Thursday, March 31, 2011

Numbered Treaties Good Or Bad

In response to a comment from my blog entry :

More Politically Incorrect, While I Am At It ....

In the 1800's King George made a decision. He no longer wanted to have Aboriginal groups killed off, as happened on the East Coast. He decided to come to a compromise with the Chiefs of those groups in the Prairie regions, because England was colonizing the area. Agreements were met between both Aboriginal and European people, the numbered Treaties. It was agreed by the Chiefs that schools would be added to each community that wanted them, so the young could learn the new ways. The Chiefs were aware of changing times and agreed to these changes. The Treaties were not forced upon anyone, they were agreed to by all parties. And now we have Treaties, good or bad, we have them. If you feel we should not have Treaties, and would like to dissolve them, this is an issue to take up with the Federal Government and the Aboriginal Chiefs.


  1. Victoria was Queen in 1870.

  2. You are correct that Victoria was Queen in 1870. My date is incorrect for when King George made the decision on the Treaties. It was very likely that he said that in relation to the Treaty made in 1811. I am looking for the quote, and will make the adjustments as soon as I locate it again. I appologize for the mis-print.

  3. Yet somehow the Canadian government, instead of putting a school on each reserve,forcibly took Indian children from their parents in an articulated and planned attempt "to kill the Indian in the child"?

    ("Kiling the Indian in the child" is an actual quote from the Harper apology.)

    The Canadian government did not honour the spirit of equality of the treaties and three generations of Indians who grew up seperated from their families has led to a dysfunctional community.

    I like your blog and admire your tenacity for living in the North End, but your recent posts make me worried that it is souring your world view.

  4. The forcibly removal of Indian Children, I believe, was a result of the Indian Act. I am not sure how the Indian Act arose from the Treaties, but know it has changed and adjusted over the years. I need to look further into the creation of the Indian Act.
    In 1969 Trudeau created the White Paper, in an attempt to assimilate Aboriginal people, which was countered with Harold Cardinal's Red Paper.
    And regarding the recent posts on my blog, I do not believe we can make any sort of change if we are not able to talk about the issues. And I believe there are some serious issues that need to be talked about. We cannot be afraid to talk.

  5. Thank you for the amazingly quick response to my post. I also thank you for allowing anonymous posts.

    I am sorry if I came off harsh, I didn't intend to, but any discussion of the history of Aboriginal peoples in this country that doesn't mention Residential Schools sets me off. In my mind, it is the biggest reason the Indian people are so bad off. It drives me crazy that most Canadians don't know and don't really care about what happened at Residential Schools. I care and am deeply ashamed of the actions of my ancestors.

    Hopefully the TRC will act as a catharsis for Canadians to release their shame over the actions of our parents, grandparents and great grandparents and our nation can begin healing.

    FWIW, I agree with you that change and discussion are needed. I also agree with you that most native leaders have dismally failed native people.

    But I think my biggest problem is the prevalent belief that white people have fulfilled the treaties. We haven't and we haven't even come close. Until native people have a similar standard of living to other Candians, we have not lived up to the terms of the agreement.

    Again, thanks for trying to facilitate change and discussion, you are not taking the easy way out and I was not trying to scapegoat you.

    From the safety of River Heights,


  6. "We cannot be afraid to talk". Yet this is the greatest problem faced by both sides. The Governmetn doesn't want to talk, because it will be seen as "forcing white man's government on our soverign nations", and the other side doesn't want to talk... because they don't have to. (By way of explanation, the word "talk" in this context is considering the needs of both parties talking, understanding their realities, and working within them, not a self serving, one sided entrenchment on issues)
    Consider the real reason Bi-Pole III isn't going down the east side. The provincial NDP don't want to deal with the bands on that side.

  7. I really enjoy your blog but I have to point out the fact that some were forced. Attending high school alone will teach you about Big Bear and the resistance he put up. The only reason he signed the treaty was due to the English syphoning food and his tribe dying of starvation..

    That isn't an excuse for anything that's been going on recently. There are no excuses. I honestly think the treaties are out of date and we need to look at this from a new perspective.

  8. I agree that the situations around the signing of the Treaties was not easy. The Colonials were taking over the land, and the Aboriginal Peoples were running out of food resources. There were issues in the air when these Treaties were signed. But negotiations took place, and Chiefs made the decisions to sign the treaties. There was give and take in the negotiations. From what I have read, the Aboriginal Chiefs were aware that times were changing and worked that into the negotiations, with the inclusion of education for their young, and the ability to farm so they could feed their families.
    Regarding the Treaties being out-dated, this is an issue to take up with the Federal Government and the Chiefs of the Aboriginal Communities. It may be the way to go (I really do not have the answer on that one), but if the Treaties are removed, so is all the free University, hunting rights, and all the other extras that Aboriginal people have in Canada. To gain equal status, Aboriginal people must agree to be equal, then we can work on becoming equal, if equality is what everyone is really after.

  9. Think you better learn a bit about free University it is not a treaty right . It is given to the most deserving on the reserve and is funded by the band from the existing budget. So when this money goe,s into this there is less for the other things the band needs . Also Have you ever wondered how negotiations could have been fair when they were in one language English and there was no real translator around in those days . That could read and speak it into The native tongues, maybe thats why they got the worst land and the english got the best. Keep up the writing enjoy reading