I turn once more to Naylor for a brief overview of the period beginning in 1880:
The years 1880-83 were ones of international prosperity, rapid railway construction, and land fever in the newly opened west. In the first half of the decade 166,400 immigrants arrived in the Canadian west - of which over half soon moved on. Most of the transients were railway workers; many were fortune seekers and speculators. A wave of speculation, fed by eastern Canadian and British money and by the Hudson's Bay Company policy of rapid sales of land on credit, produced an array of paper fortunes, but little settlement. The CPR by contrast refrained from selling its lands, instead encouraging a policy of rapid settlement and the giveaway of government land in the hopes that population increase would generate traffic revenue and raise the value of its land holding.
In the middle of the boom John A. McDonald turned loose his party's faithful, and there followed a series of grabs for timber, minerals and land. In addition the colonization companies, which had been discredited in the Mackenzie period, were revived and ceded blocks of odd-numbered sections outside the CPR belt for one dollar per acre. Tory businessmen also set up colonization railways and small railways that were to be financed by land grants rather than cash subsidies, and were given gifts of land and other forms of state aid before tumbling into the laps of the big trunk lines.
Securing land from the government was one thing - selling it to settlers quite another. To secure colonists the Dominion authorities, led by High Commissioner Alexander Galt and backed up by the Department of Agriculture, spread false and misleading information about climate and living conditions in the west. Some of the immigrants who were attracted from Britain succumbed to the unexpected severity of the physical climate; others returned home discouraged. In the end all but one of the colonization companies defaulted on their payments and were liquidated, though not before the government, in spite of them not having lived up to the terms of their grants, confirmed their titles to their lands, and those of a lot of highly placed individual fortune hunters drawn from the Canadian and British economic and social elites.
To facilitate this invasion the Department of the Interior was expanded and two new branches created; "Land Sales" and "Accounts."
The engine to run the scheme was the railroad and the fuel Indian homelands and their resiurses. Indians were at best merely a nuisance, at worst an additional expense!
By 1880 Indian agents and other departmental personnel were already aware that the white plague, tuberculosis, was among the Ojibwa.
At first Vankoughnet ignored the reports completely. Not until 1885 would there be official reference to it (Graham - Cumming 1967:133).
Small pox was so violent in its attack that it panicked the invaders as much as the Ojibwa feared it themselves. Under those circumstances, once the Canadians had begun to settle in the west the department was forced to respond quickly to any outbreak of that particular disease among Indian people.
Tuberculosis, on the other hand, was the ideal disease of passive genocide. Insidious, the disease spread quickly in homes, but it began its deadly attack slowly, wasting away its victims. And although the end could be awash with the horrifyingly brilliant red blood of a lung haemorrhage, death was "expected" by then. It was a disease easily ignored" or "neglected", allowing it to do its work in keeping down Indian Affairs expenses for the Canadian government.
I will use data from the Graham-Cumming article, for the data is from good research done by another researcher, C.R. Maundrill. The article as a whole, however, is nothing more than another piece of government propaganda. The real purpose of the piece can be found in this excerpt:
Consequently, in only one of the many Indian Treaties can be found any reference to any matter relating directly to health. This one reference is to be found in Treaty No. 6 in the series of treaties made between the Crown and the Plain and Wood Cree Indians of what is now Saskatchewan in 1876, nine years after Confederation. It merely provides that a medicine chest be kept in the office of each Indian Agent, a reasonable enough precaution in a sparsely populated area where physicians were, to say the least, rare. Nothing is said about physician services and, in fact, it is not even stipulated that the medicines were to be used free of charge for the benefit of Indians. Thus, contrary to much popular misconception regarding the matter, Canadian Indians do not have any treaty or legal rights to free health services to be provided by the central government, The central government did not and, in fact, does not recognize any legal obligations to provide health services to Indians or Eskimos free of charge or otherwise. The matter simply did not occur to the minds of the treaty makers, either Indian or white, as of any significance whatever. For one thing, the Indians had their own ideas on the causation and cure of diseases and no great respect for anyone else's. They had no particular use for the white physician and his strange ideas and methods. The white negotiators were primarily concerned to ensure peace by letting the Indians live in their own way free of interference of any sort. It seemed a perfectly reasonable arrangement.
