Treaty 4 Delegates Meeting in Ottawa


Nine delegates from Treaty 4 nations visited Ottawa and held meetings with Frank Pedley and Frank Oliver over eight days. The delegation protested the lack of fulfilment of treaty promises, particularly where agriculture, education, and medical care were concerned. Residents of the Ochapowace reserve argued that white settlers were permitted to cut down tress and hay without the consent of the band members, whereas the band members had to obtain a permit from the Indian agent to cut down trees and hay. The concerns of the group were largely dismissed by federal officials. Ottawa agreed only to improve education.

By ignoring the requests of the Treaty 4 delegates, the Canadian government was refusing to provide the necessary tools for subsistence and success of members in Treaty 4. Problems surrounded the implementation of Treaty 4. In the subsequent years and decades many First Nations signatories reported that the government was not fulfilling the promises made during treaty negotiations. For example, First Nations signatories report that they did not cede, surrender or release their title to land - this terminology of land ownership or forfeiture of title does not exist in Plains Indigenous languages. First Nations leaders did not speak or write English fluently, and thus relied on interpreters and oral agreements during the negotiations. Some of these agreements were not included in the written documents. Following creation of the treaties, the Canadian Government avoided implementing aspects of the written treaty document to curb their spending.