Wednesday, 30 July 2014


This petition copy was given to the Nipigon Historical Museum Archives January 26, 1974, by Mr. Willy John, Nipigon, Ontario


Fort William, Ontario

March 10, 1917



May it please Your Majesty, we, the Indians of the Ojibwa Tribe, inhabiting the northern shore of Lake Superior in the Province of Ontario in the Dominion of Canada, claim that we have a just grievance against the Government of the said Province of Ontario, and not being able to obtain redress through our Department of Indian Affairs at Ottawa, are placing our case before Your Most Gracious Majesty, feeling that we will received justice through you, and though we very much regret to make any appeal to you while your energies are so taxed by the present Great War, we feel that as our younger men have and are enlisting freely, that the older people of our Tribe should not be unfairly dealt with and deprived of their only means of livelihood, and that such is the case is evidenced by the fact that a number of our Tribe have been heavily fined for acts guaranteed us by Treaty.


In one case, an Indian who was imprisoned at Port Arthur, after serving a term in goal, had to make a journey of 200 miles to reach his home.  Being without food or money to purchase some, he died on the way and now a wife and family are without anyone to support them.  One aged Indian named Marten was imprisoned and fined heavily for having moose meat to feed the family of girls while his two adult sons were fighting with your army in France.  One boy was killed and the other wounded.  Two of our Indian boys have been awarded medals for bravery in action on the battlefields in France.


We attach a copy of the Robinson-Superior Treaty, made in the year 1850, and would call the attention of Your Most Gracious Majesty to that portion of the said Treaty underlined with red ink, wherein we are allowed to hunt and fish in the territory ceded, excepting such portions as are sold or leased and occupied.  This clause of our agreement was recognized from the date of the Treaty until the new Ontario Game and Fisheries Law of 1915 became operative, but now we are placed nearly in the same position as white men, and are told that the Honourable William Benjamin Robinson should not have agreed to the hunting and fishing clause, and again that under the British North America Act the Province of Ontario have full right to administer in everything in the Province, thus cancelling without our consent the most vital portion of our Treaty, and now while our young men are away at war, their parents and dependents who are old and cannot go far to hunt are in great distress and want and often  prosecuted and fined and would have to go to prison only for good-natured white people, who  seeing the injustice, sometimes pay the poor Indian’s fine.


We therefore pray that  Your Most Gracious Majesty will intercede with the Government of the Province of Ontario and have our hunting and fishing privileges restored to us, as we will ever pray…


Paul Bouchie

Peter Bannan

Francis Williams

A Bannon

Peter Loouis

Michael Boucher

Frank LaRose

Samuel Collin

John White

Luke Boucher

Joe Charlie

Henry Scott

Joe Thomas Penassie

Xavier Burbag

Joe O’Connor

Paul Laguard

X. McLaren


Wigwass, chief

Ambrose Bouchard

Paul Shoneyaus

Marten Wawie

Kego Wigwass

Wabik Mamagwades

Julian Micklesen

Frank Pelletier

Alex McCoy


Louis Michana, chief

John Desmoulin

Louis Borron

Philip Twance

George Michano

Patrick Sbourin

John Starr

Peter Kwisia

Moses Fisher

Dan Goodchild

Michael Wissian

Jerome Onajbigan

And many others


Michael Friday, chief

James Shoes

Emile Fisher

Councillor Paul Auger

Peter Negowigisic

2nd chief Louie Musquash


Andrew Lixie, chief

Robert Hardy, counselor

Moise Wawiie

Nicholas Bouchard, counselor

Michel Ogimabineus

Xavier Misak

Joe Hardy

Sam Bouchard

Antwen Bouchard

Charlie Ninjwiwi

John Morriseau

Raphel Pottan

Michael Dabba

And many others

( I am spelling from the list as presented)

No comments:

Post a Comment