The article is from the 1960s when the Frenchman, Trudeau, was bent on termination. The sixties were a time of myth making for Canada; the age of Lester Pearson and the Nobel peace prize, and Trudeau and the just society. The benevolent image Canada sought to present to the world and the United nations included "Indians too" as the "song" went.
As part of the Canadian myth Indian Affairs denied that the Indian Commissioner Simpson had promised Canada's commitment to the welfare of the people of Treaty One. It was made to appear that the Ojibwa were given health care, first out of the "goodness" and "benevolence" of Canada, and later because of universal health care.
This is just one more cheap trick used to bolster Canada's image and hide its shameful history from the world.
Let us now consider this idiotic statement of this civil servant in more detail.
He would have the world believe that the Ojibwa ancestors were without "respect" for other cultures. That would be contrary to that basic survival tool - pragmatic adaptation. The Invaders own records right back into the fur trade period show that the people in general, and their shaman in particular, obtained and used Euro-African-Asian medicines and techniques when they were appropriate.
The Indians have always shown respect for professional medical service and have even paid for it when the Canadians cheated on their agreement.
What the people did not trust, nor respect for that matter, were the clerks, agents, teachers, farm instructors and such that the Indian Affairs used to practice medicine illegally and without training in order to reduce costs and maintain the policy of passive genocide.
The reason that the "medicine chest" appeared at the negotiations at Carlton was the fact that Canada had already reneged on the welfare commitment in treaty one and the Ojibwa were there at Carlton to point that out to their kinsmen.
The following article on Indian supplies appeared in the newspaper of March 6, 1880:
We have not the evidence in the advertisement called for tenders for Indian supplies for Manitoba and the Northwest Territories that the blackest corruption ever practised by a government is in contemplation, but in the same we have the manifestation that the door has been opened wide for just such a thing. The departure which the department has seen fit to make this year in this matter is somewhat extraordinary. If it does not indicate incompetence it does something worse. This is the universal opinion in circles here best able to pass upon the matter. Hitherto the practice has been to receive the supplies at some point, mostly Winnipeg, accessible by regular established freight lines, hence having passed inspection as to quality, quantity etc.. They have been transported to the different places for distribution amongst the Indians by contractors who have tendered especially for such service. In other words, the supplies were obtained and freighted, done by separate contracts. This year it is not to be so. The tenders are for the various articles delivered at the points of distribution scattered over the entire vast area, the Canadian northwest. The barest thought suffices to show not only the superiority of the former mode but the very absurdity of the latter unless some other object than securing the public interest be in view. Competition is if not absolutely provided at least narrowed down to such limits as to render calling for tenders at all little better than a farce. It must be apparent to all that while for a thousand and one articles included in the list delivered in Winnipeg there might be the keenest kind of competition for the same delivered hundreds of miles away and at places only accessible by special conveniences there might and would not probably be a tithe to the fitters, excepting in a few lines there is not sufficient of any one article required at any one point to make it worthwhile or even practicable to provide for its transportation alone fitter. Yet this is what every person tendering, therefore, must of necessity calculate upon doing. The effect of this is patent. It will be the precluding of anything worth the name of competition. Only can fitters be even ventured by combination which if made will do so to their and not the country's advantage or by traders in proximity to the spot of delivery. There is enough in this alone to suggest what is mentioned above, the blackest corruption. But this is not all. The manner of delivery specified in the advertisement of any of the articles at any date between the first of June 1880 and the 30th of May 1881 that may be required is enough at first glance to frighten those who may otherwise tender. This plan of joint supply and delivery at remote points has other most glaring advantages at least from a public standpoint. What chances, therefore, effective and satisfactory inspection of the articles supplied, when they shall have arrived at their destination at some distant place and the Indians waiting for their distribution, perhaps it will be too late to reject them if they be found defective. From whatever side this system is viewed it is to put it very mildly most defective. We do not say just now that the government really have been at pains to devise an Indian supply system most susceptible of being worked to the advantage of favourites and that shall most facilitate public robbery. But if not we do say that they have accidentally stumbled across just that sort of thing. Whether they will avail themselves of their opportunity is a question which the future will show. Meantime we know of the existence of such opportunity, purposely or accidentally created. The method of tendering according to description or samples exhibited only at Ottawa and Winnipeg instead of by some well known designation and standard is also radically wrong. Its only effect is to