Mishkeegogamang / Osnaburgh

Diary Excerpt

Tuesday, July 11th, 1905 at 3:30 rounding a long sandy point with flags flying came in view of post – lining the canoes up we moved on abreast to the landing at Osnaburg – landing at 4:30 pm. We were received by Mr. Williams, the Agent, and at once proceeded to shake hands with the Indians who had assembled for the purpose of meeting the Commissioners shortly afterwards – a conference with the following leading Indians was held in one of the Agents rooms –

David Skunk
George Wawaashkung
Missabay – Chief (blind)
Thomas Kewooshiss
John Skunk

Mr. D.C. Scott having stated the object of our coming [sic] so long a distance to meet them, thro’ Jim Swaine as Interpreter and having ordered a feast similar to that held yearly – the Indians departed – shortly afterwards sending word thro’ the Agent Mr. Williams – that they that [sic] they would give a reply the following morning.

Wednesday 12th Camp No. 10 at 12 pm The H.B. Bell tolled announcing the feast was prepared, Chief Massabay accompanied by the leading men of the Band approached the H.B. House (Agents) being requested to take seats, and asked if they had anything to say – Chief Massabay said “Whatever you say we will do, Mr. Scott thanked them and asked if they were ready to sign the Treaty, which they did by making their mark, departing immediately after to the “Feast Ground” in front of H.B. store where the Band encircled the complete supply of provisions afforded for the occasion. Massabay the blind chief, moving up and down on the plank walk crossing part of ground, delivered an oration to which the Band listened attentively, the pith of his speech being that the white men were their friends, were good, had assisted them giving money and land for their benefit, that the H.B. was good to them and that they could not get along without the white men, they must be good and obey the laws, they were poor and needed assistance and could only expect help by proving themselves good. At the conclusion of the Chiefs address the Band seemed to thoroughly enjoy the Feast prepared for them.

At 2.30 p.m. the Indians were called up by Families and every man, woman, and child found eligible was given a present of $8. I carefully counted the no. in families and checked the pay list, at 7 pm just as payment was suspended for the day, the leading men of the Band advanced to the Dom. Comrs Tent and announced that they had chosen Massabay for Chief, George Wawaashkung and John Skunk as councillors, on being presented with a large Union Jack as promised and the usual hand shaking having taken place, left for their Tents evidently very much pleased; during the night, a very heavy thunder shower accompanied by high wind occurred and the Indians were seen to be moving their flag from place to place endeavouring to protect it from wind & storm.

Thursday 13th – Resumed paying the Indians this a.m. and closed up the pay lists at 12 pm during the morning the Chief and councillors present a conference was held re apportioning the respective Reserves and agreed that that part of the Band that hunted in Ontario should have the Reserve as follows –

In the Province of Ontario beginning at the Western entrance of the Albany River running westward a distinct estimated at four miles as far as the point known as Sand Point at the Eastern entrance of Pedlars Pass Bay following the shore of this point Southward and around it across the narrow entrance of a Bay to a point on east shore of the outlet of Paukunkee’Scapees, thence due south a total to comprise an area of twenty square miles and on the north shore – the following, in the North West Territory.