George MacMartin's Big Canoe Trip

In 1905, George MacMartin, Treaty Commissioner for Ontario, accompanied by federal commissioners and native guides, journeyed through rapids and hiked through the wilds to meet with First Nations leaders. The result was James Bay Treaty Nine. The treaty put northern Ontario into Canadian hands, but First Nations' tradition is clear: their leaders agreed to share the land, not give it away. Christopher Moore, historian and winner of a 2011 Governor General's Literary Award, explores what the diary by George MacMartin reveals, and what it means today.  Produced by Sara Wolch.

Listen to George MacMartin's Big Canoe Trip

george-macmartin-big-canoe.jpgPhotograph:The James Bay Treaty signing party at Fort Albany. Standing: Dominion Police - Joseph L. Vanasse (L), James Parkinson (R). Seated: Commissioners Samuel Stewart (L), Daniel George MacMartin, Duncan Campbell Scott (R)
Foreground: HBC Chief Trader Thomas Rae and Dr A.G Meindl.  August 3, 1905.
Archives of Ontario, I0010627

Guests on the program:

Stan Louttit  is Grand Chief of the Muskegowuck Council at Moose Factory, Ontario.

David Calverley
teaches history at Crescent School in Toronto. He also does research in aboriginal history.

Heather Home i
s an archivist at Queen's University, Kingston.

John S. Long 
is a Professor of Education at  Nipissing University, North Bay.  He's also the winner of the Ontario History Society's Fred Landon Prize in Regional History (2010) for his book on Treaty Nine. (please see reading list).

David McNab
is an historian who teaches Indigenous and Canadian Studies at York University, Toronto.

Victor Lytwyn
is an  historical-geographer and consultant on aboriginal and treaty rights in Canada.

Tom Flanagan
is a  Professor of Political Science at the University of Calgary.

Shin Imai
is a Professor of Law at  Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto.

Reading List:

John S. Long, Treaty No. 9: Making the Agreement to Share the Land in Far Northern Ontario in 1905, published by McGill-Queen's University Press, 2010.  It includes full text of diaries from the treaty-making trip, and other archival writings, including the text of Treaty Nine.

Tom Flanagan, First Nations? Second Thoughts, 2nd edition, published by McGill-Queen's University Press, 2008.

Shin Imai, Aboriginal Law Handbook, published by Carswell, 1999.

Victor Lytwyn, Muskekowuck Athinuwick: Original People of the Great Swampy Land, published by University of Manitoba Press, 2002.

David McNab and Olive Dickason , 4th edition, Canada's First Nations: A History of Founding Peoples from First Times, published by Oxford Canada, 2009.

Related Websites:

On the Path of the Elders is a First Nations-run website on Treaty 9 history.

Treaty Guide: Treaty 9  - prepared by the Canadian Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. It includes a history of the treaty-making by James Morrison.

The Treaty 9 Expedition of 1905-06 - prepared by the Archives of Ontario to mark the centenary of Treaty 9, includes many photographs.

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