Photographs (left to right): Butterfly, Niagara Falls Butterfly Conservatory, Canada; Oatka Creek Park, New York: Niagara Falls Butterfly Conservatory, Canada

The Wampum Belt Archive

Wampum Belts in Paintings and other Art Media


Lower Fort Garry Treaty of 1871

Negotiations for Treaty No 1 at Lower Fort Garry, signed in August 3, 1871 with the Ojibwa,

Swampy Cree and others in southern Manitoba became known as the "Stone Fort" treaty of Treaty 1.

(from the Canadian Illustrated News, 1871/Courtesy Glenbow Museum and Archives NA-1406-72).


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(Information from:

On August 3, 1871, the first treaty in Western Canada was established between the federal government and seven chiefs of the Ojibway (Saulteaux) and Swampy Cree First Nations at Lower Fort Garry.

Indian Treaty No. 1 transferred the land that now comprises part of modern Manitoba. The treaty's intent was to ensure the peaceful settlement of the prairies by European immigrants, while providing First Nations people with land, access to resources and other necessities for their survival. Almost immediately after the treaty was established, the two parties disagreed on its meaning.


Treaty map of Canada. Source: 4 Seasons of Reconciliation.

Indian Treaty No. 1, the precedent for the 10 subsequent numbered treaties in Western Canada, is commemorated by a Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque outside the Visitor Reception Centre. Every now and then there was a crisis that called for military action, and Lower Fort Garry was the obvious choice for a base of operations. In the 1846, British troops (6th Regiment of the Foot) were sent to the fort when a dispute erupted with the United States over the boundary between the Oregon Territory and what is now British Columbia.

However, some believe the request for troops was actually intended to intimidate local free traders (as trading with anyone other than the HBC (Hudson Bay Co.) was illegal). In either case, by the time the troops arrived (1846), the threat of invasion was long over. The troops (becoming a nuisance by causing minor disturbances) were put to work at the fort completing the construction of the walls which were finished in 1848. When the Red River Rebellion broke out in 1870, Louis Riel occupied Upper Fort Garry, and the Quebec Rifles took the lower fort. No wars or fights ever occurred at Lower Fort Garry as it was a peaceful settlement.

For a more indepth coverage read: The Sesquicentennial of Treaty 1:


Canadian active history.