TREATY No. 10 AND REPORTS OF COMMISSIONERS ORDER IN COUNCIL SETTING UP COMMISSION FOR TREATY No. 10P.C. No. 1459
On a Report dated 12th July 1906, from the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, stating that the aboriginal title has not been extinguished in the greater portion of that part of the Province of Saskatchewan which lies north of the 54th parallel of latitude and in a small adjoining area in Alberta; that the Indians and Half-breeds of that territory are similarly situated to those whose country lies immediately to the south and west, whose claims have already been extinguished by, in the case of those who are Indians, a payment of a gratuity and annuity and the setting aside of lands as reserves, and in the case of those who are Half-breeds, by the issue of scrip; and they have from time to time pressed their claims for settlement on similar lines; that it is in the public interest that the whole of the territory included within the boundaries of the Provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta should be relieved of the claims of the aborigines; and that $12,000.00 has been included in the estimates for expenses in the making of a treaty with Indians and in settling the claims of the Half-breeds and for paying the usual gratuities to the Indians.
The Minister recommends as follows:
- That a Treaty be made with the Indians of the aforesaid territory, which is situated partly in the Province of Saskatchewan and partly in the Province of Alberta, and lying to the east of Treaty 8, and to the north of Treaties 5 and 6, and the addition to Treaty 6, which territory contains, approximately, an area of 85,000 square miles; and that the Treaty provide:
- for the setting aside of reserves of an area not to exceed one square mile for each family of five for such number of families as may elect to reside on reserves, or in that proportion for larger or smaller families, and for such Indian families or individual Indians as prefer to live apart from band reserves, the setting aside of lands in severalty to the extent of 160 acres for each Indian with a proviso as to non-alienation without the consent of the Governor in Council;
- for the payment at the time of the making of the Treaty of $32.00 in cash to each Chief, and $22.00 to each headman, and $12.00 to every other Indian of whatever age, and the payment every year thereafter of $25.00 to each Chief, $15.00 to each headman and $5.00 to every other Indian of whatever age;
- for the making of such provision as may from time to time be deemed advisable for the education of the Indian children; and
- for the affording of such assistance as may be found necessary or desirable to advance the Indians in farming or stock-raising or other work.
- That the Half-breeds of the territory aforesaid be granted scrip redeemable to the amount of $240.00 in payment for Dominion Land or locatable for 240 acres of Dominion Land in the form and according to the rules followed in the issue of scrip to the Half-breeds in the territory covered by Treaty 8, which are as follows:
- Every Half-breed resident in the territory to be covered by the proposed Treaty at the time of the making thereof whose claim has not been extinguished either by the issue of scrip to himself or his parents or otherwise to be granted scrip as aforesaid for land or money as he, or his parent or guardian, if he be under eighteen years of age, may elect;
- The extinguishment of the claim of one parent shall not be held to debar from scrip any Half-breed who is a resident of the said territory at the time of the making of the Treaty;
- In case of Half-breeds whose claims were previously extinguished and who may be residents of the said territory those of their children born in the territory or in any ceded portion of the North West outside the old boundaries of Manitoba between the 15th of July, 1870, and the end of the year 1885 are, if they have not previously received scrip, to be recognized as entitled to scrip, as they would have been recognized had their claims been presented to the Commission appointed to dispose of such claims;
- The certificates for scrip issued in favour of Half-breeds under eighteen years of age shall be delivered to the father, if he be alive, and if not to the mother or guardian.
The Minister further recommends that James Andrew Joseph McKenna, of the City of Winnipeg, in the Province of Manitoba, be appointed Commissioner, to make the proposed Treaty with the Indians of the territory described herein, and to hear and determine the claims of the Half-breeds therein and issue scrip as aforesaid to those of them whom he may find to be entitled; Mr. McKenna to be allowed in addition to his regular salary extra remuneration at the rate of $5.00 per diem.
