With the creation of the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta in 1905, the federal government moved to extinguish Aboriginal title to the lands within these jurisdictions that remained outside the treaties. The Native peoples resident there, including Cree, Chipewyans, and many Métis, had long pressed for a settlement. Indeed, one of their demands was the backdating of treaty payments to the first of the numbered treaties in 1871, a request that the government denied. The involved lands constituted the bulk of northern Saskatchewan and some of Alberta. Native concerns had not changed significantly in 30 years: guaranteed hunting, fishing and trapping rights; support for and maintenance of existing mission schools; a supply of medicines and a resident doctor; and state care for the aged and infirm, all matters that had been raised during earlier treaty talks. Government responses were also consistent with past practices. The treaty terms dealt very narrowly with these specific questions, and the commissioners asked the Indians to trust to the government's benevolence in supplying wants. Reserves were to be calculated on the basis of one square mile per family of five, but there was also a provision for the allotment of 160 acres in severalty, without the right to alienation, to those who desired it (in other words, Indians could choose to take title to private property off the reserve, although they would lose their Indian status if they did so). The participation of the province of Ontario in the negotiations for Treaty 9 was not repeated in this instance, as the newly created Prairie provinces did not gain jurisdiction over their natural resources when admitted to provincial status. Any conflict between provincial regulations and guaranteed treaty hunting, fishing, and trapping rights were, as a result, postponed until the Natural Resources Transfer Act of 1930 opened the door to provincial interference in Indian activities. Treaty 10 was signed on 20 July 1906.

Map of Select Reserves and Treaties with First Nations Peoples.

Select Reserves and Treaties with First Nations Peoples.

Chinook Multimedia, Paul Hackett.

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Chinook Multimedia


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