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Section title: Mi'kmaq
Introduction |  History |  Daily Life |  Culture | References


History

Treaties and War

 
  Mi'kmaq camp at Point Lévis, Quebec, watercolour by Millicent Mary Chaplin, circa 1838-42

The first treaties that the Mi'kmaq made were with the French. Because of their treaties with the French, whenever the French and English would fight against one another, the Mi'kmaq would side with the French. This angered the English. They placed a bounty on the heads of Mi'kmaq people. A bounty is a form of payment -- in this case, for killing Mi'kmaq.

In 1725, the Mi'kmaq and the English decided to stop fighting. They made a treaty with each other -- the Mi'kmaq promised not to fight the English and the English agreed not bother the Mi'kmaq when they went hunting. This was called a peace and friendship treaty. Soon after, however, the Mi'kmaq and the English began fighting each other once again. The English general , Edward Cornwallis, placed a higher bounty for killing Mi'kmaq. Soon after, another peace and friendship treaty was made. The Mi'kmaq chief who signed the treaty was named John Baptist Cope. The treaty promised that the Mi'kmaq would not only be able to hunt and fish in return for keeping the peace, but also trade their goods at truck houses. Truck houses were small trading posts the English had set up. This treaty was signed in 1752 and would become important later on when the Mi'kmaq wanted to have the right to fish once again.

The years between 1744 and 1761 were some of the hardest for the Mi'kmaq. The English and French were at war once again and the Mi'kmaq were caught in the middle. Many Mi'kmaq were killed during this time.

In 1763, the King of England made a royal proclamation. A proclamation is a written set of laws set down by the king that everyone is supposed to obey. This proclamation was supposed to protect Native hunting grounds forever. However, many of the English settlers ignored it.

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