RATIFICATION OF TREATY No. 10
P.C. No. 2490
On a Memorandum dated 7th November, 1907, the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, submitting herewith for Your Excellency’s consideration Treaty No. 10 made in 1906 by the Commissioner, James Andrew Joseph McKenna, Esquire, who was appointed to negotiate the same with the Chipewyan, Cree and other Indian inhabitants of the territory situated partly in the Province of Saskatchewan and partly in the Province of Alberta and lying to the east of Treaty No. 8 and to the north of Treaties Nos. 5 and 6 and the addition to Treaty No. 6 described in the said Treaty.
The Minister also submits adhesions to the said Treaty, taken by Thomas Alexander Borthwick, Esquire, who was appointed a Commissioner to take the same during the summer of 1907 from such of the Indians of the Tribes above referred to as were not met with by Commissioner McKenna.
The Minister recommends that the said Treaty, and the adhesions thereto, be approved by Your Excellency in Council; the original Treaty and adhesions to be returned to the Department of Indian Affairs and the copy thereof to be Kept of record in the Privy Council Office.
The Committee submit the same for approval accordingly.
REPORT OF FIRST COMMISSIONER FOR TREATY No. 10.
The chief of the Clear Lake band, who was empowered to speak for his people, requested that the remainder of the band be paid at Buffalo Narrows, where they would gather to meet me on the return journey from Portage la Loche.
After treating with these Indians, I left Isle à la Crosse on August 30 for Portage la Loche, at which point I was due on September 3; but for the reasons given above, I did not reach there until the 5th.
The people at this point were all half-breeds and were dealt with as such.
On the 8th of the same month, I left for la Loche mission, across la Loche lake, a distance of nine miles, where more half-breeds had to be met and dealt with. There were at this point three aged Chipewyan women who desired to be attached to the Clear Lake band, and I entered them as members and paid them treaty.
Having completed my work at la Loche mission on the 11th, I started on my return journey to Isle à la Crosse, reaching Buffalo Narrows on the evening of the 16th. The chief of the Clear Lake band and those of his people who had not yet been paid treaty were gathered here. I met them the following day; found them satisfied with the action of their chief in becoming a party to the treaty, and paid the gratuity and annuity.
The number of Indians paid at this point, including three members of the band at Bull’s House, was: — 110 Indians at $12, $1,320.
At the request of the chief, the appointment of headmen was deferred until next treaty payments, as the Indians were not then prepared to make their selections.
After completing the work at Buffalo Narrows, I pushed on to Isle à la Crosse, a distance of fifty-five miles, arriving there the same night. I met the Cree Indians of Canoe Lake the next day and explained to them all the stipulations contained in the treaty. I secured their adhesion on September l9.
The number of this band is eighty-two, consisting of one chief, two headmen and seventy-nine other Indians; the amount paid was $1,024.
The next point of destination was Stanley, where I was scheduled to meet the Indians on October 8; but between my leaving and returning to Isle à la Crosse a report came to the Hudson’s Bay Company to the effect that the streams were very shallow and that travel would, therefore, be so very difficult and slow that in all probability our party would be frozen in and would have to remain at Stanley until dog trains could be procured. This report was quite confirmed by the information which Messrs. Revillon Freres had from that part of the country, and of which their manager, Monsieur Benard, very kindly apprised me. From the report it also appeared that, even if we made the trip, it would be impossible for the Indians from the northeastern portion of the country to be gathered there, and that there were at Stanley and in its immediate vicinity only a few half-breed families who had had their claims settled before they migrated to that region. I therefore decided to cancel the appointment, and sent notice to that effect to the people, assuring them at the same time that they would be visited at a future date, of which they would be duly notified.
As the discussions which took place with the bands treated with were much on the same lines, I shall confine myself to a general statement of their import.
There was a marked absence of the old Indian style of oratory, the Indians confining themselves to asking questions and making brief arguments. They all demanded even more liberal terms than were granted to Indians treated with in past years, the chief of the English River band going so far as to claim payment of ‘arrears’ from the year when the first treaty was made; some expected to be entirely fed by the government, after the making of the treaty; all asked for assistance in seasons of distress; and it was strongly urged that the old and indigent who were no longer able to hunt and trap and were consequently often in destitute circumstances, should be cared for by the government.
