Were Canada's Treaties With The Native Peoples Freely Negotiated?

446 words - 2 pages

Canada's treaties with the Native peoples were not extremely freely negotiated.Firstly, the Canadian government's intention of the treaty was quite well-known. Obviously, they wanted to take the land which belongs to the natives'. In order to achieve their ambitious goal, they took advantage of the decay of the bison. Clearly, the Canadian government knew what the natives thought: they were losing their main source of food and they were willing to negotiate with the Canadian government. The Canadian government could just give the natives a sm ...view middle of the document...

In later treaties native people insisted on receiving farm animals and machinery so that they could support themselves with agriculture after they had given up their nomadic way of life. The government officially supported this idea of turning the natives into farmers and they sent out government agents to assist them, but in practice, government policy had the effect of making profitable farming impossible for the native peoples. Throughout the 1880s, with their leaders gone, their food source gone, their guns and horses confiscated, the native people tried to become farmers. This was supposedly the government's policy, but this policy had a peculiar twist. It claimed that in order to "evolve" from a so-called savage to a civilized existence, native people had to go through a period of primitive peasant agriculture. This meant subsistence farming on a minimum amount of land using only the most elementary handmade tools. Labour-saving machines like seeders and binders were not allowed on the reserves.In summary, the Canadian government indirectly forced the natives to sign the treaties. As soon as they signed it, the natives no longer had the right to govern themselves and lost their land forever.


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