1857 Panic by the Canadian Government Led to the eventual Claiming of the Red River Area
Prior to the movement by the Government of Canada to undertake the incorporation of the Red River settlement into the territory of Manitoba, there was considerable discussion in the halls of power, worried that if the Canadian government didn’t act quickly to claim the area that the Americans would.
During a discussion in the House of Commons in 1857, regarding the Hudson Bay Company in the Red River region, it was worriedly mentioned that in 1851, the United States negotiated a treaty with the Indians and half-breeds of the region in the hopes of gaining support from them for the United States governing their territory. This treaty was never ratified, but it did seek to satisfy the native population and to try to entice some of the people to settle at least part of the time in the United States and to swear allegiance to them.
The Canadian government claimed that the object of the treaty was to induce the Red River half-breeds to lay claim to the territory. This would be secured by giving them $30,000, and for the next 20 years annually the sum of $10,000. The Canadians feared that the Americans would get their whole-hearted support and that if they did not act quickly to seize Manitoba themselves, that the territory would be drawn over to the United States.
This fear was added to as the half-breeds were going around the Hudson Bay Company’s monopoly by getting supplies from Minnesota at less cost.
Parliamentary Papers, House of Commons 1857
A collaborative effort of members of the Ojibwe and Metis communities