The Department of Indian Affairs Adopts a stringent Financial Policy

In an effort to reduce their costs the Department of the Interior pressured their officials in the North West to cut costs. Various methods were undertaken to promote this initiatve. For example, the department adopted a policy of only giving agricultural implements and cattle to those bands they believed intended to use them. Furthermore, in 1876 David Laird—Minister of the Interior—adopted a policy whereby implements promised under the treaties could only be given with permission from the Department, assuring further delays in providing goods and services to First Nations that were agreed upon under the treaties.

Date Explanation
Policy implemented in the 1870s
Result
By withholding goods that were promised under the treaties, the Canadian government proved that they did not take the treaties seriously. The agreement they came to with Indigenous leaders was nothing more than a ploy to take from the Indigenous groups without any type of compensation. By not distributing the promised goods to Indigenous groups, the Canadian government also left Indigenous people in extreme poverty. Many of the treaties were negotiated because Indigenous leaders knew that their people needed help to survive. The buffalo was declining and Indigenous groups were struggling to find different means of nutrition. With the negotiation of the treaties, Indigenous groups were promised help with food shortages, and many agricultural tools so that they could begin to grow their own food and become self-sufficient. The government withholding goods that would help with these things was a decision that left many families in danger, and perpetuated the cycle of poverty that still exists for Indigenous people today.
Rural or Urban
both
Start Date
1870-00-00
End Date
1879-00-00
Community