Robinson-Superior Treaty, 1850

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Map of Robinson-Superior Treaty territory.
Robinson-Superior Treaty Territory



Robinson-Superior Treaty, 1850

Name of document:

Robinson Treaty, Made in the Year 1850, with the Objibewa Indians, of Lake Superior, Conveying Certain Lands to The Crown

Type of document:

Treaty, registered as Crown Treaty N. 60

Summary of the data:

William Benjamin (W.B.) Robinson was tasked to treat with the Native people residing in the Lake Superior and Lake Huron regions. The necessity for a treaty resulted from the discovery of minerals and natural resources in the territory surrounding the respective lakes. Included under the provisions of the treaty were twelve hundred and forty persons including eighty-four half-breeds (Morris, 16-21). The Red Sky Métis Independent Nation™ consists of the decedents of the aforementioned eighty-four 'half-breeds' included under the treaty.

The Robinson-Superior Treaty was entered into agreement on September 7th 1850, at Sault Ste. Marie, by W.B. Robinson, on behalf of The Crown, and the Ojibwa (or Ojibwe) Chiefs, including: Joseph Peau de Chat, John Minway, Mishe-Muckqua, Totominani, Jacob Wapela, Ah-mutchinagalon, Michel Shelagesuick, Manitou Shainse and Chiginans. In exchange for the territory, as seen in the image above (Robinson-Superior Treaty Territory), The Crown agreed to pay two thousand pounds immediately and a perpetual annuity of five hundred pounds to be distributed to the Ojibwa Chiefs each year. Chiefs and their tribes retained reserves, where they would reside and cultivate. Additionally, the Chiefs and their tribes retained the ability to freely hunt and fish throughout the entire treaty territory except for those portions that were leased and/or sold to individuals as agreed to by the Provincial Government. The treaty further restricts the Chiefs' ability to sell or lease any portion of the reservation territory without the consent of the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs. Significantly, the treaty promises that if the territory should produce additional profit then the ‘Government of this Province’ will increase the annuity payments to reflect said increase as long as the amount paid to each individual does not exceed one pound. Finally, the treaty stipulates that the number of Indians must remain at two thirds of the original number counted (i.e. twelve hundred and forty persons) or the annuity would be diminished accordingly ("Treaty No. 60").

During the negotiation of the Robinson Treaties there was an adjustment to the provisions, which allowed the First Nations in the area to be paid based on the value of the land to the mining companies prospecting in the region. This resulted in the payment of half of the eight thousand pounds received by the Government for mining locations, and a perpetual annuity of one-thousand pounds ("Report of W.B. Robinson to the Honourable Colonel Bruce").

The inclusion of ‘half-breeds’ in the Robinson Treaties represents a turning point in Métis-Crown relations. The Robinson-Superior Treaty recognized the Métis community’s rights to annuities as well as hunting and fishing rights within the specified territory. In Robinson’s report to Indian Affairs he explains the request from the Ojibwa Chiefs to include the eighty-four ‘half-breeds,’ Robinson responded that the Chiefs would be given the funds to distribute amongst their tribe, giving as much or a little to the Métis as they saw fit ("Report of W.B. Robinson to the Honourable Colonel Bruce"). Consequently, the Robinson-Superior Treaty proves the recognition of the Métis community by both The Crown and the First Nations Chiefs.

Important dates mentioned in the document:

September 7, 1850: Signing of the Robinson-Superior Treaty.
November 12, 1850: Robinson Treaties are ratified by the Order-in-Council.

Important people discussed in the document:

William Benjamin Robinson (1797-1873)
Joseph Peau de Chat
John Minway
Mishe-Muckqua
Totominani
Jacob Wapela
Ah-mutchinagalon
Michel Shelagesuick
Manitou Shainse
Chiginans
George Ironside
Arthur P. Cooper
John Swanston
George Johnston
F.W. Keating

Specific location(s) mentioned in the document (if applicable):

Batchawana Bay, Ontario
Michipicoten, Ontario
Fort William, Ontario
Kaministiquia River, Ontario
Gros Cap, Ontario
Gull River
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Non-specific location(s) mentioned in the document (if applicable):

Lake Superior, Ontario-Minnesota-Wisconsin-Michigan
Pigeon River, Minnesota-Ontario
Lake Nipigon, Ontario

Specific event(s) identified in the document (if applicable):

Signing of the Robinson-Superior Treaty (September 7, 1850)

Relevant citations:

Library and Archives Canada, W.B. Robinson, RG. 10, "Treaty No. 60," volume 1963, 7 September 1850, file 5045-2, microfilm reel C-11122.

Library and Archives Canada, W.B. Robinson, RG. 10, "W.B. Robinson Report to R. Bruce," volume 191, 24 September 1850, nos. 5401-5500, no. 5451, microfilm reel C-11513.

Library and Archives Canada, Executive Council, RG. 10, "Report, Ratifying Robinson Treaties," volume 191, 12 November 1850, nos. 5401-5500, pp. 111695, microfilm reel C-11513.

Morris, Alexander. The Treaties of Canada with the Indians of Manitoba and the North West Territories Including the Negotiations on which They Were. Toronto, 1880. Google Book Search. Web. 1 Oct. 2014.

Was the information found online (yes/no)?:

Yes. Alexander Morris eBook found online.

Document links and URLs (if applicable):

Robinson Treaty Wikipedia Page
The Treaties of Canada with the Indians of Manitoba and North West Territories Including the Negotiations on which They Were by Alexander Morris

Date of access:

Wednesday October 1, 2014

Webmaster if identified (for online documents only):

E-Book, retrieved from Google Books


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