I resumed my journey in the afternoon, but a storm coming on, I was obliged to encamp at the Springs, having only travelled eight miles in all during the day.
On the 5th I left the Springs, and after traversing much fine country, with excellent prairie, good soil, clumps of wood, lakelets, and hay swamps, in the Little and Great Touchwood Hills and File Mountain region, I arrived at the South Saskatchewan, at Dumont's crossing, twenty miles from Fort Carlton, on the afternoon of the 14th of August.
Here I found over one hundred carts of traders and freighters, waiting to be ferried across the river. The scow was occupied in crossing the carts and effects of Kis-so-wais, an enterprising Chippewa trader, belonging to the Portage la Prairie band, who at once came forward and gave up to me his right of crossing.
I met, also, a young Cree who had been sent by the Crees to hand me a letter of welcome in the name of their nation.
The reason of this step being taken was, that a few wandering Saulteaux or Chippewa, from Quill Lake, in Treaty Number Four, had come to the Crees and proposed to them to unite with them and prevent me from crossing the river and entering the Indian country. The Crees promptly refused to entertain the proposal, and sent a messenger, as above stated, to welcome me.
I also received from their messenger a letter from Lawrence Clarke, Esq., Chief Factor of the Hudson's Bay Company at Carlton, offering the Commissioners the hospitalities of the fort.
I sent replies in advance, thanking the Crees for their action, and accepting the kind offer of Mr. Clarke, to the extent of the use of rooms in the fort.
It was late in the evening before our party crossed the river, so that we encamped on the heights near it.
On the morning of the 15th we left for Fort Carlton, Mr.. Christie preceding me to announce my approaching arrival at Duck Lake. About twelve miles from Carlton I found the Hon. James McKay awaiting me, having travelled by way of Fort Pelly.
Here also a Chief, Beardy of the Willow Crees, came to see me.
He said that his people were encamped near the lake, and that as there were fine meadows for their horses they wished the treaty to be made there.
I was at once on my guard, and replied to him, that after I reached Carlton, which was the place appointed, I would meet the Indians whereever the great body of them desired it.
182 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians.
He then asked me to stop as I passed his encampment, and see his people. This I agreed to do; as I was leaving Duck Lake I met Captain Walker with his troop of mounted police, coming to escort me to Carlton which they did.
When I arrived at Beardy's encampment, the men came to my carriage and holding up their right hands to the skies, all joined in an invocation to the deity for a blessing on the bright day which had brought the Queen's messenger to see them, and on the messenger and themselves ; one of them shook hands with me for the others.
The scene was a very impressive and striking one, but as will be seen hereafter, this band gave me great trouble and were very difficult to deal with.
Leaving the Indian encampment I arrived at Fort Carlton, where Mr. Christie, Dr. Jackes and myself were assigned most comfortable rooms, Mr. McKay preferring to encamp about four miles from the fort.
In the evening, Mist-ow-as-is and Ah-tuk-uk-koop, the two head Chiefs of the Carlton Crees, called to pay their respects to me, and welcomed me most cordially.
On the 16th the Crees sent me word that they wished the day to confer amongst themselves.
I acceded to their request, learning that they desired to bring the Duck Lake Indians into the negotiations.
I sent a messenger, Mr. Peter Ballenden, to Duck Lake to inform the Indians that I would meet them at the encampment of the Carlton Crees, about two miles from the fort.
On the 17th, on his return, he informed me that the Chief said " He had not given me leave to meet the Indians anywhere except at Duck Lake, and that they would only meet me there." The Carlton Indians, however, sent me word, that they would be ready next morning at ten o'clock.
On the 18th, as I was leaving for the Indian encampment, a messenger came to me from the Duck Lake Indians, asking for provisions. I replied, that Mr. Christie was in charge of the distribution of provisions, but that I would not give any to the Duck Lake Indians, in consequence of the unreasonableness of their conduct, and that provisions would only be given to the large encampment.
I then proceeded to the Indian camp, together with my fellow Commissioners, and was escorted by Captain Walker and his troop.
On my arrival I found that the ground had been most judiciously chosen, being elevated, with abundance of trees, hay marshes and small lakes. The spot which the Indians had left for my council tent overlooked the whole.
The view was very beautiful : the hills and the trees in the distance, and in the foreground, the meadow land being dotted with clumps of wood, with the Indian tents clustered here and there to the number of two hundred.
On my arrival, the Union Jack was hoisted, and the Indians at once began to assemble, beating drums, discharging fire-arms, singing and danc The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 183ing. In about half an hour they were ready to advance and meet me. This they did in a semicircle, having men on horseback galloping in circles, shouting, singing and discharging fire-arms.
They then performed the dance of the " pipe stem," the stem was elevated to the north, south, west and east, a ceremonial dance was then performed by the Chiefs and head men, the Indian men and women shouting the while.
They then slowly advanced, the horsemen again preceding them on their approach to my tent. I advanced to meet them, accompanied by Messrs. Christie and McKay, when the pipe was presented to us and stroked by our hands.
After the stroking had been completed, the Indians sat down in front of the council tent, satisfied that in accordance with their custom we had accepted the friendship of the Cree nation.
I then addressed the Indians in suitable terms, explaining that I had been sent by the Queen, in compliance with their own wishes and the written promise I had given them last year, that a messenger would be sent to them.
I had ascertained that the Indian mind was oppressed with vague fears; they dreaded the treaty ; they had been made to believe that they would be compelled to live on the reserves wholly, and abandon their hunting, and that in time of war, they would be placed in the front and made to fight.
I accordingly shaped my address, so as to give them confidence in the intentions of the Government, and to quiet their apprehensions. I impressed strongly on them the necessity of changing their present mode of life, and commencing to make homes and gardens for themselves, so as to be prepared for the diminution of the buffalo and other large animals, which is going on so rapidly.
The Indians listened with great attention to my address, and at its close asked an adjournment that they might meet in council to consider my words, which was of course granted.
The Rev. C. Scollen, a Roman Catholic Missionary amongst the Blackfeet, arrived soon after from Bow River, and informed me that on the way he had learned that Sweet Grass, the principal Chief of the Plain Crees, was out hunting and would not be at Fort Pitt, and that he was of opinion that his absence would be a great obstruction to a treaty.
After consulting with my colleagues, I decided on sending a messenger to him, requesting his presence, and succeeded in obtaining, for the occasion, the services of Mr. John McKay, of Prince Albert, who had accompanied the Rev. George McDougall on his mission last year.
In the evening, Lieut.-Col. Jarvis arrived with a reinforcement of the Mounted Police, and an excellent band, which has been established at the private cost of one of the troops.
On the 19th, the Commissioners, escorted by the Mounted Police, headed by the band, proceeded to the Indian encampment.
184 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians.
The Indians again assembled, following Mist-ow-as-is and Ah-tuk-uk-koop, the recognized leading Chiefs.
I asked them to present their Chiefs; they then presented the two head Chiefs, and the minor ones.
At this juncture, a messenger arrived from the Duck Lake Indians, asking that I should tell them the terms of the Treaty. I replied that if the Chiefs and people had joined the others they would have heard what I had to say, and that I would not tell the terms in advance, but that the messenger could remain and hear what I had to say. He expressed himself satisfied and took his seat with the others. I then fully explained to them the proposals I had to make, that we did not wish to interfere with their present mode of living, but would assign them reserves and assist them as was being done elsewhere, in commencing to farm, and that what was done would hold good for those that were away.
The Indians listened most attentively, and on the close of my remarks Mist-ow-as-is arose, took me by the hand, and said that "when a thing was thought of quietly, it was the best way," and asked " this much, that we go and think of his words."
I acquiesced at once, and expressed my hope that the Chiefs would act wisely, and thus closed the second day.
The 20th being Sunday, the Rev. Mr. John McKay, of the Church of England, conducted divine service at the fort, which was largely attended; the Rev. Mr. Scollen also conducted service.
At noon a messenger came from the Indian camp, asking that there should be a service held at their camp, which Mr. McKay agreed to do; this service was attended by about two hundred adult Crees.
On Monday, 21st, the head Chiefs sent word that, as the previous day was Sunday, they had not met in council, and wished to have the day for consultation, and if ready would meet me on Tuesday morning. I cheerfully granted the delay from the reasonableness of the request; but I was also aware that the head Chiefs were in a position of great difficulty.
The attitude of the Duck Lake Indians and of the few discontented Saulteaux embarrassed them, while a section of their own people were either averse to make a treaty or desirous of making extravagant demands. The head Chiefs were men of intelligence, and anxious that the people should act unitedly and reasonably.
We, therefore, decided to give them all the time they might ask, a policy which they fully appreciated.
On the 22nd the Commissioners met the Indians, when I told them that we had not hurried them, but wished now to hear their Chiefs.
A spokesman, The Pond Maker, then addressed me, and asked assistance when they settled on the land, and further help as they advanced in civilization.
I replied that they had their own means of living, and that we could not feed the Indians, but only assist them to settle down. The Badger, Soh- The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 185 ah-moos, and several other Indians all asked help when they settled, and also in case of troubles unforeseen in the future. I explained that we could not assume the charge of their every-day life, but in a time of a great national calamity they could trust to the generosity of the Queen.
The Honourable James McKay also addressed them, saying that their demands would be understood by a white man as asking for daily food, and could not be granted, and explained our objects, speaking with effect in the Cree tongue.
At length the Indians informed me that they did not wish to be fed every day, but to be helped when they commenced to settle, because of their ignorance how to commence, and also in case of general famine; Ah- tuk-uk-koop winding up the debate by stating that they wanted food in the spring when they commenced to farm, and proportionate help as they advanced in civilization, and then asking for a further adjournment to consider our offers.
The Commissioners granted this, but I warned them not to be unreasonable, and to be ready next day with their decision, while we on our part would consider what they had said.
The whole day was occupied with this discussion on the food question, and it was the turning point with regard to the treaty.
The Indians were, as they had been for some time past, full of uneasiness.
They saw the buffalo, the only means of their support, passing away. They were anxious to learn to support themselves by agriculture, but felt too ignorant to do so, and they dreaded that during the transition period they would be swept off by disease or famine—already they have suffered terribly from the ravages of measles, scarlet fever and small-pox.
It was impossible to listen to them without interest, they were i exacting, but they were very apprehensive of their future, and thankful, as one of them put it, " a new life was dawning upon them."
On the 23rd the conference was resumed, an Indian addressed the people telling them to listen and the interpreter, Peter Erasmus, would read what changes they desired in the terms of our offer. They asked for an ox and a cow each family; an increase in the agricultural implements; provisions for the poor, unfortunate, blind and lame ; to be provided with missionaries and school teachers ; the exclusion of fire water in the whole Saskatchewan; a further increase in agricultural implements as the band advanced in civilization; freedom to cut timber on Crown lands; liberty to change the site of the reserves before the survey ; free passages over Government bridges or scows; other animals, a horse, harness and waggon, and cooking stove for each chief ; a free supply of medicines ; a hand mill to each band ; and lastly, that in case of war they should not be liable to serve.
Two spokesmen then addressed us in support of these modifications of the terms of the Treaty.
I replied to them that they had asked many things some of which had been promised, and that the Commissioners would consult together about 186 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. what they had asked that day and the day before, and would reply, but before doing so wished to know if that was the voice of the whole people, to which the Indians all assented.
After an interval we again met them, and I replied, going over their demands and reiterating my statements as to our inability to grant food, and again explaining that only in a national famine did the Crown ever intervene, and agreeing to make some additions to the number of cattle and implements, as we felt it would be desirable to encourage their desire to settle.
I closed by stating that, after they settled on the reserves, we would give them provisions to aid them while cultivating, to the extent of one thousand dollars per annum, but for three years only, as after that time they should be able to support themselves.
I told them that we could not give them missionaries, though I was pleased with their request, but that they must look to the churches, and that they saw Catholic and Protestant missionaries present at the conference. We told them that they must help their own poor, and that if they prospered they could do so. With regard to war, they would not be asked to fight unless they desired to do so, but if the Queen did call on them to protect their wives and children, I believed they would not be backward .
I then asked if they were willing to accept our modified proposals.
Ah-tuk-uk-koop then addressed me, and concluded by calling on the people. if they were in favour of our offers, to say so. This they all did by shouting assent and holding up their hands.
The Pond Maker then rose and said he did not differ from his people, but he did not see how they could feed and clothe their children with what was promised. He expected to have received that; he did not know how to build a house nor to cultivate the ground.
Joseph Toma, a Saulteaux, said he spoke for the Red Pheasant, Chief of the Battle River Crees, and made demands as follows: Men to build houses for them, increased salaries to the Chiefs and head men, etc. He said what was offered was too little ; he wanted enough to cover the skin of the people, guns, and also ten miles of land round the reserves in a belt.
I asked the Red Pheasant how it was that he was party to the requests of his people, and how, when I asked if that was their unanimous voice he had assented, and yet had now put forward new and large demands.
I said it was not good faith, and that I would not accede to the requests now made , that what was offered was a gift as they had still their old mode of living.
The principal Chiefs then rose and said that they accepted our offers, and the Red Pheasant repudiated the demands and remarks of Toma, and stated that he had not authorized him to speak for him.
Mist-ow-as-is then asked to speak for the Half-breeds, who wish to live on the reserves.
I explained the distinction between the Half-breed people and the Indian The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 187 Half-breeds who lived amongst the Indians as Indians, and said the Commissioners would consider the case of each of these last on its merits.
The treaty was then signed by myself, Messrs. Christie and McKay, Mist-ow-as-is and Ah-tuk-uk-koop, the head Chiefs, and by the other Chiefs and Councillors, those signing, though many Indians were absent, yet representing all the bands of any importance in the Carlton regions, except the Willow Indians.
