Were Canada's treaties with the Native peoples freely negotiated?

Essay by wolf123High School, 10th gradeA-, September 2006

download word file, 1 pages 0.0

Downloaded 12 times

Canada's treaties with the Native peoples were not extremely freely negotiated.

Firstly, the Canadian government's intention of the treaty was quite well-known. Obviously, they wanted to take the land which belongs to the natives'. In order to achieve their ambitious goal, they took advantage of the decay of the bison. Clearly, the Canadian government knew what the natives thought: they were losing their main source of food and they were willing to negotiate with the Canadian government. The Canadian government could just give the natives a small amount of land and suggested them to be farmers. They verbally promised that they would give them the equipment, supplies, and instructions they need for farming.

Did they really live up their little promise to the natives?

No. They never did.

For instance, in the first treaties, the Native people gave up their land in return for reservations that allowed 65 hectares of land for each family of five, a small annual payment of money and some food rations.

In later treaties native people insisted on receiving farm animals and machinery so that they could support themselves with agriculture after they had given up their nomadic way of life. The government officially supported this idea of turning the natives into farmers and they sent out government agents to assist them, but in practice, government policy had the effect of making profitable farming impossible for the native peoples. Throughout the 1880s, with their leaders gone, their food source gone, their guns and horses confiscated, the native people tried to become farmers. This was supposedly the government's policy, but this policy had a peculiar twist. It claimed that in order to "evolve" from a so-called savage to a civilized existence, native people had to go through a period of primitive peasant agriculture.