still further narrow down the competition. An analysis of the tender schedules bring out evidence at every glance of work in keeping with that just under mentioned. The tender forms are so defective that it is impossible in some lines to fill them out intelligibly and intellectually. A most noticeable feature in the Treaty 6 form is that delivery is only asked for at two points in all that vast territory, Edmonton and Prince Albert. Why should such important points such as Fort La Corn, Duck Lake, Carlton, Battleford, Fort Pitt, Lac La Biche, Whitefish Lake and Victoria not be included? Apart from the wrong to the Indians of constraining them to travel hundreds of miles to receive their pittance there is the inadvisability, universally conceded by those experienced, of congregating the Indians in such large numbers than is absolutely necessary. . . . When the articles are required of which samples are furnished or descriptions given include many of most remarkable character for the purpose, for instance, the sugar is soft whereas for the purposes of the Indians which all who know his requirements and understand it is almost essential that it should be loaf. The tobacco is innocent of a brand and is a "hypocrite", being a fine wrap of good leaves filled with dust. The question that irresistibly forces itself upon the mind of the least uncharitable is what friend of the government has got just such sugar or just such tobacco. The matter of breaking plows; it is noticeable that for Treaties 1 and 2 those of American manufacture are stipulated. That is a queer commentary on a home manufactured government surely. Nor would it be peculiar but for the fact that it is only for those two treaties that such a condition is imposed. Why the distinction? Cows to be eligible for Treaty 4 must be bought in Ontario. We stop right here to ask why? Has the Canadian government not got a single friend in the whole of Manitoba and the Northwest Territories that has a cow to sell? Perhaps not. But there are plenty of most excellent cows raised in the country and it is simply outrageous that the hardy frontiersmen stocks should be proscribed from government purchase to give Ontarioites, most surely a very few, a monopoly. Such is the fact. Pork is not to be too fat. Did ever any person here have such a negative good quality in pork for Indian purposes before. Has any Tory pork packer or pork dealer an accumulation of scrawny pork? If so had the Indians got hold of it, give them a wide birth ever after. And what for in the world do the government propose sending the Indians moccasins? Rather the most of people will think, should the Indians send moccasins to the government? This is carrying coals to Newcastle with a vengeance. Did circumstances permit we could proceed in this strain through columns. We may return to the matter again but enough has been advanced to abundantly demonstrate the inexcusable stupidity or daring dishonesty about the possibilities strongly in favour of the latter. In Canada we have persuaded ourselves that the trouble the United States have had with their Indians is mostly attributed to dishonest management. But the fault in this respect never got higher up than the officers of the government. Unless a combination of circumstances in our case entirely belie the real facts we are going to outstrip them. We may not be able to get up a greater Indian circus than they have almost continuously on hand, but there is a chance for this difference. Theirs is the result of the propagation of "under strappers", ours of the government themselves.
(Free Press, March 6, 1880)
When the Winnipeg merchants on the out had complained about Provencher's "corrupt" practices Ottawa had taken complete control over Indian supplies. Now the Winnipeg merchants were all afraid they won't get any of the patronage.
The influx of settlers into the Plains Ojibwa homelands had become so great by this time that the land offices were closed in Portage and opened further northwest, west and southwest at Gladstone, Birdtail Creek and Turtle Mountain (Free Press, April 24, 1880).
Disraeli and the British Empire having acquired India had sought other colonies for exploitation and Lord Beaconsfield had set his greedy eyes upon Burma. It opened with a campaign of character assassination of the Burmese king and the likes of the following began to appear in Newspapers throughout the British Empire:
From the Chicago Times
Burma - What Led to the Horrible Massacre
[The Burmese King is an alcoholic according to the Americans] His rage vented itself on his ministers and the members of his family suspected of scheming to overthrow him. Panic reigned at Mandalay. Naturally the criminal classes came to the surface in such a crisis when ministers and princes were bowstrung every day at the command of the King. It is not strange that anarchy prevailed. . . . The horrible condition of affairs attracted the attention of the Indian and of the British Imperial government and if Lord Beaconsfield had not been at the moment engaged in rectifying the unscientific frontier in Afghanistan and chastising king Cetewayo in Zululand for committing the frightful offence of minding his own business he would undoubtedly have engaged in the laudable enterprise of restoring peace in Burma and would have annexed the country by way of compensation. . . . The new Liberal ministry in England may find in Burma a chance to wage a new war and make a new conquest which will not be instigated by the ambition or caprice of a Prime Minister and which are sure to be popular at home and in India. (Free Press, April 24, 1880)
As I move closer and closer to 1885 the reader will note that the causes of, and the military solution used in the Plains Cree-Métis war were part of a much larger Imperialistic state of mind that prevailed throughout the British Empire.