On the 24th the Commissioners again met the Indians, when I presented the Head Chiefs with their medals, uniforms and flags, and informed them that Mr. Christie would give the other Chiefs and Councillors the same in the evening.
Some half a dozen of Saulteaux then came forward, of whom I found one was from Qu'Appelle, and had been paid there, and the others did not belong to the Carlton region. I told them that I had heard that they had endeavoured to prevent me crossing the river, and to prevent a treaty being made, but that they were not wiser than the whole of their nation, who had already been treated with.
They did not deny the charge, and their spokesman becoming insolent I declined to hear them further, and they retired, some stating that they would go to Fort Pitt, which I warned them not to do.
Besides these Saulteaux, there were others present who disapproved of their proceedings, amongst them being Kis-so-way-is, already mentioned, and Pecheeto, who was the chief spokesman at Qu'Appelle, but is now a Councillor of the Fort Ellice Band.
I may mention here that the larger part of the Band to whom these other Saulteaux belonged, with the Chief Yellow Quill, gave in their adhesion to Treaty Number Four, at Fort Pelly about the time that their comrades were troubling me at Fort Carlton.
Mr. Christie then commenced the payments, assisted by Mr. McKay, of Prince Albert, and was engaged in so doing during the 24th and 25th. Amongst those paid were the few resident Saulteaux, who were accepted by the Cree Chiefs as part of their bands.
The next morning, the 26th, the whole band, headed by their Chiefs and Councillors, dressed in their uniforms, came to Carlton House to pay their farewell visit to me.
The Chiefs came forward in order, each addressing me a few remarks, and I replied briefly.
They then gave three cheers for the Queen, the Governor, one for the Mounted Police, and for Mr. Lawrence Clarke, of Carlton House, and then departed, firing guns as they went.
Considering it undesirable that so many Indians should be excluded from the treaty, as would be the case if I left the Duck Lake Indians to their own devices, I determined on sending a letter to them. I, therefore, prepared a. message, inviting them to meet me at the Hon. Mr. McKay's encampment about three miles from the large Indian encampment about 188 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. half way to Duck Lake, on Monday, the 28th, if they were prepared then to accept the terms of the treaty I had made with the Carlton Indians. My letter was entrusted to Mr. Levailler, who proceeded to Duck Lake.
On entering the Indian Council room, he found they had a letter written to me by the Rev. Mr. André, offering to accept the terms of the treaty, if I came to Duck Lake.
The Indians sent for Mr. André to read my letter to them, which was received with satisfaction ; both he and Mr. Levailler urged them to accept my proposal, which they agreed to do, and requested Mr. Levailler to inorm me that they would go to the appointed place.
Accordingly, on the 28th, the Commissioners met the Willow Indians.
After the usual handshaking, and short speeches from two of the Chiefs, I addressed them, telling them I was sorry for the course they had pursued, and that I did not go away without giving them this opportunity to be included in the treaty.
Kah-mee-yes-too-waegs, the Beardy, spoke for the people. He said some things were too little. He was anxious about the buffalo.
Say-sway-kees wished to tell our mother, the Queen, that they were alarmed about the buffalo. It appeared as if there was only one left.
The Beardy again addressed me, and said,—" You have told me what you have done with the others you will do with us. I accept the terms ; no doubt it will run further, according to our numbers ; when I am utterly unable to help myself I want to receive assistance."
I replied to them, explaining, with regard to assistance, that we could not support or feed the Indians, and all that we would do would be to help them to cultivate the soil.
If a general famine came upon the Indians the charity of the Government would come into exercise. I admitted the importance of steps being taken to preserve the buffalo, and assured them that it would be considered by the Governor-General and Council of the North-West Territories, to see if a wise law could be framed such as could be carried out and obeyed.
The three Chiefs and their head men then signed the treaty, and the medals and flags were distributed, when Mr. Christie intimated that he was ready to make the payments.
They then asked that this should be done at Duck Lake, but Mr. Christie informed them that, as we had to leave for Fort Pitt, this was impossible ; and that, moreover, their share of the unexpended provisions and the clothing and presents were at the fort, where they would require to go for them.
They then agreed to accept the payment, which was at once proceeded with.
The persistency with which these Indians clung to their endeavor to compel the Commissioners to proceed to Duck Lake was in part owing to superstition, the Chief, Beardy, having announced that he had a vision, in which it was made known to him that the treaty would be made there.
It was partly, also, owing to hostility to the treaty, as they endeavored to The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 189 induce the Carlton Indians to make no treaty, and urged them not to sell the land, but to lend it for four years.
The good sense and intelligence of the head Chiefs led them to reject'their proposals, and the Willow Indians eventually, as I have reported, accepted the treaty.
The 29th was occupied by Mr. Christie in settling accounts, taking stock of the clothing, and preparing for our departure.
An application was made to me by Toma, the Saulteanx, who took part in the proceedings on the 23rd, to sign the treaty as Chief of the Saulteaux band.
As I could not ascertain that there were sufficient families of these Indians resident in the region to be recognized as a distinct band, and as I had no evidence that they desired him to be their Chief, I declined to allow him to sign the treaty, but informed him that next year, if the Saulteaux were numerous enough, and expressed the wish that he should be Chief, he would be recognized.
He was satisfied with this, and said that next year they would come to the payments.
His daughter, a widow, with her family, was paid, but he preferred to remain until next year, as he did not wish to be paid, except as a Chief.
On the morning of the 3lst, the previous day having been wet, Mr. Christie and I left for Fort Pitt, Mr. McKay having preceded us by the other road —that by way of Battle River.
We arrived on the 5th September, the day appointed, having rested, as was our custom throughout the whole journey, on Sunday, the 3rd.
About six miles from the fort we were met by Col. Jarvis and the police, with their band, as an escort, and also by Mr. McKay, the Factor of the Hudson's Bay Company, who informed us that he had rooms ready for our occupation.
We found over one hundred lodges of Indians already there, and received a message from them, that as their friends were constantly arriving, they wished delay until the 7th.
On the morning of the 6th, Sweet Grass, who had come in, in consequence of my message, accompanied by about thirty of the principal men, called to see me and express their gratification at my arrival.
Their greeting was cordial, but novel in my experience, as they embraced me in their arms, and kissed me on both cheeks, a reception which they extended also to Mr. Christie and Dr. Jackes.
The Hon. James McKay arrived from Battle River in the evening, and reported that he had met there a number of Indians, principally Saulteaux, who had been camped there for some time. There had been about seventy lodges in all, but as the buffalo had come near, the poorer Indians had gone after them.
They expressed good feeling, and said they would like to have waited until the 15th, the day named for my arrival there, to see me and accept the treaty, 190 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. but that the buffalo hunt was of so much consequence to them that they could not wait so long.
This band is a mixed one, composed of Crees and Saulteaux from Jack Fish Lake, their Chief being the Yellow Sky.
On the 7th the Commissioners proceeded to the council tent, which was pitched on the high plateau above the fort, commanding a very fine view, and facing the Indian encampment.
They were accompanied by the escort of the police, with their band.
The Indians approached with much pomp and ceremony, following the lead of Sweet Grass.
The stem dance was performed as at Fort Carlton, but with much more ceremony, there being four pipes instead of one, and the number of riders, singers and dancers being more numerous. After the pipes were stroked by the Commissioners, they were presented to each of them to be smoked, and then laid upon the table to be covered with calico and cloth, and returned to their bearers.
After the conclusion of these proceedings I addressed them, telling them we had come at their own request, and that there was now a trail leading from Lake Superior to Red River, that I saw it stretching on thence to Fort Ellice, and there branching off, the one track going to Qu'Appelle and Cyprus Hills, and the other by Fort Pelly to Carlton, and thence I expected to see it extended, by way of Fort Pitt to the Rocky Mountains ; on that road I saw all the Chippewas and Crees walking, and I saw along it gardens being planted and houses built.
I invited them to join their brother Indians and walk with the white men on this road. I told them what we had done at Carlton, and offered them the same terms, which I would explain fully if they wished it.
On closing Sweet Grass rose, and taking me by the hand, asked me to explain the terms of the treaty, after which they would all shake hands with me and then go to meet in council.
I complied with this request. and stated the terms fully to them, both addresses having occupied me for three hours. On concluding they expressed satisfaction, and retired to their council.
On the 8th the Indians asked for more time to deliberate, which was granted, as we learned that some of them desired to make exorbitant demands, and we wished to let them understand through the avenues by which we had access to them that these would be fruitless.
On the 9th, the Commissioners proceeded to the council tent, but the Indians were slow of gathering, being still in council, endeavoring to agree amongst themselves.
At length they approached and seated themselves in front of the tent. I then asked them to speak to me. The Eagle addressed the Indians, telling them not to be afraid, and that I was to them as a brother, and what the Queen wished to establish was for their good.
After some time had passed, I again called on them to tell me their minds The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 191 and not to be afraid. Sweet Grass then rose and addressed me in a very sensible manner. He thanked the Queen for sending me; he was glad to have a brother and a friend who would help to lift them up above their present condition. He thanked me for the offer and saw nothing to be afraid of. He therefore accepted gladly, and took my hand to his heart. He said God was looking down on us that day, and had opened a new world to them. Sweet Grass further said, he pitied those who had to live by the buffalo, but that if spared until this time next year, he wanted, this my brother (i.e. the Governor), to commence to act for him in protecting the buffalo; for himself he would commence at once to prepare a small piece of land, and his kinsmen would do the same.
Placing one hand over my heart, and the other over his own, he said: " May the white man's blood never be spilt on this earth. I am thankful that the white man and red man can stand together. When I hold your hand and touch your heart, let us be as one ; use your utmost to help me and help my children so that they may prosper."
The Chief's speech, of which the foregoing gives a brief outline in his own words, was assented to by the people with a peculiar guttural sound which takes with them the place of the British cheer.
I replied, expressing my satisfaction that they had so unanimously approved of the arrangement I had made with the nation at Carlton, and promised that I would send them next year, as I had said to the Crees of Carlton, copies of the treaty printed on parchment.
I said that I knew that some of the Chiefs were absent, but next year they would receive the present of money as they had done.
The Commissioners then signed the treaty, as did Sweet Grass, eight other Chiefs and those of their Councillors who were present, the Chiefs addressing me before signing. James Senum, Chief of the Crees at White Fish Lake, said that he commenced to cultivate the soil some years ago.
Mr. Christie, then chief factor of the Hudson's Bay Company, gave him a plough, but it was now broken. He had no cattle when he commenced, but he and his people drew the plough themselves, and made hoes of roots of trees. Mr. Christie also gave him a pit-saw and a grind-stone, and he was still using them. His heart was sore in spring when his children wanted to plough and had no implements. He asked for these as soon as possible, and referring to the Wesleyan mission at that place, he said by following what I have been taught it helps me a great deal. .
The Little Hunter, a leading Chief of the Plain Crees, said he was glad from his very heart; he felt in taking the Governor s hand as if it was the Queen's. When I hear her words that she is going to put this country to rights, it is the help of God that put it into her heart. He wished an everlasting grasp of her hand; he was thankful for the children who would prosper. All the children who were settling there, hoped that the Great Spirit would look down upon us as one. Other Chiefs expressed themselves similarly.
192 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians.
Ken-oo-say-oo, or The Fish, was a Chippewayan or mountaineer, a small band of whom are in this region.
They had no Chief, but at my request they had selected a Chief and presented the Fish to me. He said, speaking in Cree, that he thanked the Queen, and shook hands with me; he was glad for what had been done, and if he could have used his own tongue he would have said more.
I then presented Sweet Grass his medal, uniform, and flag, the band playing "God Save the Queen " and all the Indians rising to their feet.
The rest of the medals, flags, and uniforms, were distributed, as soon as possible, and Mr. Christie commenced to make the payments.
On Sunday, the 10th, the Rev. Mr. McKay conducted the service for the police and others, who might attend, and in the afternoon the Rev. Mr. McDougall had a service in Cree ; Bishop Grandin and the Rev. Mr. Scollen also had services for the Crees and Chippewayans.
On Monday, the 11th, Mr. Christie completed the payments and distribution of provisions. The police commenced crossing the Saskatchewan, with a view to leaving on Tuesday, the 12th, for Battle River. We therefore sent our horses and carts across the river, and had our tents pitched with the view of commencing our return journey, early in the morning. Just as we were about to leave Port Pitt, however, the Great Bear, one of the three Cree Chiefs who were absent, arrived at the fort and asked to see me. The Commissioners met him, when he told me that he had been out on the plains hunting the buffalo, and had not heard the time of the meeting; that on hearing of it he had been sent in by the Crees and by the Stonies or Assiniboines to speak for them. I explained to him what had been done at Carlton and Pitt; he expressed regret that I was going away as he wished to talk to me. I then said we would not remove until the next day, which gratified him much.
On the 13th, Sweet Grass and all the other Chiefs and Councillors came down to the fort with the Great Bear to bid me farewell.
Sweet Grass told me the object of their visit. The Bear said the Indians on the plains had sent him to speak for them, and those who were away were as a barrier before what he would have to say.
Sweet Grass said, addressing him, " You see the representative of the Queen here. I think the Great Spirit put it into their hearts to come to our help. Let there be no barrier, as it is with great difficulty that this was brought about. Say yes and take his hand." The White Fish spoke similarly.
The Bear said, "Stop, my friends. I never saw the Governor before; when I heard he was to come, I said I will request him to save me from what I most dread—hanging ; it was not given to us to have the rope about our necks." I replied, that God had given it to us to punish murder by death, and explained the protection the police force afforded the Indians.