There was a general expression of fear that the making of the treaty would be followed by the curtailment of their hunting and fishing privileges, and the necessity of not allowing the lakes and the rivers to be monopolized or depleted by commercial fishing was emphasized.
There was evidenced a marked desire to secure educational privileges for their children. In this connection and speaking for the Indians generally, the chief of the English River band insisted that in the carrying out of the government’s Indian educational policy among them there should be no interference with the system of religious schools now conducted by the mission, but that public aid should be given for improvement and extension along the lines already followed.
The chief of the Canoe Lake band stated that there were about twenty-five children of school age in his band, and asked that a day school be established at Canoe Lake for their benefit and that it be put under the management of a woman teacher.
There was also a demand made for a few head of cattle to be given to those of the Indians who wished to go into the industry of stock-raising.
The Indians all agreed to have one place of payment in the future; but made it a condition that the payments should be held about the middle of June of each year, as that is the only time at which the gathering for annuity payments would not interfere with their avocations to an extent that the payment would be no adequate compensation for. They selected Isle à la Crosse as the place of payment.
They further requested that medicines be furnished, and made an earnest appeal for the appointment of a resident medical man.
In my reply I convinced them that such a claim as they put forward for what they called ‘arrears’ had never before been heard of, and that I could not for a moment recognize any obligation on the government’s part except such as would be put upon it in virtue of the execution of the treaty. I pointed out to them that the government could not undertake to maintain Indians in idleness; that the same means of earning a livelihood would continue after the treaty was made as existed before it; and that Indians would be expected to make as good use of them in the future as in the past. I stated that the government was always ready to assist Indians in actual destitution; that in times of distress they would, without any special stipulation in the treaty, receive such assistance as it was usual to give in order to prevent starvation among them, and that the attention of the government would be called to the necessity of some special provision being made for assisting the old and indigent who were unable to work and dependent on charity for subsistence.
I guaranteed that the treaty would not lead to any forced interference with their mode of life. I explained to them that, whether treaty was made or not, they were subject to the law, bound to obey it and liable to punishment for any infringement thereof; that it was designed for the protection of all and must be respected by all the inhabitants of the country, irrespective of colour or origin; and that, in requiring them to abide by it, they were only being required to do the duty imposed upon all the people throughout the Dominion of Canada. I dwelt upon the importance, in their own interest, of the observance of the laws respecting the protection of fish and game.
As to education, the Indians were assured that there was no need for special stipulation over and above the general provision in the treaty, as it was the policy of the government to provide in every part of the country as far as circumstances would permit, for the education of the Indian children, and that the law provided for schools for Indians maintained and assisted by the government being conducted as to religious auspices in accordance with the wishes of the Indians.
It was explained that the assistance in farming and ranching mentioned in the treaty, is only to be given when the Indians are actually prepared to go into those industries. It is not likely that for many years to come, there will be a call for any but a small expenditure under these heads. It is not probable that the Indians will, while present conditions continue, engage in farming further than the raising of roots in a small way. As to cattle, I stated that the agent who will be sent to make the next treaty payments, would be asked to discuss the matter with them, but that those only who are considered able and willing to take good care of cattle would receive assistance in that form.
I promised that medicines would be placed at different points in the charge of persons to be selected by the government, and would be distributed to those of the Indians who might require them. I showed them that it would be practically impossible for the government to arrange for a resident doctor owing to the Indians being so widely scattered over such an extensive territory; but I assured them that the government would always be ready to avail itself of any opportunity of affording medical service just as it provided that the physician attached to the commission should give free attendance to all Indians whom he might find in need of treatment.
In the main, the demand will be for ammunition and twine, as the great majority of the Indians will continue to hunt and fish for a livelihood. It does not appear likely that the conditions of that part of Saskatchewan covered by the treaty will be for many years so changed as to affect hunting and trapping, and it is expected, therefore, that the great majority of the Indians will continue in these pursuits as a means of subsistence.