This was the year that John A. McDonald introduced Bill 90 which would create the new Conservative Indian Act. It, however, differed little from the Reformer's Act and it passed so quickly that it was introduced, debated and passed in a single day. The key policy was still termination through enfranchisement. That caught the Liberal's fancy, as Mills now in opposition noted: "the 'mischievous effects that flow from allowing the Indians. . . to hold their property in common,' saying that as a result, they have all sunk . . . to the level of the most indolent"' (Boswell 1977:117).
Mills' personal focus was on the Indian people of eastern Canada but the philosophy of "private" property was clear.
This revealed another one of those great ironies that I found in the Canadian rhetoric. Howe had ordered the survey of the Portage Band reserve into lots like those of the parishes. But Canada was just too damn cheap to do that. So they had lost that possibility of an early subdivision.
The Ojibwa might have taken up the parish lot system along the river, but we weren't foolish enough to die of thirst on Bouchette's square system, miles from the only source of good water - the springs of the north escarpment of the Assiniboine valley.
Once more the rabid assimilationists, Paterson and Fleming, were using patriotism as an excuse for extinction; ". . . the solution of the Indian problem can only be found in wiping out of the distinction which exists between the races" (Paterson, Commons, May 5, 1880).
It was at this time that Indian Affairs was designated as a separate "department." It was, however, still controlled by the Ministry of the Interior. As Titley the biographer of D .C. Scott points out:
Indian administration was usually regarded as a minor component of that minister's portfolio, and, in practice, effective decision-making lay in the hands of the deputy superintendent general, the head of the department. This practice became well established during the tenure of Lawrence Vankoughnet, who served as deputy superintendent from 1874 until 1893. Vankoughnet was a lifelong friend of John A. McDonald, and when the Conservative leader returned to power in 1878, retaining the interior portfolio in his own hands, the deputy superintendent was given virtually a free hand in running his department.
As far as the Ojibwa were concerned things changed in Ottawa but remained the same. In fact the basic framework of the 1880 Indian Act will remain the same until 1951.
On May 31, 1880 the Winnipeg office deals with what they consider to be an old Problem:
Manitoba Superintendency to Supt. General of Ind. Affairs, May 31, 1880
. . . Mr. Indian Agent Ogletree had written recommending that the suits of clothing sent for Chief "Yellow Quill" and his Councillors in 1872 still in his possession should be given to them; as they were being considerably damaged by mice.
In accordance with the instructions contained in your said letter I instructed Mr. Ogletree to give the clothing to Yellow Quill and his Councillors at once.
I herewith enclose copy of Mr. Agent Ogletrees letter informing me that upon receipt of my letter instructing him to issue the clothing in question to Yellow Quill and his Councillors at once that he did so except to one Councillor who had not come for his, the Medals he refers to in his letter I have instructed him to return them to this office as I concur in his views that other councillors would be clambering for Medals also. (PAC RG 10 V 3711, f 19651)
In 1880 the Globe in Toronto picks upon a practice that has existed in western Canada since 1869:
It is a notorious fact that a great many speculators in Ontario and Quebec who have no intentions of removing to the Northwest are investing such money as they can spare in northwest lands. That they desire to make a good thing out of future settlers is already so widely felt that a number of agents have devoted themselves solely to the business of "locating" land for absentees. The required cash payment is so small that speculation is encouraged while the government receives but little money for the blocks of fertile land which are being withdrawn from the possibility of immediate cultivation. (Free Press, June 5, 1880)
In fact, these speculators not only buy company land but hire agents to sit on good quarter sections in order to obtain homestead lands in much the same way as Robert McDermott will use a tenant farmer to buy Long Plain surrendered land for him.
On June 8, 1880 Ogletree was a delegate at the Tory convention. The other delegates from Portage were William Lyons, J. Garrick, John Connor, and W.W. Miller. At that time P. la P. was in the Marquette constituency.