Big Bear still demanded that there should be no hanging, and I informed him that his request would not be granted. He then wished that the buffalo might be protected, and asked why the other Chiefs did not speak.
The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 193
The Fish, the Chipewayan replied, " We do not because Sweet Grass has spoken, and what he says we all say."
I then asked the Bear to tell the other two absent Chiefs, Short Tail and Sagamat, what had been done; that I had written him and them a letter, and sent it by Sweet Grass, and that next year they cauld join the treaty ; with regard to the buffalo, the North-West Council were considering the question, and I again explained that we would not interfere with the Indian's daily life except to assist them in farming.
I then said I never expected to see them again. The land was so large that another Governor was to be sent, whom I hoped they would receive as they had done me, and give him the same confidence they had extended to me. The Chiefs and Councillors, commencing with Sweet Grass, then shook hands with Mr. Christie and myself, each addressing me words of parting.
The Bear remained sitting until all had shaken hands, he then took mine and holding it, said, " If he had known he would have met me with all his people. I am not an undutiful child, I do not throw back your hand, but as my people are not here I do not sign. I will tell them what I have heard, and next year I will come." The Indians then left, but shortly afterwards the Bear came to see me again, fearing I had not fully understood him, and assured me that he accepted the treaty as if he had signed it, and would come next year with all his people and accept it.
We crossed the river, and left for Battle River in the afternoon, where we arrived on the afternoon of the 15th. We found no Indians there except Red Pheasant and his band, whom we had already met at Carlton.
On the 16th, the Red Pheasant saw the Commissioners. He said he was a Battle River Indian ; his fathers had lived there before him, but he was glad to see the Government coming there, as it would improve his means of living. He wished the claims of the Half-breeds who had settled there before the Government came to be respected, as for himself he would go away and seek another home, and though it was hard to leave the home of his people, yet he would make way for the white man, and surely, he said, " if the poor Indian acts thus, the Queen, when she hears of this, will help him." He asked, that a little land should be given him to plant potatoes in next spring, and they would remove after digging them, to their reserve, which he thought he would wish to have at the Eagle Hills.
I expressed my satisfaction with their conduct and excellent spirit, and obtained the cheerful consent of Mr. Fuller, of the Pacific telegraph line, who is in occupation of a large cultivated field, that the band should use three acres within the fenced enclosure, and which, moreover, Mr. Fuller kindly promised to plough for them gratuitously.
The 17th being Sunday we remained at our camp, and on Monday morning, the 18th, we commenced our long return journey, with the incidents of which I will not trouble you further than to state that, on arriving on the 4th of October at an encampment about thirty miles from Portage la 194 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. Prairie, we found it necessary to leave our tents and carts to follow us leisurely (many of the horses having become completely exhausted with the long journey of sixteen hundred miles) and push on to the Portage; on the 5th we reached the Portage, where Mr. Christie and Dr. Jackes remained, their horses being unable to go farther, and I went on to Poplar Point, forty-five miles from Fort Garry, where I found accommodation for the night from Mr. Chisholm, of the Hudson's Bay Company's Post there.
I arrived at Fort Garry on the afternoon of the 6th of October, having been absent for over two months and a half. Mr. McKay, having taken another road, had arrived before me ; Mr. Christie and Dr. Jackes reached here subsequently. Having thus closed the narrative of our proceedings, I proceed to deal with the results of our mission, and to submit for your consideration some reflections and to make some practical suggestions.
1st. The Indians inhabiting the ceded territory are chiefly Crees, but there are a few Assiniboines on the plains and also at the slope of the mountains. There are also a small number of Saulteaux and one band of Chippewayans.
2nd. I was agreeably surprised to find so great a willingness on the part of the Crees to commence to cultivate the soil, and so great a desire to have their children instructed. I requested Mr. Christie to confer with the Chief while the payments were going on, as to the localities where they would desire to have reserves assigned to them, and with few exceptions they indicated the places, in fact most of them have already commenced to settle.
It is, therefore, important that the cattle and agricultural implements should be given them without delay.
I would, therefore, recommend that provision should be made for forwarding these as soon as the spring opens. I think it probable that cattle and some implements could be purchased at Prince Albert and thus avoid transportation.
3rd. I would further represent that, though I did not grant the request, I thought the desire of the Indians, to be instructed in farming and building, most reasonable, and I would therefore recommend that measures be adopted to provide such instruction for them. Their present mode of living is passing away; the Indians are tractable, docile and willing to learn. I think that advantage should be taken of this disposition to teach them to become self-supporting, which can best be accomplished with the aid of a few practical farmers and carpenters to instruct them in farming and house building.
The universal demand for teachers, and by some of the Indians for missionaries, is also encouraging. The former, the Government can supply; for the latter they must rely on the churches, and I trust that these will continue and extend their operations amongst them. The field is wide enough for all, and the cry of the Indian for help is a clamant one.
4th. In connection with the aiding of the Indians to settle, I have to call attention to the necessity of regulations being made for the preservation of The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 195 the buffalo. These animals are fast decreasing in numbers, but I am satisfied that a few simple regulations would preserve the herds for many years. The subject was constantly pressed on my attention by the Indians, and I promised that the matter would be considered by the North-West Council. The council that has governed the territories for the last four years was engaged in maturing a law for this purpose, and had our regime continued we would have passed a statute for their preservation. I commend the matter to the attention of our successors as one of urgent importance.
5th. There is another class of the population in the North-West whose position I desire to bring under the notice of the Privy Council. I refer to the wandering Half-breeds of the plains, who are chiefly of French descent and live the life of the Indians. There are a few who are identified with the Indians, but there is a large class of Metis who live by the hunt of the buffalo, and have no settled homes. I think that a census of the numbers of these should be procured, and while I would not be disposed to recommend their being brought under the treaties, I would suggest that land should be assigned to them, and that on their settling down, if after an examination into their circumstances, it should be found necessary and expedient, some assistance should be given them to enable them to enter upon agricultural operations.
If the measures suggested by me are adopted, viz., effective regulations with regard to the buffalo, the Indians taught to cultivate the soil, and the erratic Half-breeds encouraged to settle down, I believe that the solution of all social questions of any present importance in the North-West Territories will have been arrived at.
In conclusion, I have to call your attention to the report made to me by the Hon. Mr. Christie, which I forward herewith; that gentleman took the entire charge of the payments and administration of matters connected with the treaty, and I have to speak in the highest terms of the value of his services.
Accompanying his report will be found the pay sheets, statements of distribution of provisions and clothing, memoranda as to the localities of the reserves, suggestions as to the times and places of payment next year, and a general balance sheet.
A credit of $60,000 was given to me, and I have placed as a refund to the credit of the Receiver-General, $12,730.55. This arises from the fact that owing to the proximity of the buffalo, many of the Indians did not come into the treaty.
I have to acknowledge the benefit I derived from the services of the Hon. James McKay, camping as he did near the Indian encampment. He had the opportunity of meeting them constantly, and learning their views which his familarity with the Indian dialects enabled him to do. Dr. Jackes took a warm interest in the progress of our work, and kept a record of the negotiations, a copy of which I enclose and which I think ought to be published, as it will be of great value to those who will be called on to administer 196 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. the treaty, showing as it does what was said by the negotiators and by the Indians, and preventing misrepresentations in the future. The Commissioners are under obligations to Lieut.-Colonel McLeod, and the other officers and men of the police force for their escort.
The conduct of the men was excellent, and the presence of the force as an emblem and evidence of the establishment of authority in the North-West was of great value.
I have to record my appreciation of the kindness of Messrs. Clarke, of Fort Carlton, and McKay of Fort Pitt, and of the other officials of the Hudson's Bay Company, and of the hearty assistance they extended towards the accomplishment of our mission. I have also to mention the interest taken in the negotiations by His Lordship Bishop Grandin, and by the various missionaries, Protestant and Catholic.
On this occasion, as on others, I found the Half-breed population whether French or English generally using the influence of their relationship to the Indians in support of our efforts to come to a satisfactory arrangement with them.
We also had the advantage of good interpreters, having secured the services of Messrs. Peter Ballendine and John McKay, while the Indians had engaged Mr. Peter Erasmus to discharge the same duty. The latter acted as chief interpreter, being assisted by the others, and is a most efficient interpreter.
I transmit herewith a copy of the treaty, and have only in conclusion to express my hope that this further step in the progress of the work of the Dominion amongst the Indian tribes will prove beneficial to them, and of advantage to the realm.
I have the honor to be, Sir, Your obedient servant, ALEXANDER MORRIS, Lieut.-Governor.
Narrative of the proceedings connected with the effecting of the treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt, in the year 1876, together with a report of the speeches of the Indians and Commissioners, by A. G. Jackes, Esq., M.D., Secretary to the Commission.
The expedition for the proposed Treaty Number Six, reached the South Saskatchewan on the afternoon of August 14th, where they were met by a messenger from the Cree Indians expressing welcome, also a messenger from Mr. L. Clarke, of The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 197 Carlton House, offering to the Governor and party the hospitality of the Fort.
The next morning, when about ten miles from Carlton, the Commissioners were met by a detachment of Mounted Police under Major Walker, who escorted them to the Fort ; on the way the Commissioners passed an encampment of Crees whose Chief had previously seen the Governor at Duck Lake and asked him to make the treaty there ; he replied that he could not promise, that he would meet the Indians where the greater number wished. These Crees joined in an invocation to the deity for a blessing on the Governor, and deputed one of their number to welcome him by shaking hands.
Near the Fort were encamped about two hundred and fifty lodges of Crees, to whom the Commissioners at once served out two days' allowance of provisions.
On the 16th the Crees reported that they wanted another day to confer amongst themselves, this was granted and the Governor requested them to meet him and the Commissioners on the 18th at 10 am., to commence the business of the treaty.
August 18th.
At half-past ten His Honor Lieut.-Gov. Morris, the Hon. W. J. Christie and Hon. Jas. McKay, accompanied by an escort of North-West Mounted Police, left the Fort for the camp of the Cree Indians, who had selected a site about a mile and a half from the Hudson's Bay Fort. There were about two hundred and fifty lodges, containing over two thousand souls. The Governor's tent was pitched on a piece of rising ground about four hundred yards from the Indian camp, and immediately facing it.
As soon as the Governor and party arrived, the Indians who were to take part in the treaty, commenced to assemble 198 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. near the Chief's tents, to the sound of beating drums and the discharge of small arms, singing, dancing and loud speaking, going on at the same time.
In about half an hour they were ready to advance and meet the Governor; this they did in a large semi-circle; in their front were about twenty braves on horseback, galloping about in circles, shouting, singing and going through various picturesque performances. The semi-circle steadily advanced until within fifty yards of the Governor's tent, when a halt was made and further peculiar ceremonies commenced, the most remarkable of which was the " dance of the stem." This was commenced by the Chiefs, medicine men, councillors, singers and drum- beaters, coming a little to the front and seating themselves on blankets and robes spread for them. The bearer of the stem, Wah-wee-kah-nich-kah-oh-tah-mah-hote (the man you strike on the back), carrying in his hand a large and gorgeously adorned pipe stem, walked slowly along the semi-circle, and advancing to the front, raised the stem to the heavens, then slowly turned to the north, south, east and west, presenting the stem at each point; returning to the seated group he handed the stem to one of the young men, who commenced a low chant, at the same time performing a ceremonial dance accompanied by the drums and singing of the men and women in the background.
This was all repeated by another of the young men, after which the horsemen again commenced galloping in circles, the whole body slowly advancing. As they approached his tent, the Governor, accompanied by the Hon. W. J. Christie and Hon. J as. McKay, Commissioners, went forward to meet them and to receive the stem carried by its bearer. It was presented first to the Governor, who in accordance with their customs, stroked it several times, then passed it to the Commissioners who repeated the ceremony.
The significance of this ceremony is that the Governor and Commissioners accepted the friendship of the tribe.
The interpreter then introduced the Chiefs and principal The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 199  men ; the Indians slowly seating themselves in regular order in front of the tent. In a few minutes there was perfect quiet and order, when His Honor the Lieutenant-Governor addressed them as follows :
" My Indian brothers, Indians of the plains, I have shaken hands with a few of you, I shake hands with all of you in my heart. God has given us a good day, I trust his eye is upon us, and that what we do will be for the benefit of his children.
"What I say and what you say, and what we do, is done openly before the whole people. You are, like me and my friends who are with me, children of the Queen. We are of the same blood, the same God made us and the same Queen  rules over us.
"I am a Queen's Councillor, I am her Governor of all these  territories, and I am here to speak from her to you. I am here now because for many days the Cree nation have been  sending word that they wished to see a Queen's messenger face to face. I told the Queen's Councillors your wishes. I sent you word last year by a man who has gone where  we will all go by and by, that a Queen's messenger  would meet you this year. I named Forts Carlton and Pitt as  the places of meeting, I sent a letter to you saying so, and my heart grew warm when I heard how well you received it.
"As the Queen's chief servant here, I always keep my promises; thethe winter came and went but I did not forget my word, tent, and I sent a messenger to tell you that I would meet you at  Carlton on the 15th of August, and at Fort Pitt on the 5th of  September.
" During the winter I went to Ottawa to consult with the other Queen's Councillors about you amongst other matters, and they said to me, ' you promised a Queen's messenger to the Crees, you have been so much with the Indians, that we wish and you to go yourself ;' I said 'the journey is long and I am not a strong man, but when a duty is laid upon me I will do it, but,' I said, 'you must give with me two friends and councillors 200 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. whom I can trust, to help me in the duty ;' and now I have with me two friends whom you and I have known long ; one of them is of your own blood, the other has been many years amongst you.
