The signing of Treaty 1 marked the beginning of a long list of treaties that were to come over the next couple of decades, signifying the Canadian government’s growing interest in the West as more than just a trading hub but as a suitable place for developing agriculture and growing populations of settlers; as well as a peaceful means to annex land. For Governor Adams Archibald the treaty would enable him to develop businesses such as mills and farms on the fertile land around Lakes Winnipeg and Manitoba and in the Red River Valley.
For the Anishinabe and Ojibway Nations, Treaty 1 held a much larger significance. They believed it was a way for them to survive and adjust into a new way of living with the drastic changes that were coming to their land and that were already beginning to take shape. Their leaders believed a treaty with the Crown would help give them security when the large groups of settlers would make there way into the land. In addition, the indigenous peoples believed that the treaty would also help elevate the threat of the serious decline of buffalo populations, which threatened their way of life. Ultimately, in signing the treaty the indigenous leaders hoped to gain a connection with the “Great White Queen Mother” that would ensure security and benefits for their people.
First Nations in Treaty 1: