Treaty 6: Background


In response to the depletion of bison and recurring epidemics Indigenous peoples on the Plains north of the Treaty 4 boundaries entered into a new treaty with the Dominion of Canada. They hoped to ensure future community prosperity. Alexander Morris was the treaty commissioner. In comparison to other treaties, the Treaty 6 negotiations focused more specifically on medical assistance and famine relief. On 23 August multiple Indigenous leaders agreed to the terms of Treaty 6, which provided signatories with reserves for farming, annual annuities, annual chief salaries, farming implements, education, hunting, fishing and trapping rights, and aid (most notably in times of famine or epidemic), in exchange for sharing 120,000 acres of land in western Canada. Additional signings occurred on 28 August.

Treaty 6 negotiations resulted in the creation of two new concessions: aid in times of pestilence and famine and medical assistance. Disagreement surrounded the implementation of Treaty 6. 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.

Morris, Alexander. The Treaties of Canada with the Indians of Manitoba and the North-West Territories Including the Negotiations on which they were based, and other Information relating thereto. Saskatoon: Fifth House, 1991. 168-222. St. Germain, Jill. Broken Treaties: United States and Canadian Relations with the Lakotas and the Plains Cree, 1868-1885. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2009. 177-250.

Sub Event
Fort Carlton

Background Information