The saga of the Liberal turncoat Joseph Ryan is quite interesting. As I have noted, at that time P. la P. was in Marquette. During the 1874 election the incumbent Liberal member, Robert Cunningham, was re-elected. Then by a court decision on August 25, 1874 Joseph Ryan took over the seat for the Liberals. Next, during the 1878 election, Ryan supposedly a Liberal, gave his seat up for John A., the ultimate Tory. However, when John A. McDonald resigned that seat for another, Ryan still supposedly a Liberal, got the seat again on November 30, 1878 (Johnson 1968:627). Now the Conservatives have made him a Judge.
While the Conservatives are therefore hopeful, the Liberals on the other hand are not happy with Ryan:
From the Liberal
A convention to be held for deciding on a fit and proper person to fill the vacancy to be created by the resignation of Joseph O.C. Ryan of his seat in the Dominion Commons on his acceptance of the office recently created for him by his considerate friends of the government for his blind support of them for all measures introduced or approved of by the Great Chieftain (Free Press, June 26, 1880)
Such are the ways of Canadian politicians.
In July the following interesting article appeared in the newspaper:
A letter from Chief Prince to the Editor of the FreePress St. Peter's Reserve, July 19, 1880
I shall feel most obliged to you if you will insert the following lines in your paper as an objectory statement of what was published in your columns regarding my tribe. First in respect to the habitual drunkenness etc. of some in our band and its accompanying evils. Secondly, the evils of receiving the yearly annuity from government consequent of producing laziness trusting too much upon the insignificant sum of $5 for a living. Let me answer the first statement that about intoxicating stuff. My Indians are not to be blamed altogether for introducing the liquor into the treaty grounds when I myself can testify in former years some whites who have been convicted for selling the whiskey and that this year they did sell again but escaped the law through the neglect of those whom we had appointed to watch over the grounds. Any persons from the upper part of the settlement and from Selkirk and Winnipeg too came down among us seeking what they might devour. It has become a notorious fact that a certain Justice of the Peace nearly raised another disturbance in the midst of my people with his foul language and his objection to pay the usual fee to the chief's collector. A by-law passed for the benefit of the reservation by the chief and council, a regulation always observed on the reserve by right of our authority of our council granted us by the Dominion government through the Indian Act. I and my council have the principle jurisdiction in all minor matters as to the improvement and general welfare of both my reserve and people. I am empowered by the Act to make by-laws and enforce the same in my reservation as every other municipality with its officers are now endeavouring to do for the same purposes and for the good of the country. If I or my people were to step into their boundaries and defy them to their teeth and use the language that the Justice used to us and not to comply with a certain by-law which we were to act before we had the liberty to act in any business for our profit to be reaped by us from the municipality, we would be very likely taken and ejected by the authority of the warden and the council. Considering that I and my council are acting for our own benefit and welfare it is nothing to any man's business where the money goes or to whom it is paid. We are representatives of our people, do not destroy much public money as we are unfortunately non-political agitators. But we cannot allow any persons whom they be Justices of the Peace or not, to trample on our by-laws with impunity. Should they threaten us of future punishment as this certain Justice did on the occasion saying that he would have us in a tight corner yet, it is for us to be on our guard as to those statements. So far as the remarks as to the demoralization of the Indians is complained of I will explain. How can it be otherwise when we have so good an example before them in the shape of a distributor of law and order in the community. With reference to the liquor prohibition within the boundaries of the Indian reserve I perfectly agree with, as all the civilized governments are aware the Indian will drink that fire water whenever he can obtain it. Therefore it behooves on those particular days I should suggest and request that a proper guard of soldiers or Manitoba police were sent down to protect the interests of society and also keep the immorality of the whiteman from breaking the law and tempting our young men and women to purchase their made up "forty rod whiskey" so as not only to rob them of their little yearly pittance of $5 but try to seduce and act improperly with the poor ignorant and half drunken females of our tribe. I sincerely hope that stricter surveillance by the proper authorities will hereafter be obtained and that those miserable ruffians who import the rotten liquor will be brought to light and before the authorities for the punishment they so properly deserve. Then Sir, the evil is gone and I distinctly state that my people as a community are a quiet, orderly and church living people and evidence of our pastors can prove the above faithful statement. The remark as to our yearly pay and that the Indians wholly depend upon it is an absolute falsehood for they have in many cases good crops and fish and hunt for the support of their families and moreover the writer of the above remark must be besotted or slightly touched in his upper storey or he should recollect that the annuity is simply a right by treaty and by law, otherwise we should still hold our land intact and treat with whomsoever we pleased, even perhaps it might at the time have been Uncle Sam. How is this for "high old boy."