The Indians were given the option of taking reserves or land in severalty, when they felt the need of having land set apart for them. I made it clear that the government had no desire to interfere with their mode of life or to restrict them to reserves and that it undertook to have land in the proportions stated in the treaty set apart for them, when conditions interfered with their mode of living and it became necessary to secure them possession of land.
The Indians dealt with are in character, habit, manner of dress and mode of living similar to the Chipewyans and Crees of the Athabaska country. It is difficult to draw a line of demarcation between those who classed themselves as Indians and those who elected to be treated with as half-breeds. Both dress alike and follow the same mode of life. It struck me that the one group was, on the whole, as well able to provide for self-support as the other.
After leaving Green Lake, our route was by rivers and lakes and afforded not much opportunity for forming an opinion of the country ceded and of its resources. From our point of view, the country appeared flat. There were extensive stretches of hay-lands along the rivers and wooded heights about the lakes. The waters abound in fish, which form the chief article of food.
The Isle à la Crosse mission was founded about sixty-two years ago by Father Lafleche, who afterwards was a prominent figure in the Quebec hierarchy, and Brother Taché, who afterwards filled the See of St. Boniface. The church built by them was destroyed by fire and has been replaced by another. The building next in importance is the school conducted by the sisters. It shows marked evidence of age externally, but is cosy within, and the children whom I had the pleasure of meeting there, evidenced the kindly care and careful training of the devoted women who have gone out from the comforts of civilization to work for the betterment of the natives of the north. The priest’s house is a small one. Its only door opens into a large room which occupies the greater part of the building and which is the common gathering place of the Indians and half-breeds, who sit and smoke with an ease that seemed born of long habit of free intercourse with those who have undertaken the cure of their souls.
The mission is about opposite the company’s post. It is close to the shore. The site is rather flat and for miles on three sides stretches a bald prairie, though we were told that the mission when founded was on the fringe of the forest. Whatever it may have been, it is no longer a desirable situation for a boarding school, and a new one has been erected at Rivière la Plonge, some thirty miles south of the mission. The building is one hundred feet by sixty-two feet, and is two and a half storeys high. It was finished when I visited it. The site is a delightful one on a rising ground from the river, which here breaks into a cataract that the Oblate brothers have harnessed for power purposes. They cut the logs, and, with the harnessed river, sawed them into lumber, with which they built the school, a splendid monument to their mechanical skill, industry and devotion. When I was leaving Isle à la Crosse, the moving of the children from the old to the new institution had begun.
Our trip was rather a difficult one. Our transport had to be organized on short notice. The water in the rivers was pretty low, and we encountered storms on the lakes; but there was no ground for the report of shipwreck and loss which unfortunately obtained currency.
I had the pleasure of the company, on most of the inward trip, of His Lordship Bishop Pascal; and I desire to repeat here the acknowledgment I made and the gratitude I expressed to his lordship personally for the assistance of his influence on my first meeting the natives of the country, which is filled with reverence for his name because of his devoted labours.
I desire to express, also, my appreciation of the help ever readily rendered by Major Begin, of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police, who was in command of the escort; by Dr. J. J. A. Lebrecque, the medical officer; by Mr. Charles Fisher, of Duck Lake, and Mr. Charles Mair, of Ottawa, secretaries to the commission, by the Hudson’s Bay Company’s chief factor, and by Mr. Angus McKay, the officer of the company who was especially charged with the carrying out of the transportation contract. To the men of the country on whose labour we had so much to depend I acknowledge my obligation. They worked long hours at paddling and rowing and poling, and endured great hardships in tracking and walking our canoes and flat boats over the rapids and shoals, so that I might keep my appointments. Camp was made late and broken early. Yet there was never a complaint, but always a zestful interest and cheerfulness as pleasant as the campfires that brightened the night.
A detailed statement of the Indians treated with and of the money paid is appended.
I have the honour to be, sir
Your obedient servant,
TREATY No. 10
Articles of a treaty made and concluded at the several dates mentioned therein, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and six between His Most Gracious Majesty the King of Great Britain and Ireland by His commissioner, James Andrew Joseph McKenna, of the city of Winnipeg, in the province of Manitoba, Esquire, of the one part, and the Chipewyan, Cree and Other Indian inhabitants of the territory within the limits hereinafter defined and described by their chiefs and headmen hereunto subscribed of the other part.
