Treaty 5, signed in 1875, included three Saskatchewan First Nations: Cumberland House, Shoal River, and Red Earth. Treaty 5 dealt mainly with the Manitoba area, and was unique in the fact that the Treaty Commissioner dealt individually with regional bands rather than with a large treaty area. Water was an important issue because the geographic region covered Lake Winnipeg as well as portions of several important rivers. During the negotiations of Treaty 5, Treaty Commissioner Morris used the strategy of separating the general idea of treaty from the issues of establishing specific reserves. In exchange for access to an area of approximately 100,000 square miles, the Indians of Treaty 5 were to receive reserves of 160 acres per family of five, annuities of $5 per year, clothing and medals, articles for cultivation, education, and the right to hunt, fish and trap; they were to ban alcohol and to keep peace and order.

Rob Nestor

Further Reading

Ray, A., J. Miller and F. Tough. 2000. Bounty and Benevolence. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.