Treaty 4 Adhesion


The final adhesion to Treaty 4 occurred in September, 1877 at Fort Walsh. Although Indigenous people did not cede their rights to the land, government officials recorded in the written document that they had. In exchange for transfer of title, the Dominion of Canada on behalf of the Queen promised to provide one-time presents, annual annuities, reserves, farming implements, the construction of schools, and guaranteed hunting, trapping and fishing rights.

As they did not speak or write English fluently, First Nations leaders relied on interpreters and oral agreements during the negotiations. Some of these agreements were not included in the written documents. As well, the Canadian Government avoided implementing aspects of the written treaty document to curb their spending. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discontentment surrounded the implementation of Treaty 4. In the subsequent years and decades many First Nations signatories complained that the government was not preventing starvation, preserving their livelihoods, or their sovereignty. The government was continually reluctant to uphold their end of the negotiations, in fact, utilizing discriminatory policies that would cause undue harm to Indigenous peoples.These issues stemmed from differing interpretations of the treaty and its intentions by First Nations signatories compared to the Canadian Government. The debate over the intentions of the treaties continued throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty first century. However, while the government claimed ignorance to the true intention of treaties, they were assertive and completely aware of the assimilative policies implemented, and aimed to remove Indigenous peoples from Canadian society altogether.
Sub Event
Fort Walsh