The Blackfeet Treaty – Friday, October 20th

On this day the Indians accepted the terms of the treaty, and several of the Chiefs made speeches. The first speaker was Crowfoot.

CROWFOOT–“While I speak, be kind and patient. I have to speak for my people, who are numerous, and who rely upon me to follow that course which in the future will tend to their good. The plains are large and wide. We are the children of the plains, it is our home, and the buffalo has been our food always. I hope you look upon the Blackfeet, Blood, and Sarcees as your children now, and that you will be indulgent and charitable to them. They all expect me to speak now for them, and I trust the Great Spirit will put into their breasts to be a good people–into the minds of the men, women and children, and their future generations. The advice given me and my people has proved to be very good. If the Police had not come to the, country, where would we be all now? Bad men and whiskey were killing us so fast that very few, indeed, of us would have been left to-day. The Police have protected us as the feathers of the bird protect it from the frosts of winter. I wish them all good, and trust that all our hearts will increase in goodness from this time forward. I am satisfied. I will sign the treaty.”

BUTTON CHIEF–“I must say what all the people say, and I agree with what they say. I cannot make new laws. I will sign.”

RED CROW–“Three years ago, when the Police first came to the country, I met and shook hands with Stamixotokon (Col. McLeod) at Pelly River. Since that time he made me many promises. He kept them all–not one of them was ever broken. Everything that the police have done has been good. I entirely trust Stamixotokon, and will leave everything to him. I will sign with Crowfoot.”

FATHER OF MANY CHILDREN–“I have come a long way, and far behind the rest of the bands. I have traveled with these traveaux that you now see outside there with my women and children. I cannot speak much now, but I agree with Crowfoot, and will sign.”

OLD SUN–“Crowfoot speaks well. We were summoned to meet the Great Mother’s Chiefs here, and we would not disappoint them; we have come, and will sign the treaty. During the past Crowfoot has been called by us our Great Father. The Great Mother’s Chief (Governor Laird) will now be our Great Father. Everything you say appears to me to be very good, and I hope that you will give us all we ask–cattle, money, tobacco, guns, and axes, and that you will not let the white man use poison on the prairies. It kills horses and buffalo as well as wolves, and it may kill men. We can ourselves kill the wolves, and set traps for them. We all agree with Crowfoot.”

The remainder of the day was consumed by about a dozen other chiefs speaking in favor of the treaty. On the following day all the chiefs and counselors signed their names under the signatures of the Commissioners, and a salute of thirteen guns announced the final conclusion of the last treaty with the Indians of the North-West.

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