Signed by Chief and Council on behalf of band. Henry His x Mark Prince Chief
James Setter, junior secretary of band. (Free Press, July 31, 1880)
In Ireland the Irish tenant farmers are taking matters into their own hands:
Perils of an Irish Land Agent's Life
David Feerick has been over the past twelve months agent over the property in County Mayo of Mr. George Brown, late member of Parliament for that County. Previous to becoming Brown's land agent Feerick it is said was rather a prominent local land agitator. Since he became land agent, however, he seems to have acted in his new character with great harshness towards "the persecuted peasantry" in whose behalf it was his habit to attend "demonstrations" in the west of Ireland in which landlords and their agents were denounced and proscribed. His performances in the evicting line were so pronounced that some weeks ago he was fired at but escaped unhurt. Since then not unlike a few Irish land agents and landlords just now, a permanent guard of four policemen has been stationed at his residence, a large farm near the town of Ballirob. It is almost indispensable for a land agent in Ireland in these days to have a daring devil may care quality in his character. Feerick appears to be made of this stuff. He was what they described in the rural district as a strapping young man about 26 years of age, six feet high and of great physical strength. Although he knew he went about with his life in his hands he refused to be attended when he went abroad by his special guard. He went abroad by a special police guard. It is said that he used to say that he wouldn't satisfy those who were watching for an opportunity of popping him by showing that he was afraid of them. One day this week he was walking home leisurely along the high road about three o'clock in the afternoon. At a spot in the road, dark and gloomy even in the broad day by high walls and overhanging trees, he overtook and passed three men wearing grey frieze great coats and slouched hats. He gave them the usual salutation among the peasantry, "God save you kindly." He was scarcely proceeded two yards after this when a volley of pistol shots were fired at him with appalling effect. He fell on his face riddled with bullets. As he lay the men advanced and discharged more bullets into him, one of them placing the barrel of his revolver close to the face of the prostrate victim and discharged it, blowing the left eye completely out of the head. Then they did what I believe was never done before in a similar shooting case; they rifled his pockets robbing him of a purse containing some money. They then crossed a high wall and disappeared. As the unfortunate land agent lay on the road still conscious strange to say, two men came along. Then he moaned a request that they fetch a doctor and a priest. They stood over him and looked at him, recognized him, and refused to go for either priest or doctor and walked away. Soon after the county surveyor passed that way. He had the man placed in a cart and conveyed to the hospital where the doctors found no fewer than ten bullets in his head and body. Some of the bullets which struck him passed right through, others are lodged, one near the left eye and another in the right hip and a third in the back. The wretched man retained sufficient strength and consciousness to tell the terrible story.
Among the people of the locality there was exhibited not only the absence of sympathy for the victim but an implied approval of the deed. This was shown by the conduct of the two men who left him to die on the roadside like a dog. And by further circumstances that it was with the greatest difficulty the loan of a cart was produced to carry him to the hospital. Then again this outrage was perpetuated while an internment was taking place in a churchyard nearby and within a few paces of an inhabited cabin, yet the police have been unable to discover anyone who will admit having seen any portion of the transaction. The man's death is hourly expected. The wonder is that he has survived so long. [The article goes on to talk about threatening letters sent to a Galloway landlord named Blake who is threatening to evict a widow.] The writer of the threatening letter which he received was conversant with these not unusual facts in the contemporary history of Ireland. It addressed him in a friendly way as a "dear sur" and the writer begs to give him timely notice that twenty men are sworn to shoot him at home or abroad and if all the peelers in Ireland were about him if he persists in his resolve to put out the widow. That letter concludes with the following comprehensive announcement: Ireland will shortly make a clean sweep of all bad landlords. Mr. Blake has sent in a request to the Irish executive government for a special body guard of constabulary. This landlord is also a magistrate. (Free Press, July 31, 1880)
In the Russian Empire many of the land agents were Jewish and this led to the same results as in Ireland which have been interpreted as anti-Semitism.
The concept of one person making his living off the pain and suffering of another is quite prevalent in Euro-African-Asian culture therefore the rich can always find someone to do their dirty work for them.
