The Swampy Cree and the Saulteaux of the Manitoba lakes region were as anxious as their Plains counterparts to conclude an arrangement with the dominion government. For its part, Canada was equally and uncharacteristically enthusiastic about treating with these people. Before the advent of the railroad, transportation in the West relied heavily on the region's waterways, and the government sought control over the great lakes of Manitoba for this reason. Unlike the treaties of the Prairies, concluded with large numbers of Natives congregated in one place, Treaty 5 signatories were dealt with in small groups with the negotiators seeking them out in their camps. Treaty 5 covered the territory from the Interlake region of Manitoba to what is now eastcentral Saskatchewan. From the government's perspective, Treaty 5 was the easiest and most acceptable of the Numbered Treaties. Because the land was deemed unfit for agricultural use and unlikely to attract non-Native settlement, the allotment per family was reduced from the 640 acres of Treaties 3 and 4 to 160 acres. Treaty 5 participants also were granted the most paltry provisions for agricultural assistance, despite their earnest desire to embark on an agricultural future. If the Native peoples of the Prairie West were marginalized as a result of the non-Native settlement of the region, the Swampy Cree of Treaty 5 were forgotten altogether.

Written By

Chinook Multimedia


Powered by ChronoForms -