"I will, in a short time, give you a message from the Queen, and my Councillors will tell you that the words are true. Before I do so, there are so many things I want to say to you that I scarcely know where to begin. I have been nearly four years Governor of Manitoba and these territories, and from the day I was sworn, I took the Indian by the hand, and those who took it have never let it go.
"Three years ago I went to the north-west angle of Lake of the Woods, and there I met the Chippewa nation, I gave them a message and they talked with me and when they understood they took my hand. Some were away, next year I sent messengers to them and I made a treaty between the Queen and them ; there are numbered of those altogether four thousand. I then went to Lake Qu'Appelle the year after, and met the Crees and Chippewas there, gave them my message, and they took my hand. Last summer I went to Lake Winnipeg and gave the Queen's message to the Swampy Crees and they and I, acting for the Queen, came together heart to heart; and now that the Indians of the east understand the Queen and her Councillors, I come to you. And why is all this done? I will tell you ; it is because you are the subjects of the Queen as I am. She cares as much for one of you as she does for one of her white subjects. The other day a party of Iroquois Indians were taken to England across the ocean ; the Queen heard of it and sent to them, saying, 'I want to see my red children,' took their hands and gave each of them her picture, and sent them away happy with her goodness.
"Before I came here I was one of the Queen's Councillors at Ottawa. We have many Indians there as here, but for many years there has been friendship between the British, and the Indians. We respect the Indians as brothers and as men.
The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 201
Let me give you a proof it. Years ago there was war between the British and the Americans ; there was a great battle ; there were two brave Chief warriors on the British side, one wore the red coat, the other dressed as you do, but they fought side by side as brothers ; the one was Brock and the other was Tecumseth whose memory will never die ; the blood of both watered the ground ; the bones of Tecumseth were hid by his friends ; the remains of Brock by his, and now a great pile of stone stands up toward heaven in his memory. And now the white man is searching for the remains of Tecumseth, and when found they will build another monument in honour of the Indian.
" I hope the days of fighting are over, but notwithstanding the whites are as much your friends in these days of peace, as in war.
" The many Indians in the place that I have left are happy, prosperous, contented and growing in numbers. A meeting of the Grand Council of the Six Nation Indians was held a month ago; they now number six thousand souls. They met to thank the Queen and to say that they were content, and why are they content ? Because many years ago the Queen's Councillors saw that the Indians that would come after, must be cared for, they saw that the means of living were passing away from the Indians, they knew that women and children were sometimes without food ; they sent men to speak to the Indians, they said your children must be educated, they must be taught to raise food for themselves. The Indians heard them, the Councillors gave them seed, land, food, taught their children and let them feel that they were of one blood with the whites. Now, what we have found to work so well where I came from we want to have here in our territories, and I am happy to say that my heart is gladdened by the way the Indians have met me.
" We are not here as traders, I do not come as to buy or sell horses or goods, I come to you, children of the Queen, to try to help you ; when I say yes, I mean it, and when I say no, I mean it too.
202 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians.
" I want you to think of my words, I want to tell you that what we talk about is very important. What I trust and hope we will do is not for to-day or to-morrow only ; what I will promise, and what I believe and hope you will take, is to last as long as that sun shines and yonder river flows.
" You have to think of those who will come after you, and it will be a remembrance for me as long as I live, if I can go away feeling that I have done well for you. I believe we can understand each other, if not it will be the first occasion on which the Indians have not done so. If you are as anxious for your own welfare as I am, I am certain of what will happen.
" The day is passing. I thank you for the respectful reception you have given me. I will do here as I have done on former occasions. I hope you will speak your minds as fully and as plainly as if I was one of yourselves.
" I wish you to think of what I have said. I wish you to present your Chiefs to me to-day if you are ready, if not then we will wait until to-morrow."
Here the Indians requested an adjournment until next day in order that they might meet in council ; this was granted, and the first day's proceedings terminated.
Late in the evening the escort of Mounted Police was reinforced by a detachment, accompanied by their band, under command of Col. Jarvis, making a force of nearly one hundred men and officers.
August 19th.
The Lieutenant-Governor and Commissioners, with the Mounted Police escort, headed by their band, proceeded to the camp to meet the Indians at 10:30 a.m. The Indians having assembled in regular order with their two leading Chiefs, Mis- tah-wah-sis and Ah-tuck-ah-coop seated in front, the Governor said :
The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt.
"My friends, we have another bright day before us, and I trust that when it closes our faces will continue as bright as the day before us. I spoke yesterday as a friend to friends, as a brother to brothers, as a father to his children. I did not want to hurry you, I wanted you to think of my words, and now I will be glad if you will do as I asked you then, present your Chiefs to me, and I shall be glad to hear the words of the Indians through the voice of their Chiefs, or whoever they may appoint.
The head men then brought forward Mis-tah-wah-sis, of the Carlton Indians, representing seventy-six lodges. Ah-tuck-ah- coop, of the Wood Indians, representing about seventy lodges. These were acknowledged as the leading Chiefs, after them came James Smith, of the Fort-a-la-Corne Indians, fifty lodges. John Smith, of the Prince Albert and South Branch Indians, fifty lodges. The Chip-ee-wayan, of the Plain Indians, sixty lodges. Yah-yah-tah-kus-kin-un, of the Fishing or Sturgeon lake Indians, twenty lodges. Pee-yahan-kah-mihk-oo-sit, thirty lodges. Wah-wee-kah-nich-kah-oh-tah-mah-hote, of the River Indians, fifty lodges.
Here a messenger came from the Indians under Chief Beardy, camped at Duck Lake, eight miles from the main camp. He shook hands with the Governor and said," I am at a loss at this time what to say, for the Indians' mind cannot be all the same, that is why I came to tell the Governor the right of it ; with a good heart I plead at this time, it is not my own work, I would like to know his mind just now and hear the terms of the treaty."
The Governor said in reply: " If your Chief and his people had been in their places here, they would have heard with the rest what I had to say. You refused to meet me here, yet you sent and asked me to give you provisions, but I refused to do so unless you joined the others ; and now I will not tell my message to this messenger until I tell all the rest ; he can hear with the rest and take back my words to his chief." The 204 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. messenger expressed himself satisfied, and took his seat with the others. 
On the Indians expressing themselves ready to hear the message, the Governor said :
" First I wish to talk to you about what I regard as something affecting the lives of yourselves and the lives of your children. Often when I thought of the future of the Indian my heart was sad within me. I saw that the large game was getting scarcer and scarcer, and I feared that the Indians would melt away like snow in spring before the sun. It was my duty as Governor to think of them, and I wondered if the Indians of the plains and lakes could not do as their brothers where I came from did. And now, when I think of it, I see a bright sky before me. I have been nearly four years working among my Indian brothers, and I am glad indeed to find that many of them are seeking to have homes of their own, having gardens and sending their children to school.
" Last spring I went to see some of the Chippewas, this year I went again and I was glad to see houses built, gardens planted and wood cut for more houses. Understand me, I do not want to interfere with your hunting and fishing. I want you to pursue it through the country, as you have heretofore done ; but I would like your children to be able to find food for themselves and their children that come after them. Sometimes when you go to hunt you can leave your wives and children at home to take care of your gardens.
" I am glad to know that some of you have already begun to build and to plant ; and I would like on behalf of the Queen to give each band that desires it a home of their own ; I want to act in this matter while it is time. The country is wide and you are scattered, other people will come in. Now unless the places where you would like to live are secured soon there might be difliculty. The white man might come and settle on the very place where you would like to be. Now what I and my brother Commissioners would like to do is this: we wish to The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 205 give each band who will accept of it a place where they may live ; we wish to give you as much or more land than you need ; we wish to send a man that surveys the land to mark it off, so you will know it is your own, and no one will interfere with you. What I would propose to do is what we have done in other places. For every family of five a reserve to themselves of one square mile. Then, as you may not all have made up your minds where you would like to live, I will tell you how that will be arranged : we would do as has been done with happiest results at the North-West Angle. We would send next year a surveyor to agree with you as to the place you would like.
"There is one thing I would say about the reserves. The land I name is much more than you will ever be able to farm, and it may be that you would like to do as your brothers where I came from did.
"They, when they found they had too much land, asked the Queen to it sell for them ; they kept as much as they could want, and the price for which the remainder was sold was put away to increase for them, and many bands now have a yearly income from the land.
"But understand me, once the reserve is set aside, it could not be sold unless with the consent of the Queen and the Indians ; as long as the Indians wish, it will stand there for their good ; no one can take their homes.
" Of course, if when a reserve is chosen, a white man had already settled there, his rights must be respected. The rights and interests of the whites and half-breeds are as dear to the Queen as those of the Indians. She deals justly by all, and I am sure my Indian brothers would like to deal with others as they would have others to deal with them. I think you can now understand the question of homes.
" When the Indians settle on a reserve and have a sufficient number of children to be taught, the Queen would maintain a school. Another thing, that affects you all, some of you have temptations as the white men have, and therefore the fire 206 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. water which does so much harm will not be allowed to be sold or used in the reserve. Then before I leave the question of reserves I will tell you how we will help you to make your homes there. We would give to every family actually cultivating the soil the following articles; viz., two hoes, one spade, one scythe, one axe, and then to help in breaking the land, one plough and two harrows for every ten families ; and to help you to put up houses we give to each Chief for his band, one chest of carpenter's tools, one cross-cut saw, five hand saws, one pit saw and files, five augers and one grindstone. Then if a band settles on its reserves the people will require something to aid them in breaking the soil. They could not draw the ploughs themselves, therefore we will give to each Chief for the use of his band one or two yokes of oxen according to the number in the band. In order to encourage the keeping of cattle we would give each band a bull and four cows ; having all these things we would give each band enough potatoes, oats, barley and wheat for seed to plant the land actually broken. This would be done once for all to encourage them to grow for themselves.
"Chiefs ought to be respected, they ought to be looked up to by their people; they ought to have good Councillors ; the Chiefs and Councillors should consult for the good of the people ; the Queen expects Indians and whites to obey her laws ; she expects them to live at peace with other Indians and with the white men ; the Chiefs and Councillors should teach their people so, and once the Queen approves a Chief or Councillor he cannot be removed unless he behaves badly.
"The Chiefs and head men are not to be lightly put aside. When a treaty is made they become servants of the Queen ; they are to try and keep order amongst their people. We will try to keep order in the whole country.
"A Chief has his braves ; you see here the braves of our Queen, and why are they here? To see that no white man does wrong to the Indian. To see that none give liquor to the Indian. To see that the Indians do no harm to each The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 207 other. Three years ago some Americans killed some Indians ; when the Queen's Councillors heard of it they said, we will send men there to protect the Indians, the Queen's subjects shall not be shot down by the Americans ; now you understand why the police force is in this country, and you should rejoice.
" I have said a Chief was to be respected ; I wear a uniform because I am an officer of the Queen, the officers of the police wear uniforms as servants of the Queen. So we give to Chiefs and Councillors good and suitable uniform indicating their office, to wear on these and other great days.
"We recognize four head men to each large band and two to each small one.
"I have always been much pleased when Indians came to me and showed me medals given to their grandfathers and transmitted to them ; now we have with us silver medals that no Chief need be ashamed to wear, and I have no doubt that when the Chiefs are gone, they will. be passed on to their children. In addition each Chief will be given a flag to put over his lodge to show that he is a Chief.
"I told you yesterday that I and my brother Commissioners were not here as traders.
" There is one thing I ought to have mentioned in addition to what I have already named, that is, if a treaty is made here and at Fort Pitt, we will give every year to the Indians included in it, one thousand five hundred dollars' worth of ammunition and twine.
"You think only for yourselves, we have to think of the Indians all over the country, we cannot treat one better than another, it would not be just, we will therefore do this, and what I tell you now is the last.
" When the treaty is closed, if it be closed, we will make a present to every man, woman and child, of twelve dollars, the money being paid to the head of a family for his wife, and children not married.
208 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians.
"To each Chief, instead of twelve, we give twenty-five dollars, and to each head man fifteen dollars, their wives and children getting the same as the others. I told you also that what I was promising was not for to-day or to-morrow only, but should continue as long as the sun shone and the river flowed. My words will pass away and so will yours, so I always write down what I promise, that our children may know what we said and did. Next year I shall send copies of what is written in the treaty, printed on skin, so that it cannot rub out nor be destroyed, and one shall be given to each Chief so that there may be no mistakes.
"Then I promise to do as we have done with all before from Cypress Hills to Lake Superior, the Queen will agree to pay yearly five dollars per head for every man, woman and child. I cannot treat you better than the others, but I am ready to treat you as well.
"A little thing I had forgotten, and I have done. The Chiefs' and head men's coats will wear out, they are meant to be worn when it is necessary to show that they are officers of the Queen, and every third year they will be replaced by new ones.
"And now, Indians of the plains, I thank you for the open ear you have given me ; I hold out my hand to you full of the Queen's bounty and I hope you will not put it back. We have no object but to discharge our duty to the Queen and towards you. Now that my hand is stretched out to you, it is for you to say whether you will take it and do as I think you ought—act for the good of your people.
"What I have said has been in the face of the people. These things will hold good next year for those that are now away. I have done. What do you say ?"
MIS-TAH-WAH-SIS here came forward, shook hands with the Governor, and said :—" We have heard all he has told us, but I want to tell him how it is with us as well ; when a thing is thought of quietly, probably that is the best way. I ask this much from him this day that we go and think of his words."
The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 209
The Governor and Commissioners agreed to the request and asked the Indians to meet them Monday morning at ten o'clock with as little delay as possible.
Before parting, the Governor said to the Indians, " This is a great day for us all. I have proposed on behalf of the Queen what I believe to be for your good, and not for yours only, but for that of your children's children, and when you go away think of my words. Try to understand what my heart is towards you. I will trust that we may come together hand to hand and heart to heart again. I trust that God will bless this bright day for our good, and give your Chiefs and Councillors wisdom so that you will accept the words of your Governor. I have said."
