Chief John Iron Reports Violation Regarding Treaty 10 Negotiations and Implementation


In 1907 Thomas A. Borthwick traveled to the Treaty 10 area to attain additional signatories to the agreement as well as make annuity payments. When he met the Canoe Lake community, Chief John Iron outlined many grievances about the treaty making process and the treaty’s implementation. He complained that he did not receive enough time to present his views regarding the treaty to J.A.J. McKenna the previous year. He indicated their concerns about fishing and hunting rights. Lastly, he outlined that they received less in supplies and annuities than they had been given by McKenna. Records indicate that Borthwick did not take any of his concerns seriously. These grievances continued to be a source of tension between the Canoe Lake Nation (along with many other northern communities) and the government in the subsequent years.

This event is in keeping with a larger pattern of government agreements being made in bad faith. For example, after the terms of treaty 10 had been negotiated, the Indigenous groups in the region reported that the government was not keeping its promises as had been agreed upon, particularly as it related to distribution of rations and medical care. Please see related entries on treaty 10 for further details.

“Canoe Lake Band Meeting with the Treaty 10 Commissioner, 24 June 1907.” Pg 5. In Treaty No. 10 and Reports of Commissioners. Ottawa: Queen’s Printer, 1907.