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Setting and Context

Setting and Context
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Confederation: a nation is born, a young nation among many older nations and a new nation with a voracious appetite for real estate. The Americans were stretching West as well and quite possibly would look North in their search for fertile farm land. The Canadian Prairies were a great temptation. And so the race began. Under the authority of the new federal government of Canada, treaties were signed clearing the rights between the lands of Ontario and British Columbia. All the treaties after confederation were numbered. One, at Stone Fort, Two at Manitoba Post, three at the northwest angle of Lake Superior, Four at Qu’Appelle in present day Saskatchewan, Five at Lake Winnipeg, Six in the Cree territory stretching across Saskatchewan and Alberta, and Seven with the Blackfoot in Alberta. With these seven treaties, the gap between British Columbia and the rest of Canada was closed. All possibility of American encroachment from the South had been cut off. The signing of the numbered treaties had been a great administrative victory for the young Canada. Unlike the Americans who had butchered their Native people in series of bloody and costly Indian wars, the Canadian had accomplished their settlement of the west diplomatically, peacefully, fairly…or was it fair?

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            For more on the making of treaty 6, visit Peel’s Prairie Provinces.
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