During the summer of 1899, Treaty #8 was concluded with various
native peoples in what is now northern Alberta. Traveling with the
Treaty and Scrip Commissions was the writer Charles Mair, whose Through
the Mackenzie Basin would provide a detailed description of the
people and places of the North.
At the head was placed the Hon. David Laird.... A nature in which
fairness and firmness met was, of all dispositions, the most suited
to handle such important negotiations.
On the 3rd of June, we took to the water, and a photograph of the
scene having been taken, shoved off from Athabasca Landing.
It was horrible to look upon. The chain-gang
galley slaves.... Yet onward they went, with teeth set and hands
bruised by the rope, surmounting difficulty after difficulty with
the pith of lions.
Tepees were seen in all directions from our camp.
The vast [Peace] River, the [Vermilion] rapids and the falls form
a majestic picture, not only of material grandeur, but of power to
be utilized some day in the service of man.
The Lesser Slave Lake Indian Regional Council is commemorating
the Centennial of the signing of Treaty #8 with various other Native
groups. Vision Quest, a celebration of the signing, will take place
June 17-21, 1999. Proposed activities include a reaffirmation
through a signing reenactment, monument unveiling, medallion
presentations, a RCMP Musical Ride, a pow-wow, a tea dance and many
Aboriginal artists and per formers. Contact the Treaty 8 Centennial
Committee at 780.849.4943 or