Sunday, August 20th.
Divine service, which was largely attended, was held in the square of Fort Carlton, by the Rev. John McKay, at half-past ten am.
At noon a message came from the encampment of Indians requesting the Rev. Mr. McKay to hold service with them, which he did in the afternoon, preaching in their own tongue to a congregation of over two hundred adult Crees.
Monday, August 21st.
The principal Chief sent a message that as the Indians had held no Council on Sunday, they wished to have Monday to themselves and would if ready meet the Commissioners on Tuesday morning.
August 22nd.
The Governor and Commissioners having proceeded as usual to the camp, the Indians soon assembled in order, when the Lieutenant-Governor said :
" Indian children of the Queen, it is now a week to-day since 210 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. I came here on the day I said I would ; I have to go still further after I leave here, and then a long journey home to Red River.
" I have not hurried you, you have had two days to think ; I have spoken much to you, and now I wish to hear you, my ears are open and I wish to hear the voices of your principal Chiefs or of those chosen to speak for them. Now I am waiting."
OO-PEE-TOO-KERAH-HAN-AP-EE-WEE-YIN (the Pond-maker) came forward and said :—" We have heard your words that you had to say to us as the representative of the Queen. We were glad to hear what you had to say, and have gathered together in council and thought the words over amongst us, we were glad to hear you tell us how we might live by our own work. When I commence to settle on the lands to make a living for myself and my children, I beg of you to assist me in every way possible—when I am at a loss how to proceed I want the advice and assistance of the Government ; the children yet unborn, I wish you to treat them in like manner as they advance in civilization like the white man. This is all I have been told to say now, if I have not said anything in a right manner I wish to be excused; this is the voice of the people."
GOVERNOR—"I have heard the voice of the people; I am glad to learn that they are looking forward to having their children civilized, that is the great object of the Government, as is proved by what I have offered. Those that come after us in the Government will think of your children as we think of you. The Queen's Councillors intend to send a man to look after the Indians, to be chief superintendent of Indian affairs, and under him there will be two or three others to live in the country, that the Queen's Councillors may know how the Indians are prospering.
"I cannot promise, however, that the Government will feed and support all the Indians ; you are many, and if we were to try to do it, it would take a great deal of money, and some of The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 211 you would never do anything for yourselves. What I have offered does not take away your living, you will have it then as you have now, and what I offer now is put on top of it. This I can tell you, the Queen's Government will always take a deep interest in your living."
THE BADGER ― "We want to think of our children; we do not want to be too greedy ; when we commence to settle down on the reserves that we select, it is there we want your aid, when we cannot help ourselves and in case of troubles seen and unforeseen in the future."
Sak-ah-moos and several other Indians in order repeated what The Badger had said.
GOVERNOR—" I have told you that the money I have offered you would be paid to you and to your children's children. I know that the sympathy of the Queen, and her assistance, would be given you in any unforeseen circumstances. You must trust to her generosity. Last winter when some of the Indians wanted food because the crops had been destroyed by grasshoppers, although it was not promised in the treaty, nevertheless the Government sent money to buy them food, and in the spring when many of them were sick a man was sent to try and help them. We cannot foresee these things, and all I can promise is that you will be treated kindly, and in that extraordinary circumstances you must trust to the generosity of the Queen. My brother Commissioner, Mr. McKay, will speak to you in your own language."
MR. MCKAY—" My friends, I wish to make you a clear explanation of some things that it appears you do not understand. It has been said to you by your Governor that we did not come here to barter or trade with you for the land. You have made demands on the Governor, and from the way you have put them a white man would understand that you asked for daily provisions, also supplies for your hunt and for your pleasure excursions. Now my reasons for explaining to you are based on my past experience of treaties, for no sooner will 212 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. the Governor and Commissioners turn their backs on you than some of you will say this thing and that thing was promised and the promise not fulfilled; that you cannot rely on the Queen's representative, that even he will not tell the truth, whilst among yourselves are the falsifiers. Now before we rise from here it must be understood, and it must be in writing, all that you are promised by the Governor and Commissioners, and I hope you will not leave until you have thoroughly understood the meaning of every word that comes from us. We have not come here to deceive you, we have not come here to rob you, we have not come here to take away anything that belongs to you, and we are not here to make peace as we would to hostile Indians, because you are the children of the Great Queen as we are, and there has never been anything but peace between us. What you have not understood clearly we will do our utmost to make perfectly plain to you."
GOVERNOR—"I have another word to say to the Indians on this matter: last year an unforeseen calamity came upon the people of Red River, the grasshoppers came and ate all their crops. There is no treaty between the people of Red River and the Queen except that they are her subjects. There was no promise to help them, but I sent down and said that unless help came some of the people would die from want of food, and that they had nothing wherewith to plant. The Queen's Councillors at once gave money to feed the people, and seed that they might plant the ground; but that was something out of and beyond every-day life, and therefore I say that some great sickness or famine stands as a special case. You may rest assured that when you go to your reserves you will be followed by the watchful eye and sympathetic hand of the Queen's Councillors."
THE BADGER—"I do not want you to feed me every day ; you must not understand that from what I have said. When we commence to settle down on the ground to make there our own The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 213 living, it is then we want your help, and that 1s the only way that I can see how the poor can get along."
GOVERNOR —"You will remember the promises which I have already made ; I said you would get seed ; you need not concern yourselves so much about what your grand-children are going to eat ; your children will be taught, and then they will be as well able to take care of themselves as the whites around them."
MIS-TAH-WAH-SIS (one of the leading Chiefs)—"It is well known that if we had plenty to live on from our gardens we would not still insist on getting more provision, but it is in case of any extremity, and from the ignorance of the Indian in commencing to settle that we thus speak ; we are as yet in the dark; this is not a trivial matter for us.
"We were glad to hear what the Governor was saying to us and we understood it, but we are not understood, we do not mean to ask for food for every day but only when we commence and in case of famine or calamity. What we speak of and do now will last as long as the sun shines and the river runs, we are looking forward to our children's children, for we are old and have but few days to live."
AH-TAHK-AH-COOP (the other leading Chief)—" The things we have been talking about in our councils I believe are for our good. I think of the good Councillors of the Queen and of her Commissioners ; I was told the Governor was a good man, and now that I see him I believe he is ; in coming to see us, and what he has spoken, he has removed almost all obstacles and misunderstandings, and I hope he may remove them all. I have heard the good things you promise us, you have told us of the white man's way of living and mentioned some of the animals by which he gets his living, others you did not. We want food in the spring when we commence to farm ; according as the Indian settles down on his reserves, and in proportion as he advances, his wants will increase."
The Indians here asked for the afternoon to hold further 214 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. council. To this the Governor said, "I grant the request of the Indians but I give them a word of warning, do not listen to every voice in your camp, listen to your wise men who know something of life, and do not come asking what is unreasonable, it pains me to have to say no, and I tell you again I cannot treat you with more favor than the other Indians. To-morrow, when we meet, speak out your minds openly, and I will answer, holding nothing back. Be ready to meet me tomorrow, as soon as my flag is raised, for remember I have a long journey before me and we ought to come to a speedy understanding. I trust the God who made you will give you wisdom in considering what you have to deal with.
August 23rd.
Shortly after the business had commenced, proceedings were interrupted by the loud talking of a Chippewa, who was addressing the Indians gathered in front of the tent. The Governor said, "There was an Indian, a Chippewa, stood and spoke to you, he did not speak to his Governor as he should have done : I am willing to hear what any band has to say, but they must speak to me. I have been talking to the Crees for several days. I wish to go on with the work; if the Chippewas want to talk with me I will hear them afterwards. They are a little handful of strangers from the east, I have treated with their whole nation, they are not wiser than their people.
" There are many reasons why business should go on ; I hear that the buffalo are near you and you want to be off to your hunt ; there are many mouths here to feed and provisions are getting low ; now my friends I am ready to hear you."
TEE—TEE-QUAY-SAY—" Listen to me, my friends, all you who are sitting around here, and you will soon hear what the interpreter has to say for us."
The interpreter then read a list of the things the Indians The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 215 had agreed in council to ask, viz. :—One ox and cow for each family. Four hoes, two spades, two scythes and a Whetstone for each family. Two axes, two hay forks, two reaping hooks, one plough and one harrow for every three families. To each Chief one chest of tools as proposed. Seed of every kind in full to every one actually cultivating the soil. To make some provision for the poor, unfortunate, blind and lame. To supply us with a minister and school teacher of whatever denomination we belong to. To prevent fire-water being sold in the whole Saskatchewan.
As the tribe advances in civilization, all agricultural implements to be supplied in proportion.
When timber becomes scarcer on the reserves we select for ourselves, we want to be free to take it anywhere on the common. If our choice of a reserve does not please us before it is surveyed we want to be allowed to select another. We want to be at liberty to hunt on any place as usual. If it should happen that a Government bridge or scow is built on the Saskatchewan at any place, we want passage free. One boar, two sows, one horse, harness and waggon for each Chief. One cooking stove for each Chief. That we be supplied with medicines free of cost. That a hand-mill be given to each band. Lastly in case of war occurring in the country, we do not want to be liable to serve in it.
TEE-TEE-QUAY-SAY then continued—" When we look back to the past we do not see where the Cree nation has ever watered the ground with the white man's blood, he has always been our friend and we his ; trusting to the Giver of all good, to the generosity of the Queen, and to the Governor and his councillors, we hope you will grant us this request."
WAH-WEE-KAH-NIHK—KAH-OO-TAH-MAII-HOTE the man you strike in the back)—" Pity the voice of the Indian, if you grant what we request the sound will echo through the land; open the way; I speak for the children that they may be glad; the land is wide, there is plenty of room. My mouth is full of 216 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. milk, I am only as a sucking child ; I am glad ; have compassion on the manner in which I was brought up ; let our children be clothed ; let us now stand in the light of day to see our way on this earth ; long ago it was good when we first were made, I wish the same were back again. But now the law has come, and in that I wish to walk. What God has said, and our mother here (the earth), and these our brethren, let it be so."
To this the Governor replied—" Indians, I made you my offer. You have asked me now for many things, some of which were already promised. You are like other Indians I have met, you can ask very well. You are right in asking, because you are saying what is in your minds. I have had taken down a list of what you have asked, and I will now consult with my brother Commissioners and give you my answer in a little while."
After consultation, the Governor again had the Indians assembled, and said—" I am ready now to answer you, but understand well, it is not to be talked backwards and forwards. I am not going to act like a man bargaining for a horse for you. I have considered well what you have asked for, and my answer will be a final one. I cannot grant everything you ask, but as far as I can go I will, and when done I can only say you will be acting to your own interests if you take my hand.
" I will speak of what you asked yesterday and to-day. I told you yesterday that if any great sickness or general famine overtook you, that on the Queen being informed of it by her Indian agent, she in her goodness would give such help as she thought the Indians needed. You asked for help when you settled on your reserves during the time you were planting. You asked very broadly at first. I think the request you make now is reasonable to a certain extent ; but help should be given after you settle on the reserve for three years only, for after that time you should have food of your own raising, besides The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 217 all the things that are given to you; this assistance would only be given to those actually cultivating the soil. Therefore, I would agree to give every spring, for three years, the sum of one thousand dollars to assist you in buying provisions while planting the ground. I do this because you seem anxious to make a living for yourselves, it is more than has been done anywhere else; I must do it on my own responsibility, and trust to the other Queen's councillors to ratify it.
" I will now answer what you had written down and asked to-day. I expect you to be reasonable, none of us get all our own way. You asked first for four hoes, two spades, two scythes and Whetstone, two axes, two hay forks and two reaping hooks for every family. I am willing to give them to every family actually cultivating the soil, for if given to all it would only encourage idleness. You ask a plough and harrow for every three families; I am willing to give them on the same conditions. The carpenters' tools, as well as the seed grain, were already promised. I cannot undertake the responsibility of promising provision for the poor, blind and lame. In all parts of the Queen's dominions we have them; the poor whites have as much reason to be helped as the poor Indian; they must be left to the charity and kind hearts of the people. If you are prosperous yourselves you can help your unfortunate brothers.
"You ask for school teachers and ministers. With regard to ministers I cannot interfere. There are large societies formed for the purpose of sending the gospel to the Indians. The Government does not provide ministers anywhere in Canada. I had already promised you that when you settled down, and there were enough children, schools would be maintained You see missionaries here on the ground, both Roman Catholic and Protestant; they have been in the country for many years. As it has been in the past, so it will be again, you will not be forgotten.
"The police force is here to prevent the selling or giving of 218 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. liquor to the Indians. The Queen has made a strong law against the fire-water; and the councillors of the country have made a law against the use of poison for animals.
"You can have no difficulty in choosing your reserves; be sure to take a good place so that there will he no need to change; you would not be held to your choice until it was surveyed.
" You want to be at liberty to hunt as before. I told you we did not want to take that means of living from you, you have it the same as before, only this, if a man, whether Indian or Half-breed, had a good field of grain, you would not destroy it with your hunt. In regard to bridges and scows on which you want passage free, I do not think it likely that the Government will build any, they prefer to leave it to private enterprise to provide these things.
"In case of war you ask not to be compelled to fight. I trust there will be no war, but if it should occur I think the Queen would leave you to yourselves. I am sure she would not ask her Indian children to fight for her unless they wished, but if she did call for them and their wives and children were in danger they are not the men I think them to be, if they did not come forward to their protection.
