The Canadian government was persuaded to open treaty negotiations for lands in northern Ontario when the Ontario government began the aggressive promotion of agricultural colonization in the region. The area covered by negotiations was some 130,000 square miles, but this figure would have been much higher had Natives in Quebec been included in the treaty as they had requested. Settlement was also taking place on their lands. The federal government had worked out a cost-sharing proposal only with the province of Ontario, however, so the area within Quebec was not included. As in Treaty 8, the northern Native peoples were most concerned about the protection of their existing ways of life and anxious that their hunting, trapping, and fishing rights would be maintained, as the treaty assured them they would be.

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