Whereas the Indians inhabiting the territory hereinafter defined have, pursuant to notice given by His Majesty’s said commissioner in the year 1906, been convened to meet His Majesty’s said commissioner representing His Majesty’s government of the Dominion of Canada at certain places in the said territory in this present year 1906 to deliberate upon certain matters of interest to His Most Gracious Majesty on the one part and the said Indians of the other.
And whereas the said Indians have been notified and informed by His Majesty’s said commissioner that it is His Majesty’s desire to open for settlement, immigration, trade, travel, mining, lumbering and such other purposes as to His Majesty may seem meet, a tract of country bounded and described as hereinafter mentioned and to obtain the consent thereto of his Indian subjects inhabiting the said tract and to make a treaty and arrange with them sot that there may be peace and good will between them and His Majesty’s other subjects, and that His Indian people may know and be assured of what allowances they are to count upon and receive from His Majesty’s bounty and benevolence.
And whereas the Indians of the said tract, duly convened in council at the respective points named hereunder and being requested by His Majesty’s said commissioner to name certain chiefs and headmen who should be authorized on their behalf to conduct such negotiations and sign any treaty to be founded thereon and to become responsible to His Majesty for the faithful performance by their respective bands of such obligations as shall be assumed by them, the said Indians have therefore acknowledged for that purpose the several chiefs and headmen who have subscribed hereto.
And whereas the said commissioner has proceeded to negotiate a treaty with the Chipewyan, Cree and other Indians inhabiting the said territory hereinafter defined and described and the same has been agreed upon and concluded by the respective bands at the dates mentioned hereunder;
Now therefore the said Indians do hereby cede, release, surrender and yield up to the government of the Dominion of Canada for His Majesty the King and His successors for ever all their rights, titles and privileges whatsoever to the lands included within the following limits, that is to say:
All that territory situated partly in the province of Saskatchewan and partly in the province of Alberta, and lying to the east of Treaty Eight and to the north of Treaties Five, Six and the addition to Treaty Six, containing approximately an area of eighty-five thousand eight hundred (85,800) square miles and which may be described as follows:
Commencing at the point where the northern boundary of Treaty Five intersects the eastern boundary of the province of Saskatchewan; thence northerly along the said eastern boundary four hundred and ten miles, more or less, to the sixtieth parallel of latitude and northern boundary of the said province of Saskatchewan; thence west along the said parallel one hundred and thirty miles, more or less, to the eastern boundary of Treaty Eight; thence southerly and westerly following the said eastern boundary of Treaty Eight to its intersection with the northern boundary of Treaty Six; thence easterly along the said northern boundary of Treaty Six to its intersection with the western boundary of the addition to Treaty Six; thence northerly along the said western boundary to the northern boundary of the said addition; thence easterly along the said northern boundary to the eastern boundary of the said addition; thence southerly along the said eastern boundary to its intersection with the northern boundary of Treaty Six; thence easterly along the said northern boundary and the northern boundary of Treaty Five to the point of commencement.
And also all their rights, titles and privileges whatsoever as Indians to all and any other lands wherever situated in the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta and the Northwest Territories or any other portion of the Dominion of Canada.
To have and to hold the same to His Majesty the King and His successors for ever.
And His Majesty the King hereby agrees with the said Indians that they shall have the right to pursue their usual vocations of hunting, trapping and fishing throughout the territory surrendered as heretofore described, subject to such regulations as may from time to time be made by the government of the country acting under the authority of His Majesty and saving and excepting such tracts as may be required or as may be taken up from time to time for settlement, mining, lumbering, trading or other purposes.
