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Virtual Museum of Canada The Making of Treaty #8 in Canada's Northwest
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The Peoples, Their Places

Through the Mackenzie Basin: Treaty at Lesser Slave Lake

Through The Mackenzie Basin Original Edition"Mr. Ross.had gone on by trail from Edmonton, partly in order to inspect it, and managed to reach the lake before us, which was fortunate, since Indians and half-breeds had collected in large numbers, and he was thus able to allay their irritation and to distribute rations pending the arrival of the other members of the Commission. During the previous winter, upon the circulation in the North of the news of the coming treaty, discussion was rife, and every cabin and teepee rang with argument. The wiseacre was not absent, of course, and agitators had been at work for some time endeavouring to jaundice the minds of the people - half breeds, it was said, from Edmonton, who had been vitiated by contact with a low class of white men there - and, therefore, nothing was as yet positively known as to the temper and view of the Indians. But whatever evil effect these tamperings might have had upon them, it was felt that a plain statement of the proposals of the Government would speedily dissipate it, and that, when placed before them in Mr. Laird's customary kind and lucid manner, they would be accepted by both Indians and half-breeds as the best obtainable, and as conducing in all respects to their truest and most permanent interests." [continue]

Reprinted from Through the Mackenzie Basin: An Account of the Signing of Treaty No. 8 and the Scrip Commission, 1899 by Charles Mair.