Meanwhile the Canadians were still cheating the Indian people on cattle
Another "I.D." Horror - The Cattle for which the Indian Department Pays 57 per Head
From Monday's DailyFree Press
Some couple of miles out on the prairie are gathered a number of cattle, most of whom bear the brand I.D. There are we believe over one hundred head which have been supplied by contract for the Indian department at 57 a head, notwithstanding that there was another tender in for 45 dollars per head, which for some reason that doesn't appear, probably because it wasn't sent in by a "friend of Tupper's" as it was ignored. The cattle were to have been delivered at their respective destinations in June. Now it is August and the animals have only been got as far as Winnipeg. And such animals! Of all the scraggy broken down played out cattle that were ever brought into this country these are the climax. They were purchased in Ontario and possibly may have been good average cows once but if we may judge from the appearances, their usefulness is now gone and most of them look as though they were hopelessly aware of the fact and would like to lie down and die at once. It is the opinion of experts who have seen them that the majority of them will pay the debt of nature before fall. The animals, however, are not all bad. Here and there a promising looking cow may be seen but on such one looks in vain for the mystic letters I.D. This may seem a little curious but the fact is they are too good for the Indian department and so are being sold off at good prices to people in the city and their places presumably supplied by animals more in keeping with the contractor's view of what an "I.D." cow should be. If there is any difference in the matter of inferiority between the present I.D. cattle and the celebrated I.D. horses of last summer that cattle are probably the worse. These cows may be good enough to palm off on the poor Indian but they should hardly be taken at any price in this city. It is about time this I.D. farce was stopped. It may be all very well on the part of the Indian Department to give a friend a lift in the shape of a contract for 57 per head and turn their backs on another tender for 45 but the people who have to foot the bill and the Indians who have to use the cattle will hardly appreciate the ghastly mockery which supplies them with a decrepit aggregation of hide and bone and calls it a cow. If anyone wishes to satisfy himself as to the truth of our statements let him go and inspect the animals which are herded a short distance beyond the second slaughter house off the Portage Road. (Free Press, Aug. 7, 1880)
Ogletree submits his report for 1879-80 on September 25, 1880:
In accordance with instructions contained in circular, dated 20th July last, I herewith enclose tabular statement showing the census of the several bands of Indians, under my charge, for the year ending 30th June, 1880. The Long Plain band, Short Bear or Keeshkeenaquah chief, put down the same amount of seed that they did last year and, where the crops are taken care of, they look well. Many of the Indians, after they put in the crops, go away to hunt and do not return till the payments are made in July, and by that means they neglect them; it is impossible for me to say the amount they raise, as they are using them from the time they are fit for use, consequently they have but few things to lay up for the winter. (SP No. 14, 44 Vict. A 1881)
I have been urging on the members of the several bands to break more land, but invariably the reply is, the Government will not supply us with oxen. (Ibid.)
Meanwhile, one of the great enemies of the Ojibwa is making his way up the civil service ladder. On October 8, 1880 I found D. C. Scott is now a third-class clerk acting as an assistant bookkeeper in the accounting branch of the new "department" at a salary of $700.00 per annum.
Later that month on October 21, 1880 the contract to construct the transcontinental railway was signed. Much has been written on this scheme, most of it corporate and conservative propaganda. I will, therefore, have to turn to other sources.
First the view of that critic of the wealthy, Gustavus Myers:
By the terms of this munificent contract the Government obligated itself to complete certain unfinished parts of the railway, and to transfer to Stephen and partners for their own benefit more than 700 miles of railway the construction of which ultimately cost the Government $37,785,000. In these 700 odd miles was included the important and much-coveted Pembina branch, forming the connecting link of the St. Paul and Pacific Railway to Winnipeg. The contract apparently made a gift to the contractors of $25,000,000 but it actually involved a total contribution by the Canadian Government of more than $62,000,000 which sum was further augmented by necessary expenditures to extinguish the Indian title to lands granted to Stephen and associates. These additional outlays were equal, if capitalized, to $30,000,000 more.
And what was the entirety of this land grant? A huge domain of 25,000,000 acres of choice lands, valued even in that day before the great inrush of settlers began, at $79,500,000 at the very least estimate.
The land grant was not just "any" lands either, but only lands suitable for "settlement."
We now turn to the Liberal, Prescott, to discover who the Capitalists were who put the railway syndicate together.
