Treaty Number 5

Treaty No. 5 was negotiated between the Crown and Indigenous peoples in 1875. Treaty 5 covers much of present-day central and northern Manitoba, as well as portions of Saskatchewan and Ontario.

The treaty promises made under Treaty 5 include reserve lands (for farming), gratuities, a census and annuities, a school on each reserve, enforcement of prohibition of liquor, hunting and fishing rights (subject to regulations and except tracts taken up for other purposes), $500 per year on ammunition and twine for all Treaty 5 nations, once-for-all agricultural implements and tools for each Band cultivating the soil, a chest of tools for each Chief, seeds and livestock for each band, salaries for Chief and subordinate officers (3 for each band), triennial clothing for the same, and a flag and medal to each Chief.

Numbered Treaties in Canada Treaty 5

Promises made to Treaty 5 Signatories

….Her Majesty’s Commissioners shall in every year ensuing the date hereof, at some period in each year to be duly notified to the Indians, and at a place or places to be appointed for that purpose within the territory ceded, pay to each Indian person the sum of five dollars per head yearly….It is further agreed between Her Majesty and the said Indians that each Chief duly recognized as such shall receive an annual salary of twenty-five dollars per annum, and each subordinate officer, not exceeding three for each band, shall receive fifteen dollars per annum.

Treaty Land Entitlement
And Her Majesty the Queen hereby agrees and undertakes to lay aside reserves for farming lands, due respect being had to lands at present cultivated by the said Indians, and other reserves for the benefit of the said Indians, to be administered and dealt with for them by Her Majesty’s Government of the Dominion of Canada, provided all such reserves shall not exceed in all one hundred and sixty acres for each family of five, or in that proportion for larger or smaller families-in manner following, that is to say: For the Band of “Saulteaux, in the Beren’s River” region, now settled or who may within two years settle therein, a reserve commencing at the outlet of Beren’s River into Lake Winnipeg, and extending along the shores of said lake, and up said river and into the interior behind said lake and river, so as to comprehend one hundred and sixty acres for each family of five, a reasonable addition being, however, to be made by Her Majesty to the extent of the said reserve for the inclusion in the tract so reserved of swamp, but reserving the free navigation of the said lake and river, and free access to the shores and waters thereof, for Her Majesty and all Her subjects, and expecting thereout such land as may have been granted to or stipulated to be held by the “Hudson Bay Company,” and also such land as Her Majesty or Her successors, may in Her good pleasure, see fit to grant to the Mission established at or near Beren’s River by the Methodist Church of Canada, for a church, school-house, parsonage, burial ground and farm, or other mission purposes; and to the Indians residing at Poplar River, falling into Lake Winnipeg north of Beren’s River, a reserve not exceeding one hundred and sixty acres to each family of five, respecting, as much as possible, their present improvements.

Ammunition and Twine
It is further agreed between Her Majesty and the said Indians that the sum of five hundred dollars per annum shall be yearly and every year expended by Her Majesty in the purchase of ammunition, and twine for nets, for the use of the said Indians, in manner following, that is to say: in the reasonable discretion as regards the distribution thereof among the Indians inhabiting the several reserves or otherwise included therein of Her Majesty’s Indian Agent have the supervision of this treaty.

Economic Benefits
It is further agreed between Her Majesty and the said Indians that the following articles shall be supplied to any band of the said Indians who are now cultivating the soil, or who shall hereafter commence to cultivate the land, that is to say: Two hoes for every family actually cultivating; also one spade per family as aforesaid; one plough for every ten families as aforesaid; five harrows for every twenty families as aforesaid; one scythe for every family as aforesaid, and also one axe; and also one cross-cut saw, one hand-saw, one pit-saw, the necessary files, one grindstone, and one auger for each band; and also for each Chief, for the use of his band, one chest of ordinary carpenter’s tools; also for each band enough of wheat, barley, potatoes and oats to plant the land actually broken up for cultivation by such band; also for each band one yoke of oxen, one bull and four cows all the aforesaid articles to be given once for all for the encouragement of the practice of agriculture among the Indians.

Types of Treaty 5 Claims

  • Treaty Land Entitlement
  • Annuities or annuity indexation
  • Failure to pay gratuities
  • Annual amount on ammunition and twine
  • Agricultural implements, tools, seeds and livestock
  • Chiefs’ and Councillors’ salaries and triennial clothing
  • Other treaty rights – badge, flag, copy of treaty
  • Failure to set aside reserve
  • Failure to recognize a First Nation (as separate and distinct)
  • Non-adherence to / non-representation at treaty
  • Other unwritten but First Nation-understood treaty promises (education, annual feast, government assistance, and doctor/medical services and supplies/’medicine chest’)

Claims Based on Land or Money Assets

  • Illegal exclusion of lands from reserve
  • Illegal taking or surrenders of reserve land or unpaid/no/inadequate compensation
  • Illegal taking of “special” reserves or game reserves
  • Flooding of reserve land or illegal expropriation, inadequate/no compensation, mismanagement
  • Riparian / water rights adjacent to reserve
  • Timber on reserve – illegal expropriations, inadequate/no compensation, mismanagement
  • Mismanagement or inadequate sales of surrendered lands
  • Mismanagement of Trust Fund Account
  • Leases of reserve lands, illegal expropriations, inadequate/no compensation, mismanagement of revenues
  • Railway ROW – illegal expropriations, inadequate/no compensation, mismanagement
  • Hydro or other public works ROW – illegal expropriations, inadequate/no compensation, mismanagement
  • Other buildings on-reserve (church, store, RCMP, MNR, Hydro, etc.) illegal expropriations, inadequate/no compensation, mismanagement
  • Mining – illegal expropriations, inadequate/no compensation, mismanagement of revenues