Previously, we discussed Rupert's Land, the area of present day northwest Canada originally granted to the Hudson's Bay Company for the purposes of trading. Although the Hudson's Bay Company never owned title to the lands in northwest, they were expected to negotiate with the area's Indigenous peoples if they wanted to develop or settle any of the territory. When the Earl of Selkirk was granted three-hundred thousand (300,000) square kilometres at the Forks of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, the resident Cree, Assiniboine, Saulteaux and Métis were not consulted. To rectify this, in 1817, Chief Peguis and four other leaders entered into an agreement with Selkirk granting the Red River settlement access to the lands adjacent to the Forks. Reverting to the Hudson's Bay Company in 1836 and the Canadian government in 1869, both argued that Selkirk's 1817 agreement constituted a land surrender, but in 1863 Peguis published a rebuttal stating that the Selkirk Treaty was never intended as a session of title. We also discussed how the Métis community at Red River began and how by the time of confederation, it had become a well established community. For the newly formed government of Canada, formalizing their ownership of Rupert's Land was critical. Despite the fact that much of the land in the northwest outside of Red River was still unceded First Nation and Métis territory, Canada negotiated to purchase these lands from the Hudson's Bay Company without consulting the region's inhabitants. When the Métis and the area's other Indigenous peoples heard of the planned transfer of Rupert's Land from the Hudson's Bay Company to the new Dominion of Canada, many were angry at not being consulted. To formalize the transfer and determine the area's resources, a group of government representatives led by William McDougall, the territory's first lieutenant governor, travelled to Red River to begin the process of resurveying the settlements River Lot Farms. This decision put in motion a series of events, culminating in what is now known as the Red River Resistance of 1869 to 1870. In November of 1869, Louis Riel, a prominent member of the Métis community, organized a group of Métis to block the government's representatives from entering the settlement. Successful in their efforts, community representatives proclaimed a provisional government under the leadership of Riel. This provisional government entered into negotiations with the Canadian Dominion for the settlements anticipated entry into confederation. The Manitoba Act of 1870 was a result of these negotiations between the government of Canada and Riel's provisional government. Establishing the postage stamp province of Manitoba, the Manitoba Act of 1870 resolved the dispute between the Red River Métis and the government of Canada. The Act included a provision for 1.4 million acres of land to be reserved for the children of Métis heads of household, which the government felt extinguished Métis Aboriginal land title to the Red River Valley. This land was to be distributed through the issuance of scrip. Métis scrip consisted of certificates redeemable either for land or for money. Métis were given scrip individually and each certificate was worth one hundred sixty (160) or two hundred forty (240) acres or dollars. The amount depended upon each individual's age and status. Due to delays and administrative problems, distribution of scrip did not commence until 1876 causing many Métis to disperse to areas of Saskatchewan, Alberta and Montana. It should be noted because this land distribution was never realized, the Manitoba Métis Federation filed a lawsuit in 1981. After a lengthy debate in the courts, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 2013 that the Métis did not receive the land they were promised in the Manitoba Act. As the fur trade economy faltered and the bison herds began their steady decline, many Indigenous peoples knew that engaging in the settler State's new economies of agriculture, ranching, mining and forestry provided an avenue for income and survival especially in the face of an uncertain future. While this module is not able to fully engage with the details of each treaty, it should be noted that each includes distinct perspectives with their own historical context. Additional resources are included in this course for you to begin your exploration. Following the problematic sale of Rupert's Land, Indigenous leaders in the northwest were demanding formal agreements to be made with government representatives in the form of treaties. These agreements took the form of the Numbered Treaties. For the Canadian government, they would be better able to settle the northwest with agricultural immigrants and to extract the area's natural resources if Indigenous land title was dealt with prior to the anticipated settlement boom. For Indigenous peoples, they hope to address what would soon be a rapidly expanding Canadian state and its settlers as they began to make their way