And His Majesty the King hereby agrees and undertakes to set aside reserves of land for such bands as desire the same, such reserves not to exceed in all one square mile for each family of five for such number of families as may elect to reside upon reserves or in that proportion for larger or smaller families; and for such Indian families or individual Indians as prefer to live apart from band reserves His Majesty undertakes to provide land in severalty to the extent of one hundred and sixty (160) acres for each Indian, the land not to be alienable by the Indian for whom it is set aside in severalty without the consent of the Governor General in Council of Canada, the selection of such reserves and land in severalty to be made in the manner following, namely, the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs shall depute and send a suitable person to determine and set apart such reserves and lands, after consulting with the Indians concerned as to the locality which may be found suitable and open for selection.
Provided, however, that His Majesty reserves the right to deal with any settlers within the bounds of any lands reserved for any band or bands as He may see fit; and also that the aforesaid reserves of land, or any interest therein, may be sold or otherwise disposed of by His Majesty’s government of Canada for the use and benefit of the Indians entitled thereto, with their consent first had and obtained.
It is further agreed between His Majesty and His said Indian subjects that such portions of the reserves and lands above mentioned as may at any time be required for public works, buildings, railways or roads of whatsoever nature may be appropriated for such purposes by His Majesty’s government of Canada due compensation being made to the Indians for the value of any improvements thereon, and an equivalent in land, money or other consideration for the area so appropriated.
And with a view to showing the satisfaction of His Majesty with the behaviour and good conduct of His Indians and in extinguishment of all their past claims, He hereby through His commissioner agrees to make each chief a present of thirty-two (32) dollars in cash, to each headman twenty-two (22) dollars and to every other Indian of whatever age of the families represented at the time and place of payment twelve (12) dollars.
His Majesty also agrees that next year and annually thereafter for ever He will cause to be paid to the Indians in cash, at suitable places and dates of which the said Indians shall be duly notified, to each chief twenty-five (25) dollars, each headman fifteen (15) dollars and to every other Indian of whatever age five (5) dollars.
Further His Majesty agrees that each chief, after signing the treaty, shall receive a silver medal and a suitable flag, and next year and every third year thereafter each chief shall receive a suitable suit of clothing, and that after signing the treaty each headman shall receive a bronze medal and next year and every third year thereafter a suitable suit of clothing.
Further His Majesty agrees to make such provision as may from time to time be deemed advisable for the education of the Indian children.
Further His Majesty agrees to furnish such assistance as may be found necessary or advisable to aid and assist the Indians in agriculture or stock-raising or other work and to make such a distribution of twine and ammunition to them annually as is usually made to Indians similarly situated.
And the undersigned Chipewyan, Cree and other Indian chiefs and headmen on their own behalf and on behalf of all the Indians whom they represent do hereby solemnly promise and engage to strictly observe this treaty in all and every respect and to behave and conduct themselves as good and loyal subjects of His Majesty the King.
They promise and engage that they will in all respects obey and abide by the law; that they will maintain peace between each other and between their tribes and other tribes of Indians and between themselves and other of His Majesty’s subjects whether whites, Indians, half-breeds or others now inhabiting or who may hereafter inhabit any part of the territory hereby ceded and herein described, and that they will not molest the person or trespass upon the property or interfere with the rights of any inhabitant of such ceded tract or of any other district or country or interfere with or trouble any person passing or travelling through the said tract or any part thereof and that they will assist the officers of His Majesty in bringing to justice and punishment any Indian offending against the stipulations of this treaty or infringing the law in force in the country so ceded.
In witness whereof His Majesty’s said commissioner and the chiefs and headmen have hereunto set their hands at Isle à la Crosse this twenty-eighth day of August in the year herein first above written.
Articles of a treaty made and concluded at the several dates mentioned therein, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and seven, between His Most Gracious Majesty the King of Great Britain and Ireland by His Commissioner Thomas Alexander Borthwick, of Mistawasis, in the province of Saskatchewan, Esquire, of the one part, and the Chipewyan, Cree and other Indian inhabitants of the territory within the limits hereinafter defined and described by their chiefs and headmen hereunto subscribed of the other part.
In witness whereof His Majesty’s said commissioner and the chiefs and headmen have hereunto set their hands at Lac du Brochet this 19th day of August, in the year first above written.
