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The Peoples, Their Places

Through the Mackenzie Basin: Treaty at Lesser Slave Lake

   
Through The Mackenzie Basin Original Edition"Keenooshayo (The Fish): 'You say we are brothers. I cannot understand how we are so. I live differently from you. I can only understand that Indians will benefit in a very small degree from your offer. You have told us you come in the Queen's name. We surely have also a right to say a little as far as that goes. I do not understand what you say about every third year.'

Mr. McKenna: 'The third year was only mentioned in connection with clothing.'

Keenooshayo: 'Do you not allow the Indians to make their own conditions, so that they may benefit as much as possible? Why I say this is that we today make arrangements that are to last as long as the sun shines and the water runs. Up to the present I have earned my own living and worked in my own way for the Queen. It is good. The Indian loves his way of living and his free life. When I understand you thouroughly I will know better what I shall do. Up to the present I have never seen the time when I could not work for the Queen, and also make my own living. I will consider carefully what you have said.'

Moostoos (The Bull): 'Often before now I have said I would carefully consider what you might say. You have called us brothers. Truly I am the younger, you the elder brother. Being the younger, if the younger ask the elders for something, he will grant his request the same as our mother the Queen. I am glad to hear what you have to say. Our country is getting broken up. I see the white man coming in, and I want to be friends. I see what he does, but it is best that we should be friends. I will not speak any more. There are many people here who may wish to speak.'

Whapeehayo (White Partridge): 'I stand behind this man's back' (pointing to Keenooshayo). 'I want to tell the Commissioners there are two ways, the long and the short. I want to take the way that will last longest.'

Neesnetasis (The Twin): 'I follow these two brothers, Moostoos and Keenooshayo. When I understand better I shall be able to say more.'

Mr. Laird: 'We shall be glad to hear from some of the Sturgeon Lake people.'

The Captain: (an old man): 'I accept your offer. I am old and miserable now. I have not my family with me here, but I accept your offer.' [continue]

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