west and fill the fertile belt. Following confederation in 1867, the new government looked westward as a place to expand its territorial claims, settle its anticipated immigration boom and provide a source of natural resources. To accomplish this, as per the Royal Proclamation of 1763, the new government needed to deal with pre-existing Indigenous land title throughout Rupert's Land. Urged by fears of American annexation they adopted a formula similar to the Robinson Treaties and negotiated 11 number treaties between the Dominion and the Indigenous peoples of the West between 1871 and 1921. This encompassed all territory falling between the Lake of the Woods in the east, the Rocky Mountains to the west and the Beaufort Sea to the north. In exchange for signing these treaties, Indigenous groups were promised reserve lands, annuities and the right to continue hunting and fishing on Crown lands. These agreements resembled the civilization programs initiated during the treaties of Central Canada. This included clauses for schools and teachers to educate Indigenous children and to provision for agricultural implements to ensure the transition from a mobile to a sedentary life. Thus, all Indigenous signatories of the treaties were encouraged to settle on reserve lands, build permanent communities, adopt agriculture, and permit the state to educate their children. For Indigenous signatories, these agreements had a stronger emphasis on shared usage, rights, and responsibility for the lands rather than a surrender of land. For the state, these treaties were considered a massive land surrender bringing Indigenous peoples under the jurisdiction and law of the new Dominion. Treaties 1 through 7 became a way in which the new Department of Indian Affairs implemented assimilation policies in the northwest. Treaties 8 through 11 with many of the same aims also focused on opening the North to resource development. Although based on the earlier Robinson treaties, treaties 1 through 11 were not created equal. While the scope of the agreements share a number of similarities, individual circumstances reflected the unique demands of each group and the competing interests of each party. Concluded in 1871, the first two treaties had the fewest number of provisions and did not outline an ongoing right for Indigenous signatories to hunt and fish in a defined treaty area. Reserve lands were also fixed at 160 acres per family of five and annuities were fixed at three dollars. These substantial differences and many of the agreements Indigenous leaders claimed were left out of the final text, led to an 1875 amendment that sought to deal with many of these concerns. Treaty 3 was signed in 1873 at Lake of the Woods and covered the highly desirable land lying between Lake Superior and the Red River Valley. Land allocation was increased to 640 acres per family of five and included guaranteed hunting and fishing rights on unoccupied lands. In addition to a five dollar annuity, a one-time gratuity of twelve dollars was granted to each person as well as an annual allocation of 1,500 dollars for purchasing ammunition and twine. Negotiated at Fort Qu'Appelle, Treaty 4 was finalized in 1874, where a larger gratuity was granted in addition to the inclusion of trapping along with hunting and fishing rights. Treaty 5 was similar to Treaty 3 with the exception of a reduction of land allocation to 160 acres of land per family of five and a one time payment of 5,500 dollars for ammunition, twine, agriculture and tools. "You are telling us all this, you will never be able to treat us the way you are treated by Manito. Look at this land with its abundance of food for us, you'll never be able to match that, you will not be able to do this." This Elder's skepticism of the government's promises made during the negotiation of the numbered treaties, echoes the sentiment of many First Nations. Cultural and language differences played a significant role in the divergent interpretations of the written and oral contents of the treaties. The Indigenous understanding of the spirit and intent of the treaties accepted the numbered treaties to be a Nation to Nation agreement similar to the spirit of the Peace and Friendship Treaties. However, for the Crown, the treaties granted certain benefits to Indigenous signatories in return for the complete surrender of land title. "Our country is getting ruined of fur-bearing animals, hitherto or sole support, and now we are poor and want help. We want you to pity us. We want cattle, tools, agricultural implements, and assistance in everything when we come to settle. Our country is no longer able to support us. Make provision for us against years of starvation. We had a great starvation the past winter, and the smallpox took away many of our people, the old, young, and children. We want you to stop the Americans from coming to trade on our lands, and giving firewater, ammunition, and arms to our enemies, the Blackfeet. Our young men are foolish. It may not last long."