The Robinson Treaties
The Treaties with The Indians of Manitoba, The North-West Territories, and Kee-Wa-Tin, in The Dominion of Canada.
In consequence of the discovery of minerals, on the shores of Lakes
Huron and Superior, the Government of the late Province of Canada,
deemed it desirable, to extinguish the Indian title, and in order
to that end, in the year 1850, entrusted the duty to the late Honorable
William B. Robinson, who discharged his duties with great tact and
judgment, succeeding in making two treaties, which were the forerunners
of the future treaties, and shaped their course. The main features
of the Robinson Treaties--viz., annuities, reserves for the Indians,
and liberty to fish and hunt on the unconceded domain of the Crown--having
been followed in these treaties. A special feature of the Robinson
Treaties, was the adjustment of a claim made by the Indians to be
paid, the amount received, by the Government, for the sale of mining
locations. This was arranged, by Mr. Robinson, agreeing to pay them,
the sum of £4,000 and an annuity of about £1,000, thus
avoiding any dispute that might arise as to the amounts actually
received by the Government. The number of Indians included in the
treaties were stated by Mr. Robinson to be: on Lake Superior, 1240,
including 84 half-breeds; and on Lake Huron 1422, including 200
The relations of the Indians and half-breeds, have long been cordial;
and in the negotiations as to these initial treaties, as in the
subsequent ones, the claims of the half-breeds, to recognition,
was urged by the Indians.
I cannot do better, in giving information with regard to these
treaties, than simply to reproduce the Report of Mr. Robinson to
the Honorable Colonel Bruce, Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs,
in which he describes the course of his negotiations and communicates
their results. A copy of the treaties will be found in the Appendix.
The Report is as follows:
The census return of the Department of the Interior for the year 1878 gives the numbers of these Indians as follows:
- Chippawa of Lake Superior 1,947.
- Chippawa of Lake Huron 1,458.
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