"A medicine chest will be kept at the house of each Indian agent, in case of sickness amongst you. I now come to two requests which I shall have to change a little, you have to think only of yourselves, we have to think of all the Indians and of the way in which we can procure the money to purchase all these things the Indians require. The Queen's Councillors will have to pay every year to help the Indians a very large sum of money.
"I offered you to each band, according to size, two or four oxen, also one bull and four cows, and now you ask for an ox and a cow for each family. I suppose in this treaty there will be six hundred families, so it would take very much money to grant these things, and then all the other Indians would want The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 219 them, so we cannot do it : but that you may see it that we are anxious to have you raise animals of your own we will give you for each band four oxen, one bull, six cows, one boar and two pigs. After a band has settled on a reserve and commenced to raise grain, we will give them a hand-mill.
" At first we heard of only two Chiefs, now they are becoming many. You ask a cooking-stove for each, this we cannot give ; he must find a way of cooking for himself. And now, although I fear I am going too far, I will grant the request that each Chief be furnished with a horse, harness, and waggon.
" I have answered your requests very fully, and that there may be no mistake as to what we agree upon, it will be written down, and I will leave a copy with the two principal Chiefs, and as soon as it can be properly printed I will send copies to the Chiefs so that they may know what is written, and there can be no mistake.
" It now rests with you, my friends, and I ask you without any hesitation to take what I have offered you."
AH-TUCK-AH-COOP—" I never sent a letter to the Governor ; I was waiting to meet him, and what we have asked we considered would be for the benefit of our children. I am not like some of my friends who have sent their messages down, even stretched out their hands to the Queen asking her to come ; I have always said to my people that I would wait to see the Governor arrive, then he would ask what would benefit his children ; now I ask my people, those that are in favour of the offer, to say so."
They all assented by holding up their hands and shouting.
OO-PEE-TOO-KORAH-HAIR-AP-EE-WEE-YIN (The Pond-maker)— " I do not differ from my people, but I want more explanation. I heard what you said yesterday, and I thought that when the law was established in this country it would be for our good. From what I can hear and see now, I cannot understand that I shall be able to clothe my children and feed them as long as 220 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. sun shines and water runs. With regard to the different Chiefs who are to occupy the reserves, I expected they would receive sufficient for their support, this is why I speak. In the presence of God and the Queen's representative I say this, because I do not know how to build a house for myself, you see how naked I am, and if I tried to do it my naked body would suffer; again, I do not know how to cultivate the ground for myself, at the same time I quite understand what you have offered to assist us in this."
JOSEPH THOMAS proposed to speak for The Red Pheasant, Chief of Battle River Indians—"This is not my own desire that I speak now, it is very hard we cannot all be of one mind. You know some were not present when the list of articles mentioned was made, there are many things overlooked in it; it is true that what has been done this morning is good. What has been overlooked I will speak about. The one that is next to the Chief (first head man) should have had a horse as well. I want the Governor to give us somebody to build our houses, we cannot manage it ourselves, for my own part you see my crippled hand. It is true the Governor says he takes the responsibility on himself in granting the extra requests of the Indians, but let him consider on the quality of the land he has already treated for. There is no farming land whatever at the north-west angle, and he goes by what he has down there. What I want, as he has said, is twenty-five dollars to each Chief and to his head men twenty dollars. I do not want to keep the lands nor do I give away, but I have set the value. I want to ask as much as will cover the skin of the people, no more nor less. I think what he has offered is too little. When you spoke you mentioned ammunition, I did not hear mention of a gun; we will not be able to kill anything simply by setting fire to powder. I want a gun for each Chief and head man, and I want ten miles around the reserve where I may be settled. I have told the value I have put on my land."
The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 221
GOVERNOR—" I have heard what has been said on behalf of the Red Pheasant. I find fault that when there was handed me a list from the Indians, the Red Pheasant sat still and led me to believe he was a party to it. What I have offered was thought of long before I saw you ; it has been accepted by others more in number than you are. I am glad that so many are of our mind. I am surprised you are not all. I hold out a full hand to you, and it will be a bad day for you and your children if I have to return and say that the Indians threw away my hand. I cannot accede to the requests of the Red Pheasant. I have heard and considered the wants of Mist-ow- asis and Ah-tuck-ah-coop, and when the people were spoken to I understood they were pleased. As for the little band who are not of one mind with the great body, I am quite sure that a week will not pass on leaving this before they will regret it. I want the Indians to understand that all that has been offered is a gift, and they still have the same mode of living as before."
Here the principal Chiefs intimated the acceptance of the proposal of the Commissioners, the Red Pheasant repudiating the demands and remarks of Joseph Thoma.
GOVERNOR—" I am happy at what we have done ; I know it has been a good work ; I know your hearts will be glad as the days pass. This will be the fourth time that I have done what we are going to do to-day. I thank you for your trust in me. I have had written down what I promised. For the Queen and in her name I will sign it, likewise Mr. McKay and Mr. Christie. Then I will ask the Chiefs and their head men to sign it in the presence of the witnesses, whites and Metis, around us, some of whom I will also ask to sign. What we have done has been done before the Great Spirit and in the face of the people.
"I will ask the interpreter to read to you what has been written, and before I go away I will have a copy made to leave with the principal Chiefs. The payments will be made tomorrow, the suits of clothes, medals and flags given. also, 222 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. besides which a present of calicoes, shirts, tobacco, pipes and other articles will be given to the Indians."
MIS-TOW-ASIS—" I wish to speak a word for some Half-breeds who wish to live on the reserves with us, they are as poor as we are and need help."
GOVERNOR—" How many are there?"
MIS-TOW-ASIS—" About twenty."
GOVERNOR—"The Queen has been kind to the Half- breeds of Red River and has given them much land; we did not come as messengers to the Half-breeds, but to the Indians. I have heard some Half-breeds want to take lands at Red River and join the Indians here, but they cannot take with both hands. The Half-breeds of the North-West cannot come into the Treaty. The small class of Half-breeds who live as Indians and with the Indians, can be regarded as Indians by the Commissioners, who will judge of each case on its own merits as it comes up, and will report their action to the Queen's Councillors for their approval.
The treaty was then signed by the Lieutenant-Governor, Hon. James McKay, Hon. W. J. Christie, Mist-ow-asis, Ah- tuck-ah-coop, and the remainder of the Chiefs and the Councillors.
August 24th.
Immediately on meeting at ten a.m., the Governor called up Mis-tow-asis and Ah-tuck-ah-coop, the two principal Chiefs, and presented their uniforms, medals and flags; after them the lesser Chiefs, their medals and flags, and told them they and their Councillors would get their uniforms in the evening from the stores. The Governor then told them that Mr. Christie would commence payments as soon as he had finished talking with the few Saulteaux; he expected the Chiefs and Councillors to assist in every way possible; if any of the Chiefs had decided where they would like to have their reserves, they could tell Mr. Christie when they went to be paid. " Now, I have only to The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 223 say farewell ; we have done a good work ; we will never all of us meet again face to face, but I go on to my other work, feeling that I have, in the Queen's hands, been instrumental to your good. I pray God's blessing upon you to make you happy and prosperous, and I bid you farewell."
The Indians intimated their pleasure by a general shout of approval, and thus broke up the conference which resulted in the Treaty with the Carlton Crees.
The Lieutenant-Governor then met the few Chippewas who came forward, and told them that they must be paid at the place where they belonged, that they could not be paid at Fort Pitt, and said, "If what I have heard is true I shall not be well pleased. I am told you are of a bad mind ; you proposed to prevent me from crossing the river ;* if you did it was very foolish ; you could no more stop me than you could the river itself. Then I am told you tried to prevent the other Indians from making the treaty. I tell you this to your faces so if it is not true you can say so ; but whether it is or not it makes no difference in my duty. The Queen has made treaties with the whole Chippewa nation except two or three little wandering bands such as you ; you have heard all that has been said and done these many days ; I would like to see you helped as well as the other Indians ; I do not think you are wiser than the Chippewas from Lake Superior to the North-West Angle ; I went there with Mr. McKay, and we made a treaty with twenty Chiefs and four thousand Chippewas."
NUS-WAS-OO-WAH-TUM—" When we asked the Cree bands what they intended to do with regard to the treaty they would not come to us ; it is true we told them 'do not be in a hurry in giving your assent ;' you ought to be detained a little while ; all along the prices have been to one side, and we have had no say. He that made us provided everything for our mode of living ; I have seen this all along, it has brought me up and I am not tired of it, and for you, the white man, everything has been made for 224 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. your maintenance, and now that you come and stand on this our earth (ground) I do not understand ; I see dimly to-day what you are doing, and I find fault with a portion of it ; that is why I stand back ; I would have been glad if every white man of every denomination were now present to hear what I say ; through what you have done you have cheated my kinsmen."
GOVERNOR—" I will not sit here and hear such words from the Chippewas. Who are you? You come from my country and you tell me the Queen has cheated you ; it is not so. You say we have the best of the bargains ; you know it is not so. If you have any requests to make in a respectful manner I am ready to hear."
CHIPPEWA—"The God that made us and who alone is our master, I am afraid of Him to deviate from his commandment."
The Chippewas, about half a dozen in all, being from Quill Lake chiefly, left, and Mr. Christie proceeded with the payments, which occupied the remainder of the 24th and all the 25th. He paid in all, Chiefs, 13 ; head men 44 ; men, 262 ; women, 473 ; boys, 473 ; girls, 481 ; from Treaty Number Four, 41 ; total, 1,787. A large number of the tribe absent at the hunt will be paid next year.
Next morning, the 26th, the whole Cree camp, headed by their Chiefs and head men, wearing their uniforms and medals, came to Carlton House and assembled in the square to pay their farewell visit to the Governor; the Chiefs came forward in order and shook hands, each one making a few remarks expressive of their gratitude for the benefits received and promised, and of their good will to the white man.
The Governor briefly replied, telling them that he was much gratified with the manner in which they had behaved throughout the treaty; he had never dealt with a quieter, more orderly and respectful body of Indians ; he was pleased with the manner in which they had met him and taken his advice ; he was The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 225 glad to hear that they were determined to go to work and help themselves: he hoped their Councils would always be wisely conducted, and that they would do everything in their power to maintain peace amongst themselves and with their neighbors ; he hoped the Almighty would give them wisdom and prosper them. They then gave three cheers for the Queen, the Governor, the mounted police and Mr. Lawrence Clarke, of Carlton House.
On the 27th a message was received from Duck Lake from the Willow Indians, the band which had hitherto held aloof, in reply to a message sent to them by the Governor, that they would meet the Governor and Commissioners at the place designated by the Governor, the camp of the Hon. James McKay, about five miles from Carlton House. Accordingly, the next morning the Commissioners met them, and after the usual ceremonial hand-shaking,
SAY-SWAY-PUS—" God has given us a beautiful day for which I feel very grateful. By grasping your hand I am grasping that of our Mother, the Queen. If it is your intention to honor me with a Chief's clothing, I wish you would give me one that would correspond with the sky above. I hope we will be able to understand each other." '
CHIN-UN-US-KUT (The Stump)—"I feel very grateful that I am spared by the Great Spirit to see this day of his, may we be blessed in whatever we do this day."
GOVERNOR—"Crees, my brother children of the Great Queen, I am glad to meet you here to-day. I say as you said the first day I saw you, 'it is a bright day and I hope God will bless us.' I have been sorry for you for many days. I took you by the hand on the first day, but a wall rose up between us, it seemed as if you were trying to draw away but I would not let your hand go. I talked for many days with the great body of the Indians here but you refused to meet me ; the others and I understood each other. I was going away to-day, but I thought pity of you who had not talked with me, I was sent 226 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. here to make you understand the Queen's will. I received your letter last night and was glad to learn that you wanted to accept the terms I had offered, and which had been accepted by the other Indians. Before I received your letter I had sent you one asking you to meet me here where we are now, and I am glad you have come, as I could not otherwise have met you.
"One of you made a request that if he were accepted as a Chief, he should have a blue coat. I do not yet know who the Chiefs are. To be a Chief he must have followers. One man came forward as a Chief and I had to tell him unless you have twenty tents you cannot continue as a Chief.
"The color of your Chief's coat is perhaps a little thing; red is the color all the Queen's Chiefs wear. I wear this coat, but it is only worn by those who stand as the Queen's Councillors; her soldiers and her officers wear red, and all the other Chiefs of the Queen wear the coats we have brought, and the good of this is that when the Chief is seen with his uniform and medal every one knows he is an officer of hers. I should be sorry to see you different from the others, and now that you understand you would not wish it."
KAH-MEE-YIS-TOO-WAYS (The Beardy)—"I feel grateful for this day, and I hope we will be blessed. I am glad that I see something that will be of use; I wish that we all as a people may be benefitted by this. I want that all these things should be preserved in a manner that they might be useful to us all ; it is in the power of men to help each other. We should not act foolishly with the things that are given us to live by. I think some things are too little, they will not be sufficient for our wants. I do not want very much more than what has been promised, only a little thing. I will be glad if you will help me by writing my request down ; on account of the buffalo I am getting anxious. I wish that each one should have an equal share, if that could be managed; in this I think we would be doing good. Perhaps this is not the only time The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 227 that we shall see each other. Now I suppose another can say what he wishes. .
SAY-SWAY-KUS—" What my brother has said, I say the same, but I want to tell him and our mother the Queen, that although we understand the help they offer us, I am getting alarmed when I look at the buffalo, it appears to me as if there was only one. I trust to the Queen and to the Governor, it is only through their aid we can manage to preserve them. I want to hear from the Governor himself an answer to what I have said, so I may thoroughly understand."
THE BEARDY—"Those things which the Almighty has provided for the sustenance of his children may be given us as well ; where our Father has placed the truth we wish the same to be carried out here, I do not set up a barrier to any road that my children may live by : I want the payment to exist as long as the sun shines and the river runs : if we exercise all our good, this surely will happen : all of our words upon which we agree, I wish to have a copy written on skin as promised ; I want my brother to tell me where I can get this. He has said, ' what I have done with the others I will do with you :' I accept the terms, no doubt it will run further according to our number. When I am utterly unable to help myself I want to receive assistance. I will render all the assistance I can to my brother in taking care of the country. I want from my brother a suit of clothing in color resembling the sky so that he may be able when he sees me to know me ; I want these two (sitting by him) to be Chiefs in our place with me and to have six Councillors (two each) in all."
GOVERNOR—"I will speak to you in regard to food as I have spoken to the other Indians ; we cannot support or feed the Indians every day, further than to help them to find the means of doing it for themselves by cultivating the soil. If you were to be regularly fed some of you would do nothing at all for your own support; in this matter we will do as we have agreed with the other Indians, and no more. You will get 228 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. your share of the one thousand dollars' worth of provisions when you commence to work on your reserves.
"In a national famine or general sickness, not what happens in every day life, but if a great blow comes on the Indians, they would not be allowed to die like dogs.
"What occurred in Red River last year from the destruction of crops by the grasshoppers, affected our whole people, and without being bound to do anything, the charity and humanity of the Government sent means to help them.
"I cannot give the Chief a blue coat: he must accept the red one and he must not suffer so small a matter as the color of a coat to stand between us. I accept the three Chiefs with two Councillors for each. With regard to the preservation of the buffalo, it is a subject of great importance, it will be considered by the Lieutenant-Governor and Council of the North- West Territories to see if a wise law can be passed, one that will be a living law that can be carried out and obeyed. If such a law be passed it will be printed in Cree as well as in English and French ; but what the law will be I cannot tell— you held councils over the treaty, you did not know before the councils closed what you would decide as to the treaty—no more can I tell what the North-West Council will decide."
A request was then made that the treaty should include the Half-breeds, to which the Governor replied : " I have explained to the other Indians that the Commissioners did not come to the Half-breeds : there were however a certain class of Indian Half-breeds who had always lived in the camp with the Indians and were in fact Indians, would be recognized, but no others."
The Chiefs and head men then signed the treaty in the presence of witnesses, the medals and flags were distributed, payments and distribution of clothing proceeded with and finished, and the conference came to an end.
The Lieutenant-Governor and party started from Carlton House on the 3lst of August at noon, for Fort Pitt, and when within about six miles of that post came up with a detachment The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 229 of Mounted Police under Inspectors Jarvis and Walker, who escorted them to the fort, arriving on the day appointed (5th September) at an early hour.
There were already assembled near the fort and on the banks of the Saskatchewan over one hundred lodges, and as more were immediately expected they requested postponement of negotiations until the 7th September.
On the morning of the 6th, Sweet Grass, one of the oldest and most respected of the Cree Chiefs, with about thirty of his chief men, who had left their hunt and come in to Fort Pitt purposefully  to attend the treaty negotiations, called on the Governor to express their satisfaction at his coming and their pleasure in seeing him; the greeting which was certainly affectionate, consisted in the embrace of both arms about the neck and a fraternal kiss on either cheek ; after a short conversation the Governor told them he expected them to be ready to meet him at his tent in the morning, time was rapidly passing and he had a long journey yet before him ; he trusted their Councils would be wise and the results would be beneficial to them.
The Hon. Jas. McKay arrived from Battle River in the evening, and reported that he had met there a number of Indians, principally Saulteaux, who had been in camp at that place for [?]. They said there had been about seventy lodges altogether but as the buffalo were coming near, the poorer ones had started out to hunt, leaving only about ten lodges there. The remaining ones expressed good feeling and said they would like to have waited until the time appointed (September 15th) to meet the Governor and take the treaty, yet as the buffalo hunt was of so much importance to them they could not afford to lose the time, knowing that the Governor had to go Fort Pitt and return before they could see him, consequently the whole band went out to the plains. This band was composed, it was afterwards ascertained, of the Saulteaux of Jack Fish Lake and of some Crees under the Yellow Sky Chief, and were favorably disposed though unable to remain. They numbered in all sixty-seven tents.
230 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians.
September 7th.
At ten in the morning the Governor and Commissioners, escorted by the Mounted Police, proceeded to the treaty tent a short distance from the fort. About eleven o'clock the Indians commenced to gather, as at Carlton, in a large semicircle. In front were the young men, galloping about on their horses, then the Chiefs and head men, followed by the main body of the band to the number of two or three hundred. As they approached the manoeuvres of the horsemen became more and more excited and daring, racing [?] about so rapidly as to be barely distinguishable; unfortunately, from some mischance, two horses and their riders came into collision with such tremendous force as to throw both horses and men violently to the ground; both horses were severely injured and one of the Indians had his hip put out of joint; fortunately, Dr. Kittson of the police, was near by and speedily gave relief to the poor sufferer. The ceremonies, however, still went on; four pipe- stems were carried about and presented to be stroked in token of good feeling and amity (during this performance the band of the Mounted Policd played "God save the Queen), blessings invoked on the whole gathering, the dances performed by the various bands and finally the pipes of peace smoked by the Governor and Commissioners in turn. The stems, which were finely decorated, were placed with great solemnity on the table in front of the Governor, to be covered for the bearers with blue cloth.
The Chiefs and head men now seated themselves in front of the tent, when the Governor addressed them :
"Indians of the plains, Crees, Chippewayans, Assiniboines and Chippewas, my message is to all. I am here to-day as your Governor under the Queen. The Crees for many days have sent word that they wanted to see some one face to face. The Crees are the principal tribe of the plain Indians, and it is for me a pleasant duty to be here to-day and receive the welcome I have from them. I am here because the Queen The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt.   231 and her Councillors have the good of the Indian at heart, because you are the Queen's children and we must think of you for to-day and to-morrow; the condition of the Indians and their future has given the Queen's Councillors much anxiety. In the old provinces of Canada from which I came we have many Indians, they are growing in numbers and are as a rule happy and prosperous; for a hundred years red and white hands have been clasped together in peace. The instructions of the Queen are to treat the Indians as brothers, and so we ought to be. The Great Spirit made this earth we are on. He planted the trees and made the rivers flow for the good of all his people, white and red; the country is very wide and there is room for all. It is six years since the Queen took back into her own hands the government of her subjects, red and white, in this country; it was thought her Indian children would be better cared for in her own hand. This is the seventh time in the last five years that her Indian children have been called together for this purpose; this is the fourth time that I have met my Indian brothers, and standing here on this bright day with the sun above us, I cast my eyes to the East down to the great lakes and I see a broad road leading from there to the Red River, I see it stretching on to Ellice, I see it branching there, the one to Qu'Appelle and Cypress Hills, the other by Pelly to Carlton; it is a wide and plain trail. Anyone can see it, and on that road, taking for the Queen, the hand of the Governor and Commissioners I see all the Indians. I see the Queen's Councillors taking the Indian by the hand saying we are brothers, we will lift you up, we will teach you, if you will learn, the cunning of the white man. All along that road I see Indians gathering. I see gardens growing and houses building; I see them receiving money from the Queen's Commissioners to purchase clothing for their children; at the same time I see them enjoying their hunting and fishing as before, I see them retaining their old mode of living with the Queen's gift in addition.
The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. 231
"I met the Crees at Carlton, they heard my words there, they read my face, and through that my heart, and said my words were true, and they took my hand on behalf of the Queen. What they did I wish you to do; I wish you to travel on the road I have spoken of, a road I see stretching out broad and plain to the Rocky Mountains. I know you have been told many stories, some of them not true; do not listen to the bad voices of men who have their own ends to serve, listen rather to those who have only your good at heart. I have come a long way to meet you; last year I sent you a message that you would be met this year, and I do not forget my promises.
"I went to Ottawa, where the Queen's Councillors have their council chamber, to talk, amongst other things, about you.
"I have come seven hundred miles to see you. Why should I take all this trouble? For two reasons, first, the duty was put upon me as one of the Queen's Councillors, to see you with my brother Commissioners, Hon. W. J. Christie and Hon. Jas. McKay. The other reason is a personal one, because since I was a young man my heart was warm to the Indians, and I have taken a great interest in them 5 for more than twenty-five years I have studied their condition in the present and in the future. I have been many years in public life, but the first words I spoke in public were for the Indians, and in that vision of the day I saw the Queen's white men understanding their duty; I saw them understanding that they had no right to wrap themselves up in a cold mantle of selfishness, that they had no right to turn away and say, 'Am I my brother's keeper ?' On the contrary, I saw them saying, the Indians are our brothers, we must try to help them to make a living for themselves and their children. I tell you, you must think of those who will come after you. As I came here I saw tracks leading to the lakes and water-courses, once well beaten, now grown over with grass; I saw bones bleaching by the wayside; I saw the places where the buffalo had been, and I The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 233 thought what will become of the Indian. I said to myself, we must teach the children to prepare for the future; if we do not, but a few suns will pass and they will melt away like snow before the sun in spring-time. You know my words are true; you see for yourselves and know that your numbers are lessening every year. Now the whole burden of my message from the Queen is that we wish to help you in the days that are to come, we do not want to take away the means of living that you have now, we do not want to tie you down; we want you to have homes of your own where your children can be taught to raise for themselves food from the mother earth. You may not all be ready for that, but some, I have no doubt, are, and in a short time others will follow. I am here to talk plainly, I have nothing to hide; I am here to tell you what we are ready to do. Your tribe is not all here at the present time, some of the principal Chiefs are absent, this cannot be avoided, the country is wide and when the buffalo come near you must follow them; this does not matter, for what I have to give is for the absent as well as for the present. Next year if the treaty is made, a Commissioner will be sent to you, and you will be notified of the times and places of meeting, so that you will not have long journeys; after that, two or three servants of the Queen will be appointed to live in the country to look after the Indians, and see that the terms of the treaty are carried out.
"I have not yet given you my message. I know you have heard what your brothers did at Carlton, and I expect you to do the same here, for if you do not you will be the first Indians who refused to take my hand. At Carlton I had a slight difficulty; one of the Chiefs dreamt that instead of making the treaty at the camp of the great body of the Indians, I made it at his, and so his people stood aside. I was sorry for him and his people. I did not wish to go and leave them out. I sent him word after I had made the treaty, and brought him in with the others. When I went to North-VVest Angle I met 234 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. the Chippewa nation; they were not all present, but the absent ones were seen the next year. I told them the message from the Queen, and what she wished to do for them; in all four thousand Indians accepted the Treaty, and now, I am glad to say, many of them have homes and gardens of their own. The next year I went to Qu'Appelle and saw the Crees and Chippewas, and there five thousand understood us and took our hands. Last summer I went with Mr. McKay to Lake Winnipeg, and there all the Swampy Crees accepted the Queen's terms. Now I have stroked the pipe with your brothers at Carlton as with you.
"Three years ago a party of Assiniboines were shot by American traders; men, women and children were killed; we reported the affair to Ottawa; we said the time has come when you must send the red-coated servantsof the Queen to the North-West to protect the Indian from fire-water, from being shot down by men who know no law, to preserve peace between the Indians, to punish all who break the law, to prevent whites from doing wrong to Indians, and they are here today to do honor to the office which I hold. Our Indian Chiefs wear red coats, and wherever they meet the police they will know they meet friends. I know that you have been told that if war came you would be put in the front, this is not so. Your brothers at Carlton asked me that they might not be forced to fight, and .I. tell you, as I assured them, you will never be asked to fight against your will; and I trust the time will never come of war between the Queen and the great country near us.
"Again, I say, all we seek is your good; I speak openly, as brother to brother, as a father to his children, and I would give you a last advice, hear my words, come and join the great band of Indians who are walking hand-in-hand with us on the road I spoke of when I began—a road, I believe in my heart, will lead the Indian on to a much more comfortable state than he is in now. My words, when they are accepted, are written down, and they last, as I have said to the others, as The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 235 long as the sun shines and the river runs. I expect you are prepared for the message I have to deliver, and I will wait to see if any of the Chiefs wish to speak before I go further."
Sweet Grass, the principal Cree Chief, rose, and taking the Governor by the hand, said, "We have heard what the Governor has said, and now the Indians want to hear the terms of the treaty, after which they will all shake hands with the Governor and Commissioners, we then want to go to our camp to meet in council."
The Governor then very carefully and distinctly explained the terms and promises of the treaty as made at Carlton; this was received by the Indians with loud assenting exclamations.
On the 8th the Indians sent a message that they required further time for deliberation, and the meeting was put off until the 9th.
On the morning of the 9th the Indians were slow in gathering, as they wished to settle all difliculties and misunderstandings amongst themselves before coming to the treaty tent, this was apparently accomplished about eleven a.m., when the whole body approached and seated themselves in good order, when the Governor said :—
" Indian children of the Great Queen, we meet again on a bright day; you heard many words from me the other day; I delivered you my message from the Queen; I held out my hand in the Queen's name, full of her bounty. You asked time to consult together; I gave it to you very gladly, because I did not come here to surprise you. I trust the Great Spirit has put good thoughts into your hearts, and your wise men have found my words good. I am now ready to hear whether you are prepared to do as the great body of the Indian people have done; it is now for the Indians to speak through those whom they may choose; my heart is warm to you, and my ears are open."
Ku-ye-win (The Eagle) addressed the Indians, telling them not to be afraid, that the Governor was to them as a brother; 236 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. that what the Queen wished to establish through him was for their good, and if any of them wished to speak to do so.
