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The Manitoulin Island Treaty - Great Manitoulin Island

October 1862

Some years after the completion of the Robinson Treaties, the then Government of the old Province of Canada deemed it desirable to effect a treaty with the Indians dwelling upon the Great Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron, as a complement to the former treaties, and with the object of rendering available for settlement the large tract of good land upon the Island. The duty was entrusted to the Honorable William McDougall, then Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs, who, in the month of October, 1862, proceeded to the Island, accompanied by the late William Spragge, Esq., Deputy Superintendent of Indian Affairs, and Mr. F. Assicknack, of the Indian Office, Toronto, as interpreter. Mr. McDougall encountered considerable difficulties, but by firmness and decision eventually succeeded in obtaining a surrender from the Indians of the Island, excluding however from the surrender that portion of it easterly of Heywood Island and the Manitoulin Gulf.

The terms of the treaty, which will be found in the Appendix, were adapted to the peculiar circumstances of the Indians and were well and wisely framed. The result has been to render available for settlement a large tract of land on the Island, much of which is now occupied by a prosperous and thriving population. I conclude this brief notice of an important treaty by submitting, to the attention of the reader, the report of the Hon. W. McDougall, to His Excellency the Governor-General in Council, of the results of his mission.

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