In witness whereof His Majesty’s said commissioner and the chiefs and headmen have hereunto set their hands at Lac du Brochet this 22nd day of August in the year first above written.
REPORT OF SECOND COMMISSION FOR TREATY NO. 10
Mistawasis, Carlton Agency, October 14, 1907.
Frank Pedley, Esq.
Deputy Supt. General of Indian Affairs,
SIR, — I have the honour to submit my report upon the payments of their annuities to those of the Indians of Treaty No. 10 who were treated with last year, and also transmit herewith the treaty, which, under the authority that devolved upon me by the commission issued to me on the 6th day of April, 1907, I concluded with the Chipewyan Indians living in the region of Lac du Brochet and Lac la Hache, and in the part of the district of Keewatin adjoining the northeast corner of the province of Saskatchewan.
With the view of keeping appointments for the payments of their annuities to the Indians who were treated with last year at Isle à la Crosse, I proceeded from here on June 11, and after travelling over some very bad road, I arrived at Green Lake on the afternoon of the 15th, and got to Isle à la Crosse at noon of Saturday, June 22, one day behind the date that was fixed for my arrival there. Very unfavourable weather was the cause of delay. Only the Canoe Lake band of Indians had so far assembled there to meet me; and I at once had an interview with the chief and headmen of that band, and it being Saturday, they asked that the paying of their annuities be postponed until Monday, the 24th. To that request I conceded, and accordingly they were paid on that and the following day. The Indians of English River and Clear Lake bands not having then arrived, I began taking evidence in connection with claims for scrip preferred by a number of half-breeds from Souris River who did not have a chance of meeting the commissioner of last year at Isle à la Crosse. The evidence adduced by these applicants for scrip was continued up to the 29th, when the English River and Clear Lake bands having fully arrived, were paid their annuities. The 1st of July, being Dominion Day, was, at the request of the half-breeds and Indians, observed as a holiday, and they celebrated it with great enthusiasm; the members of the commission and other gentlemen present heartily joining them and making their sports pecuniarily interesting for them.
Further dealings with the Indians and half-breeds occupied the time of the commission up to July 3, when, upon being informed that a considerable number of half-breeds and Indians were assembled at the Roman Catholic mission near Portage la Loche and expecting me there, I proceeded to that place, and after a very trying trip with rains and stormy weather, I reached there late on the evening of July 9, and owing to the number of half-breeds who had to be dealt with here, and the very inclement weather prevailing, it took up to the 14th to get through with the work. In addition to the half-breeds assembled here, I found a number of families of Indians from Whitefish Lake, who asked very earnestly that I should pay them their annuities. I explained to them that I could not do that, as it was inconsistent with the rules of the department to pay Indians of a certain treaty by the agent of another treaty. They pointed out that it was a great hardship for them to be compelled to travel over a hundred miles through a difficult section of the country going to Fort McMurray, which took them five or six days to get there and the same number of days returning to their homes. Before leaving the mission, they handed me a petition praying that they be paid next year at Buffalo River on Buffalo Lake, to which point they can come in less than two days from Whitefish Lake.
On Monday morning, July 15, I left the mission on the return trip to Isle à la Crosse, and after an unusually favourable trip I arrived there on the 17th. Here I was detained for five days to procure tripmen to go on to Stanley, for which place I started on the morning of July 23 and arrived there on the evening of August 1. Here I met some fifty heads of families of the Lac la Ronge Indians, headed by their chief, Amos Charles, and two of their headmen, who asked that they be paid their annuities there, as many of them spent the summer and autumn on the Churchill river, and in compliance with their request they were paid on the 2nd and 3rd; the 5th and 6th were occupied taking evidence of applicants for scrip and procuring tripmen for the Lac du Brochet trip. On the morning of August 7 I left Stanley for the Hudson’s Bay Company’s post on the north end of Lac du Brochet, and after a successful trip reached that place on the 17th idem.
Owing to the amount of work which devolved upon the commission that was not anticipated, it was made impossible for me to reach this place, which was the stated point of rendezvous with the Indians, on the date that they were notified I was to be there to meet them; and consequently they were detained for ten days awaiting my arrival, and which led to their running out of provisions, they being all assembled with their families, and finding that they were reduced to such a state, I felt that it was proper for me to relieve their immediate necessities, and accordingly I supplied them with a limited quantity of provisions, for which they appeared to feel very thankful. I consider it proper that I should mention here that considerable help was afforded these Indians whilst waiting my arrival by Mr. A. McDermot, the Hudson’s Bay Company’s agent at this place, by giving them some light work to do and paying them for it in provisions, and likewise by the agent of the Revillon Bros.
On the morning of August 19 I held council with the combined Indians of the Barren Land and the Indians of Lac la Hache, the Rev. Father Turquetil acting as interpreter, which he did on all subsequent occasions during my transactions with the Indians here, the Chipewyan language being spoken. I explained to them why I was sent to meet them, and after various thoughtful questions put by the Indians bearing upon the treaty and answered by me to their satisfaction, they asked for a short recess to discuss the terms of the treaty more fully among themselves; which was granted them. At 2 p.m. they reassembled and the Barren Land band announced that they had elected their chief and two headmen, and were prepared to accept the terms of the treaty. The Lac la Hache band intimated that some of their people were away, but would be back in a day or so, and that they would like to have their concurrence in the matter of selecting their chief and councillors; I consented to their waiting a day or so, if necessary, in order to obtain the full consent of their band to their transactions. The chief and headmen of the Barren Land band then formally signed the treaty, and without further undue delay the payments of their gratuities and annuities were begun to them, and were got through with at noon on the 21st. The number of Indians treated with in this band was 232, including:
This practically finished the Indian work at this point, and after a number of half-breed s’applications for scrip were received, I left this place on August 24 for Lac la Ronge, via Stanley, and on September 3, after a very unusually expeditious trip, I arrived at the paying ground at Lac la Ronge; and on the 4th and 5th paid the rest of the James Roberts band some 60 odd heads of families who were not paid at Stanley.
After taking the evidence of a number of half-breed applicants for scrip at this place, and holding council meetings with the Indians in connection with the surrender of their reserve, No. 106A, &c., I left on the 11th for Montreal Lake, and arrived there on the 16th, and the following day paid their annuities to the Indians of this place, the William Charles’ band.
On the 18th I held meetings with the chief and headmen of the James Roberts’ band, who accompanied me to this place, and with that of the Wm. Charles’ band combined, bearing upon the surrender of their reserve, No. 106A, when after due deliberation, they unanimously agreed to relinquish the reserve to the government upon the terms set forth in an agreement signed by them on the 18th day of September, 1907; which agreement was transmitted to the Deputy Minister of Indian Affairs on the 8th instant.
On the afternoon of the 18th of September, the commission party left Montreal lake with canoes for the landing on Red Deer lake, where they arrived on the 21st, after being detained one day en route with stress of weather. At the landing teams were taken to this place (Mistawasis) where we arrived on the evening of September 24, ultimo; this completing an arduous trip of over 2,000 miles by water, in canoes, and 300 miles by land, which I have pleasure to say was performed successfully and without accident.
Concerning my staff, I am pleased to state that I was excellently equipped, and that, in general, a fine spirit existed amongst its members; of some of them I cannot speak too highly. Dr. H. A. Stewart proved himself ideally fitted for his post. Full of the kindest sympathy for the sick, he was untiring in his labours on their behalf; a skilful physician, he was most successful in his efforts to relieve their suffering, and won golden opinions from all who required his services. W. J. McLean, the senior secretary, displayed special ability in the performance of the onerous duties of his position, his previous experience in treaty payments standing him in good stead; while his knowledge of the French language, his long residence as a chief factor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, in the part of the country traversed, and his personal acquaintance with many of the applicants, materially contributed to the success of my commission.
Of the rest it would be invidious to make personal mention, suffice to say that each performed his duties with energy and intelligence, sacrificing rest and comfort, and facing danger in the effort to cover distances with the least possible loss of time.