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Module 19

As Long as the Sun Shines and the Waters Flow: Treaties and treaty-making in the 1870s West

Maureen Lux

The ‘Numbered Treaties’ in the southern prairies embodied the newly formed Canadian government’s desire to colonize the lands and peoples, while First Nations sought to establish a relationship to ensure their future livelihood. The quickly disappearing bison herds provided a sense of urgency, but First Nations and Crown representatives negotiated agreements that were to be mutually beneficial. The written texts of those negotiations however, did not always reflect the true ‘spirit and intent’ of the discussions.

Primary sources:

  1. Map: Historical Indian Treaties from Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1996)
  2. Image: ‘Conference with the Chiefs (Treaty One) September 9, 1871’, Canadian Illustrated News
  3. Photograph : Page one of Treaty Six signed at Fort Carlton and Fort Pitt (23 August and 28 August, 1876)
  4. Photograph: Influential Treaty Six Chiefs at Fort Carlton (1876)
  5. Photograph: Mistahimusqua (Big Bear) (1885)
  6. Image: ‘Herd of Buffalo in foothills of the Rocky Mountains’ (c.1860)
  7. Photograph: Pile of buffalo skulls at the railway siding at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (August 9, 1890)
  8. Text: Treaty Seven (1877)

Secondary sources:

  1. Derek Whitehouse. ‘The Numbered Treaties: Similar Means to Dichotomous Ends’ Past Imperfect (1994)
  2. Sarah Carter. ‘Canada’s Colony and the Colonized’ in Aboriginal People and Colonizers of Western Canada to 1900 (1999)
  3. Treaty Seven Elders and Tribal Council et al. The True Spirit and Original Intent of Treaty 7

Introduction

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