George Stephen and Duncan McIntyre of Montreal; John S. Kennedy of New York, banker; Morton Rose & Company of London, England, merchants; Kohn, Reinach & Company, Paris, bankers, and Richard B. Angus and J.J. Hill of St. Paul, U.S.A., were incorporated as the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. In the list of the first directors of the company, Baron de Reinach represented his banking house, and Henry Stafford Northcote and Charles Day Rose the London banking house, the others being the individual names mentioned in the Act of Incorporation. Donald A. Smith's connection with the syndicate was to be kept secret until every possible concession had been granted.
The goblins were now in the railroad business in the west. They call their railroad the Canadian Pacific.
In anticipation of the riches to come Ryan’s town of Portage la Prairie was incorporated November 18, 1880.
McColl, a Liberal in the Tory civil service, is going out of his way to keep his job by being an obedient minion. I got a clear picture of this so-called "friend" of the Indians in his report of November 25. 1880:
Some complaints were made by Indians that the stipulations of treaties had not been fully carried out to them, but complaints of this nature were comparatively few this year; the majority of which originating from their extravagant interpretations of promises made, that they and their children were to be supplied with all the necessaries of life. In order to disabuse their minds of these erroneous impressions, I read and explained carefully to them the obligations of their respective treaties; and showed them, from what they had already received, that the Government was not only faithfully carrying out the conditions of the same, but was also generously giving them many things not mentioned therein. (SP No. 14, 44 Vict. A 1881)
He is, however, forced to reveal something of the weaknesses in the system:
I regret that the advancement of education in this Superintendency is not very satisfactory, owing partly to the irregular attendance of pupils at school, on account of the wandering habits of parents, but chiefly to the inefficiency of the majority of the teachers employed, whose qualifications would not entitle them to a third class certificate at any county board; but the services of competent teachers capable of imparting instruction to Indian children, are not always available at the inducements offered, and hence an inferior grade is frequently engaged, having neither the energy
nor the ability for the responsible work undertaken. x x x
The "Honey Dew" brand of tobacco, supplied this year to a number of the bands, was inferior in quality, and not equal to the sample sent to this office from the Department, whereas the "Thistle Twist," supplied others was above the standard required, . . . Some were disappointed last summer in consequence of not receiving any grub hoes, so indispensable to them in the cultivation of their little farms. Although the garden hoe supplied is a very superior article, and admirably adapted for mellow soil, yet it is unsuitable for the various purposes required in clearing and breaking up their wooded and scrubby timbered lands. . . .
On almost every reserve visited, Indians represented that they have not enough of hoes and axes for working to advantage in enlarging and improving their gardens, and they request that their requirements, in this respect may be favourably considered by the Government, as the supply, in many instances, of these articles already received are nearly worn out. (Ibid.)
Then he reports specifically on Long Plain:
The Long Plain Indians, although possessing a reserve admirably adapted for the production of roots and cereals, are making no perceptible advancement in that direction. Their houses, with few exceptions, are of the erudest [sic] and most primitive construction, and their gardens are of the most wretched character. (Ibid.)
Of course this is all supposed to be the peoples fault. After all, they had the colossal sum of $5.00 a year with which to capitalize our agricultural pursuits.
Perhaps the most ironic complaint of McColl is the one about "houses," those being the winter dwellings. Now the reader may not be aware of the fact that the Ojibwa felt compelled by their spiritual and emotional state to abandon a place upon a death occurring there. Due to the policy of passive genocide this was a frequent occurrence in our families. Thus it would have been economically foolish to expend our $5.00 on housing under the circumstances of abandoning it so frequently.
Had the Canadians been honest men who kept to their agreement, our children would have been healthier, stronger, and our housing more permanent.
The December 4th newspaper contained two articles of interest, both of which reflect upon the Canadian culture. The first was for the most part a piece of tripe, supposedly a letter written by an Indian who had visited Winnipeg. Yet for all the garbage in the piece it struck the key difference between the cultures:
In our old hunting grounds of our tribe there is a large village named Winnipeg. It has many wigwams of great size, some of them large enough to hold hundreds of Indians. Many of these Indians are rich but some are poor. The rich will not give the poor anything for nothing as is customary amongst us, (Free Press, Dec. 4, 1880)
Then there was another side to Canadian society: