From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own. Carl Schurz

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Treaty 9 and the big lie

In this CBC Radio documentary, readings from Ontario's representative in Treaty 9 negotiations George MacMartin's diary note time and time again that each Band at first resisted signing the treaty, that is until Canada's representative Duncan Campbell Scott  assured them that they will be able to hunt, fish and otherwise use the full extent of their traditional lands as they have always. This is the big lie upon which this treaty was crafted.

One other item you may want to take note of is that the text of Treaty 9 was interpreted and translated for the Natives by none other than Duncan Campbell Scott himself.

 George MacMartin's big canoe trip In 1905, , Treaty Commissioner for Ontario, accompanied by federal commissioners and native guides, journeyed through rapids and hiked through the wilds to meet with First Nations leaders. The result was James Bay Treaty Nine. The treaty put northern Ontario into Canadian hands, but First Nations' tradition is clear: their leaders agreed to share the land, not give it away. Christopher Moore explores what the diary by George MacMartin reveals, and what it means today. 

 More from Historian Christopher Moore on Treaty 9  Kay on Treaty History: Well-meaning, wrong-headed