The Dominion Government Makes Preparations with the Hudson's Bay Company to facilitate Treaty No. 9

In the spring of 1904, Deputy Superintendent General Frank Pedley confidentially informed the Chairman of the Hudson’s Bay Company, C.C. Chipman, about a possible “conference” with the Indians living north of the Robinson Treaties.

His letter included a census of aboriginal people living near the several HBC Posts in the territory intended to be included in the new Treaty, including three Posts in the Province of Quebec.

Pedley needed Chipman’s advice about the best way to go about meeting with the various “bands.”

You can view Pedley’s letter to Chipman of the Hudson’s Bay Company below.

Mr. Chipman replied that in order to meet with the people “attached” to the Company’s Posts near the railway, a month’s notice would be required.

With regard to the other Posts, notice would have to be given at Christmas and the Commissioners could meet the aboriginal people sometime between June 15, 1904 and July 15, 1904 (6 months later).

Chipman also pointed out that the population estimates provided by the Department of Indian Affairs were inaccurate, and seemed to only include those people who hunted in Ontario, even though many people at the Posts hunted in the NorthWest Territories.

You can view Mr. Chipman’s letter to Frank Pedley below.

At this time Ontario’s northern boundary ended at the Albany River. The HBC posts located along the Albany River were actually in the District of Keewatin, outside of Ontario’s borders, and the majority of hunters at each of these posts actually hunted north of the Albany River.

When the paylists were completed that year, 927 people were considered to be “Dominion” Indians (people who hunted north of the Albany River) and 690 people were listed as “Ontario Indians.”

The Orange line running east to west at the top of the map shows the HBC Posts located north of the Albany River at Eabametoong (Fort Hope), Marten Falls, and Fort Albany.


Author: Janet Armstrong, PhD