For History . . .
Chapter 10 – Treaties With Natives
When Canada’s first prime minister, John A. Macdonald purchased Rupert’s Land from the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1869, it spelled the end for native ways in the Canadian west. This was particularly true for the Blackfoot (Siksika) nation. The Blackfoot were excellent buffalo hunters and they used all parts of the buffalo in their everyday lives. They ate the meat, used the bones for tools, and used the hides for clothes and teepees.
By the mid-1800s, however, the buffalo began to disappear because of overhunting. We already know that story. Many native leaders wanted to go to war with the White Man for having ruined their way of life and taking all of the land. The leader of the Blackfoot nation, Chief Crowfoot, decided this was the wrong strategy. Instead, Crowfoot made a deal with the Canadian government. In 1877, he signed a document named Treaty Number Seven. This treaty stated that the Blackfoot people would be taken care of until the end of the time, and that they would have their own land to live on. This land is known as a reserve. Crowfoot figured a little bit of land was better than no land at all, so he signed the treaty, and so did a lot of other native nations out west.
Crowfoot soon realized that living on a reserve was no picnic. The person in charge on the reserve was an Indian Agent, and he was a white Canadian man. The Blackfoot people were given just enough food to survive, and there was nothing really for them to do, Their old ways of hunting were now done. Many of them also died from a disease known as smallpox. They got this disease from the “white man.” Crowfoot realized he had been duped by the Canadian government, but by then it was too late. The natives had been placed on reserves. They are still there today.
Watch the following video and answer the questions below:
What did Chief Crowfoot realize?
Chief Crowfoot signed Treaty Number Seven in 1877. What was it?
“Education was the new buffalo.” What is this in reference to?
By 1880 it was all over for the buffalo. Explain.
What happened to Crowfoot’s children?
When did Crowfoot die?
In 1905 the province of Alberta was born. What was happening with the Blackfoot at this time?
What did the Canadian government do to the Blackfoot during the First World War (1914-1918)?
Who is Cecil Crowfoot? Tell me about his life.
What are Indian agents? Explain in detail.
Read page 148 of the textbook, A Cree Legend. Answer the six questions on the bottom of the page.
Today’s natives are trying to get some of their land back, saying their ancestors were tricked out of giving away their land. Do you feel sorry for the natives? Explain why or why not.