Treaty 6 Adhesion: Lac La Ronge and Montreal Lake


In response to low fur prices and poor hunting and fishing conditions the Wood Cree of Lac La Ronge and Montreal Lake sought to gain the economic benefits of Treaty 6. These groups agreed to the same terms of Treaty 6 signed earlier, 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). However, they requested that agricultural items be exchanged for goods they expected to be more useful in the forested environment, such as ammunition. This adhesion added over 10,000 square miles of land to the Treaty 6 area providing the Canadian government with the ability to freely expand logging into the region.



In Bounty and Benevolence a History of Saskatchewan Treaties, authors Arthur Ray, J.R. Miller, and Frank Tough write on this adhesion of treaty 6: "From the official written records of the talks, the issues raised included the request for a payment of arrears going back to the date of the original treaty in 1876 reserves and surveys, schools, the substitution of some agricultural items for more ammunition and twine, and a request for a farm instructor. With respect to back payment, Irvine explained that he was authorized to pay only twelve dollars to each person. After the adjournment, the provision for agricultural assistance in Treaty 6 was discussed, and fewer cattle, some pigs, and fewer ploughs and fewer scythes were suggested. Similarly, the horses, harnesses, and wagons were not seen as useful by the Wood Cree. McNeill noted "The value for the articles that they wont [sic]receive under Treaty stipulations in ammunition and twine for nets." The chiefs also expected seed potatoes and requested medicines. Councillor Bird asked that "the old and helpless people may get some clothing." McNeill's notes also recorded that "Col. Irvine said that he would recommend to the Government that they should be supplied with the things they have asked for."

The adhesion of 1889 is unique because it added territory to the original territory described as Treaty 6 and because it was conducted during the winter trapping season. The adhesion concerned not only Indian title in the territory described by the adhesion document but also "transfer, surrender and relinquish" of any other lands: "Also all our right, title and interest whatsoever to all other lands wherever situated, whether within the limits of any other Treaty heretofore made or hereafter to be made with Indians, and whether the said lands are situated in the North-West Territories or elsewhere in Her Majesty's Dominions, to have and to hold the same unto and for the use of Her Majesty the Queen, Her heirs and successors forever."[71] The Crown's statement of a broad interest in unspecified lands outside a particular geographic territory of a treaty or a territorial adhesion is known as a "blanket extinguishment clause." (pp. 144-145).


  • Ray, Arthur J., Ray, Arthur J., Bounty and Benevolence a History of Saskatchewan Treaties. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2000. pp. 144-145.