After waiting some time the Governor said, "I had hoped the Indians would have taken me at my word, and taken me as a brother and a friend. True, I am the Queen's Governor; that I am here to-day shows me to be your friend. Why can you not open your hearts to me? I have met many Indians before, but this is the first time I have had all the talking to do myself. Now, cast everything behind your backs, and speak to me face to face. I have offered as we have done to the other Indians. Tell me now whether you will take my hand and accept it; there is nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to be afraid of; think of the good of your children and your children's children. Stand up now like wise men and tell me if you will take what I offered. I cannot believe it to be possible that you would throw my hand back. Speak and do not be afraid or ashamed.
WEE-KAS-KOO-KEE-SAY-YIN (Sweet Grass)—" I thank you for this day, and also I thank you for what I have seen and heard, I also thank the Queen for sending you to act for our good. I am glad to have a brother and friend in you, which undoubtedly will raise us above our present condition. I am glad for your offers, and thank you from my heart. I speak this in the presence of the Divine Being. It is all for our good, I see nothing to be afraid of, I therefore accept of it gladly and take your hand to my heart, may this continue as long as this earth stands and the river flows. The Great King, our Father, is now looking upon us this day, He regards all the people equal with one another; He has mercy on the whole earth; He has opened a new world to us. I have pity on all those who have to live by the buffalo. If I am spared until this time next year I want this my brother to commence to act for me, thinking thereby that the buffalo may be protected. It is for that reason I give you my hand. If spared, I shall commence at once to clear a small piece of land for myself, The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 237 and others of my kinsmen will do the same. We will commence hand in hand to protect the buffalo. When I hold your hand I feel as if the Great Father were looking on us both as brothers. I am thankful. May this earth here never see the white man's blood spilt on it. I thank God that we stand together, that you all see us; I am thankful that I can raise up my head, and the white man and red man can stand together as long as the sun shines. When I hold your hands and touch your heart, as I do now (suiting his action to the words), let us be as one. Use your utmost to help me and help my children, so that they may prosper."
The Chief's remarks were assented to by the Indians by loud ejaculations.
GOVERNOR—"I rise with a glad heart; we have come together and understood each other. I am glad that you have seen the right way. I am glad you have accepted so unanimously the offer made. I will tell the Queen's Councillors what good hearts their Indian children have; I will tell them that they think of the good of their children's children.
"I feel that we have done to-day a good work; the years will pass away and we with them, but the work we have done to-day will stand as the hills. What we have said and done has been written down; my promises at Carlton have been written down and cannot be rubbed out, so there can be no mistake about what is agreed upon. I will now have the terms of the treaty fully read and explained to you, and before I go away I will leave a copy with your principal Chief.
"After I and the Commissioners, for the Queen, have signed the treaty, I will call upon your Chief and Councillors to do the same; and before the payments are made by Mr. Christie, I will give the Chiefs the medals of the Queen and their flags.
"Some of your Chiefs and people are away; next year we will send men near to where their bands live, notice will be given, and those who are away now will receive the present of money we are going to give you, the same as if they had been 238 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. here, and when you go back to the plains I ask you to tell your brothers what we have done."
The Governor and Commissioners then signed the treaty on the part of the Queen, and nine Chiefs and as many of their Councillors as were with them signed on behalf of the Indians.
James Seenum, Chief of White Fish Lake Crees, said that when he commenced to cultivate the soil some years ago, Mr. Christie, then chief factor of the Hudson Bay Company, gave him a plough that he had used but it was now broken. When he commenced he and his brothers drew the plough themselves, and they pulled up roots and used them for hoes. Mr. Christie also gave me a pit-saw and a grindstone, and I am using them yet. I feel my heart sore in the spring when my children want to plough—when they have no implements to use, that is why I am asking them now to have them sent as soon as possible. By following what I have been taught I find it helps me a great deal.
THE LITTLE HUNTER—" I am here alone just now; if I am spared to see next spring, then I will select my Councillors, those thta I think worthy I will choose. I am glad from my very heart. I feel in taking the Governor's hand as if I was taking the Queen's. When I hear her words that she is going to put to rights this country, it is the help of God that has put it in her heart to come to our assistance. In sending her bounty to us I wish an everlasting grasp of her hand, as long as the sun moves and the river flows. I am glad that the truth and all good things have been opened to us. I am thankful for the children for they will prosper. All the children who are sitting here hope that the Great Spirit will look down upon us as one."
SEE-KAHS-KOOTCH (The Cut Arm)—"I am glad of the goodness of the great Queen. I recognize now that this that I once dreaded most is coming to my aid and doing for me what I could not do for myself."
TUS-TUK-EE-SKUAIS—" I am truly glad that the Queen has   The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 239 made a new country for me. I am glad that all my friends and children will not be in want of food hereafter. I am   glad that we have everything which we had before still extended to us."
PEE-QUAY-SIS—" I need not say anything; I have been well   pleased with all that I have heard, and I need not speak as we  are all agreed."
KIN-OO-SAY-OO (The Fish), Chief of the Chippewayans—"I  shake hands with the Queen, and I am glad for what she is doing and what she is to do for us. If I could have used my own language I would then be able to say more."
The Governor then called on Sweet Grass and placed the Queen's medal around his neck, the band of the Police playing  "God save the Queen." The rest of the Chiefs' medals, flags  and uniforms were given as soon as possible, and Mr. Christie   proceeded to make the payments and distribute the presents.
September 13th.
  The Chiefs and head men came to pay their respects to the   Commissioners in the morning, at Fort Pitt.
  SWEET GRASS—" We are all glad to see you here, and we  have come to say good-bye before you leave."
THE BIG BEAR—"I find it difficult to express myself, because some of the bands are not represented. I have come off   to speak for the different bands that are out on the plains. It   is no small matter we were to consult about. I expected the Chiefs here would have waited until I arrived. The different bands that are out on the plains told me that I should speak in their stead ; the Stony Indians as well. The people who have not come, stand as a barrier before what I would have had to  say ; my mode of living is hard."
SWEET GRASS, to Big Bear—" My friend, you see the representative of the Queen here, who do you suppose is the maker of it. I think the Great Spirit put it into their hearts to 240 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. come to our help ; I feel as if I saw life when I see the representative of the Queen ; let nothing be a barrier between you and him ; it is through great difficulty this has been brought to us. Think of our children and those to come after, there is life and succor for them ; say yes and take his hand."
The White Fish Lake Chief said, " We have all taken it, and we think it is for our good."
BIG BEAR—" Stop, stop, my friends, I have never seen the Governor before ; I have seen Mr. Christie many times. I heard the Governor was to come and I said I shall see him ; when I see him I will make a request that he will save me from what I most dread, that is : the rope to be about my neck (hanging), it was not given to us by the Great Spirit that the red man or white man should shed each other's blood."
GOVERNOR—" It was given us by the Great Spirit, man should not shed his brother's blood, and it was spoken to us that he who shed his brother's blood, should have his own spilt.
" No good Indian has the rope about his neck. If a white man, killed an Indian, not in self defence, the rope would be put around his neck. He saw red-coats, they were here to protect Indians and whites.
"If a man tried to kill you, you have a right to defend ; but no man has a right to kill another in cold blood, and we will do all we can to punish such. The good Indian need never be afraid; their lives will be safer than ever before. Look at the condition of the Blackfeet. Before the red-coats went, the Americans were taking their furs and robes and giving them whiskey—we stopped it, they have been able to buy back two thousand horses—before that, robes would have gone to Americans for whiskey."
BIG BEAR—"What we want is that we should hear what will make our hearts glad, and all good peoples' hearts glad. There were plenty things left undone, and it does not look well to leave them so."
GOVERNOR—" I do not know what has been left undone!"
The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 241
BIG BEAR said he would like to see his people before he acted. " I have told you what I wish, that there be no hanging."
GOVERNOR—" What you ask will not be granted, why are you so anxious about bad men?
"The Queen's law punishes murder with death, and your request cannot be granted."
BIG BEAR—" Then these Chiefs will help us to protect the buffalo, that there may be enough for all. I have heard what has been said, and I am glad we are to be helped ; but why do these men not speak ?"
The Chief of the Chippewayans said, " We do not speak, because Sweet Grass has spoken for us all. What he says, we all say."
GOVERNOR—" I wish the Bear to tell Short Tail and See-yah- kee-maht, the other Chiefs, what has been done, and that it is for them, as if they had been here. Next year they and their people can join the treaty and they will lose nothing. I wish you to understand fully about two questions, and tell the others. The North-West Council is considering the framing of a law to protect the buffaloes, and when they make it, they will expect the Indians to obey it. The Government will not interfere with the Indian's daily life, they will not bind him. They will only help him to make a living on the reserves, by giving him the means of growing from the soil, his food. The only occasion when help would be given, would be if Providence should send a great famine or pestilence upon the whole Indian people included in the treaty. We only looked at something unforseen and not at hard winters or the hardships of single bands, and this, both you and I, fully understood.
" And now I have done, I am going away. The country is large, another Governor will be sent in my place ; I trust you will receive him as you have done me, and give him your confidence. He will live amongst you. Indians of the plains, I bid you farewell. I never expect to see you again, face to face. I rejoice that you listened to me, and when I go back to my home 242 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. beyond the great lakes, I will often think of you and will rejoice to hear of your prosperity. I ask God to bless you and your children. Farewell."
The Indians responded by loud ejaculations of satisfaction, and the Chiefs and Councillors, commencing with Sweet Grass, each shook hands with the Governor, and addressed him in words of parting, elevating his hand, as they grasped it, to heaven, and invoking the blessings of the Great Spirit.
The Bear remained sitting until all had said good-bye to the Governor, and then he rose and taking his hand, said, " I am glad to meet you, I am alone ; but if I had known the time, I would have been here with all my people. I am not an undutiful child, I do not throw back your hand ; but as my people are not here, I do not sign. I will tell them what I have heard, and next year I will come." About an hour afterwards the Big Bear came to the Fort Pitt House to see the Governor, and again repeated that he accepted the treaty as if he had signed it, and would come next year, with all his people, to meet the Commissioners and accept it.
The Governor and party left Fort Pitt for Battle River, on the 13th at one o'clock, and arrived there on the 15th. There were no Indians there, except the Red Pheasant's band, who had been treated with at Battle River.
On the 16th the Red Pheasant and his Councillors came to see the Governor and the Commissioners, with the following result :
THE RED PHEASANT—" I am a Battle River Indian, and I have chosen this place before, and I am glad to see the Government here too, as I know there is a chance of living. I want the Half-breed claims at Battle River to be respected, and I do not wish to turn out any white man ; but I wish to return to my former mode of life.
" Ever since my grandfather lived at Battle River, it has been my home. Our houses were swept off by a flood two years ago, and after that we repaired some old houses that The Treaties at Forts Carlton and Pitt. 243 were built by outsiders (other Indians), and we had fenced in the buildings ; but a short time ago some Canadians arrived, knocked down the fences, and built inside the enclosure."
WAH-TAH-NEE—" We had chosen a point about a mile from the spot where we are now speaking, and got out logs for fences and houses, and when we returned from the plains we found they had all been taken away. There are now twenty families, and ten more to come in from the plains.
" We wish to be remembered to the Queen, and we are thankful to see the Queen's soldiers coming to make their homes on the land that we have been brought up on. I hope that the Queen will look upon our poverty when she hears that we are poor Indians and have welcomed her people to live amongst us. This is my country where I have lived. I want to make way for the Queen's men, and I ask her in return to keep me from want. Next spring I want to plant here, wherever I can get a piece of ground. By that time I may have selected a spot for my reserve. The reason I want to select my reserve is, that I do not want to be cramped up by settlers. In the meantime I do not want any white men to settle on the Eagle Hills.
" When I see that we are numerous, it will be the Eagle Hills I will select as our reserve, although I am very reluctant to leave the place I have been brought up on. If I see that we are not likely to be numerous, I may select some other place across the Saskatchewan River. This man, Peter Ballendine, knows that it is not because settlers are coming here that we speak of this place, Battle River, but because we were here from of old." I wish that the Governor should give us some advice to think over during the winter."
GOVERNOR—" I am glad to give you a word of advice. Next summer, Commissioners will come to make payments here, so that you may not have so far to go, and also that other Indians we have not seen, should come here also, to whom it may be convenient, and I hope that then you will be able to talk with 244 The Treaties of Canada with the Indians. them where you want your reserve. I will speak to you frankly, as if I was talking to my own children ; the sooner you select a place for your reserve the better, so that you can have the animals and agricultural implements promised to you, and so that you may have the increase from the animals, and the tools to help you build houses, &c. When you are away hunting and fishing, the heat of the sun and the rain is making your crops to grow. I think you are showing wisdom in taking a place away from here, although it has been your home. It is better for the Indian to be away a little piece from the white man. You will be near enough to bring your furs to a good market, and by and by I hope you will have more potatoes than you require, and have some to dispose of. I am very anxious that you should think over this, and be able to tell the Commissioner next year where you want your reserve.
" I have asked Mr. Fuller to let you have three acres of land to plant your potatoes next spring, and he has replied that he will be very happy to let you do so, and to plough it for you as well, in the field he has enclosed.
"I am much pleased with the conduct of the Battle River Crees, and will report it to the Queen's Councillors. I hope you will be prosperous and happy."
This closed the interview.
The Commissioners left Battle River on the 19th of September. The Lieutenant-Governor arrived at Fort Garry on the 6th of October.


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.

Notes de bas de page:

  • * This faithful missionary came to an untimely death on the plains during         the succeeding winter. Having missed his was to his camp, he was found lying dead on the snow, and there in the lonely wilds was closed a most useful career.
  • * The number of Indians, as estimated by Mr. McDougall, as being visited by him, was 3,976.
  • * South Saskatchewan.

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