- National Unity
- A Strong Central Government
- Minority Rights
- National Expansion
- Railways and Economic Development
- Cultural Nationalism
Treaties with Indigenous Peoples
The colonial governments of British North America paid little regard to aboriginal and Métis peoples over the course of the 19th century, a policy that was continued by the dominion government after 1867 [see Macdonald and Indigenous Peoples; and Relations with First Nations and the Métis]. Many of the promises made to the Métis in the Manitoba Act went unfulfilled, and in 1885 grievances of both Métis and natives led to violence in the North-West Territories [see The Red River Rebellion and the Creation of Manitoba, 1869–70; and The North-West Rebellion of 1885].
The federal government and western native leaders signed a number of treaties, such as Treaty No.4, detailed in the biography of PASKWĀW, a chief of a Plains Saulteaux band [see Indigenous Peoples]:
“Paskwāw attended the negotiation of Treaty no.4 at Fort Qu’Appelle in September 1874, which brought together all the Plains Indians of what is now southern Saskatchewan. The terms of the treaty called for a cession of all Indian rights to the land in that area and a promise by the Indians to obey Canadian laws. In return, the Indians were offered a gratuity of $7 and an annuity of $5 for each band member, $15 for each headman, and $25 for each chief. They were promised a reserve of one square mile for every five Indians, the maintenance of a school on each reserve, certain farm implements, livestock, and other benefits. Each chief and headman was to receive a treaty medal and a suit of clothing every three years. Paskwāw’s only recorded contribution to the discussion of these terms concerned the sale of Rupert’s Land to Canada by the Hudson’s Bay Company. He argued that the land belonged to the Indians and that the £300,000 paid to the HBC should have been given to them. In spite of the firm refusal of the Canadian representatives [see Alexander Morris] to consider this demand, Paskwāw signed the treaty.”
For more on the treaties between aboriginal peoples and the dominion government, consult the biographies listed below.