The last treaty concluded on the western Prairies was negotiated between David Laird, Lieutenant-Governor of the North-West Territories, on behalf of the Canadian government, and the Blackfoot Confederacy of southern Alberta. The Blackfoot territories were crucial to the government's plans for a transcontinental railroad, but the treaty was prompted by the alarming news that the Dakota had proposed an alliance with their traditional enemy, the Blackfoot, in order to counter the non-Native invasion. The N-WMP was a police force, not an army, and neither the force nor the Canadian government was in a position to cope with an Indian war. Antipathy kept the Blackfoot from responding positively to the Sioux, but more complex concerns led them to be receptive to treaty overtures from Canada. A major force in Blackfoot decision making was the influence of Chief Crowfoot, who recognized the inevitability of encroaching settlement and sought a solution through negotiation rather than battle. Despite a recognition of the problem posed by the non-Native presence, the Blackfoot appear to have had aims that differed markedly from those of the Plains Cree. The bison had not as yet disappeared entirely from Blackfoot lands, and there was more concern for preserving the existing herds and securing Blackfoot territory from intruders than negotiating a new way of life and embarking on an agricultural existence. Recognizing this at least in part, the government negotiators substituted livestock for agricultural equipment with the view of transforming the Blackfoot into herders rather than farmers. The signing of Treaty 7 at Blackfoot Crossing completed the extension of effective Canadian jurisdiction over the Prairie West and established the means for the peaceful settlement of that region.

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