Indigenous people complained of the quality of tobacco, ammunition, and farming implements distributed to them. These were items that had been promised in treaty negotiations, and had been included in the written documents. The tobacco was of such bad quality that in some cases Aboriginal people simply threw it away. The shot distributed the previous year was all No. 5-8 shot, but should have been No. 2 shot instead. The wooden pitchforks that were distributed were of poor quality, and it was recommended that steel ones should be distributed instead, which would make work more efficient. Government officials like Angus Mackay who interacted with Indigenous people recognized the barriers presented by the distribution of improper goods to Indigenous people on the prairies.
The goods promised to Indigenous people were not always of sufficient quality to make them valuable and useful. These were items that had been promised in treaty negotiations, and had been included in the written documents. This reflects the government's attempts to fulfill their obligations as minimally as possible. Likely, the government did not provide Indigenous peoples with the rations and tools promised to them to continually undermine Indigenous capabilities to remain self sufficient, because the government denied quality goods promised in treaties Indigenous peoples were left to make do with what was given. By denying goods to Indigenous peoples, the government carried out their policy of assimilation by forcing Indigenous peoples to bend to the government's whims and/or succumb to disease, malnutrition, and death. Although it was not ethical, it was legal.
Treaty 4 and Treaty 6