The Stone Fort And Manitoba Post Treaties Numbers 1 & 2
The Treaties with The Indians of Manitoba, The North-West Territories,
and Kee-Wa-Tin, in The Dominion of Canada.
In the year 1871, the late Honorable Joseph Howe, then Secretary
of State of Canada, recommended the appointment by the Privy Council
of Canada, of Mr. Wemyss McKenzie Simpson, as Indian Commissioner,
in consequence of "the necessity of arranging with the bands
of Indians inhabiting the tract of country between Thunder Bay and
the Stone Fort, for the cession, subject to certain reserves such
as they should select, of the lands occupied by them." Mr.
Simpson accepted the appointment, and in company with Messrs. S.
J. Dawson and Robert Pether visited the Ojjibewa or Chippawa Indians,
between Thunder Bay and the north-west angle of the Lake of the
Woods, and took the initiatory steps for securing a treaty with
them thereafter. On his arrival at Fort Garry, he put himself, as
directed by his instructions, in communication with his Honor, the
Hon. A. G. Archibald, then Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba and the
North-West Territories. A conference took place between His Honor,
Messrs. Simpson, Dawson and Pether, and the Hon. James McKay, a
member, at that time, of the Executive Council of Manitoba, and
himself a half-breed intimately acquainted with the Indian tribes,
and possessed of much influence over them. The Indians in Manitoba,
in the fall of 1870, had applied to the Lieutenant-Governor to enter
into a treaty with them, and had been informed that in the ensuing
year negotiations would be opened with them. They were full of uneasiness,
owing to the influx of population, denied the validity of the Selkirk
Treaty, and had in some instances obstructed settlers and surveyors.
In view of the anxiety and uneasiness prevailing, those gentlemen
were of opinion "that it was desirable to secure the extinction
of the Indian title not only to the lands within Manitoba, but also
to so much of the timber grounds east and north of the Province
as were required for immediate entry and use, and also of a large
tract of cultivable ground west of the Portage, where there were
very few Indian inhabitants." It was therefore resolved to
open negotiations at the Lower Fort Garry, or Stone Fort, with the
Indians of the Province, and certain adjacent timber districts,
and with the Indians of the other districts at Manitoba Post, a
Hudson's Bay fort, at the north end of Lake Manitoba, the territory
being occupied principally by one nation, the Chippewa, of whom
the Saulteaux of the lakes are a branch, although there are also
a number of Swampy Cree resident within it.
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