Compiled by Amelia Healey, GRASAC Research Assistant
The Lake Simcoe-Nottawasaga Treaty, or Treaty 18, was made between the Chippewa near Lake Simcoe (the current Chippewa of Rama First Nation, Chippewas of Beausoleil First Nation, and the Chippewas of Georgina Island) and the colonial government of Upper Canada. On October 17, 1818, Mississauga leaders including Chief Musquakie (or Yellowhead), and colonial officials met near the Holland River in the Township of King to negotiate the treaty and sign. Treaty 18 outlines the surrender of 1,592,000 acres of land (encompassing current-day communities such as Collingwood and Bradford) in exchange for an annual payment of £1200 in goods “at the Montreal price” in perpetuity.
The Chippewa leaders surrendered the land directly to the Crown in a public council, following protocol rooted in the 1763 Royal Proclamation and the 1764 Treaty of Niagara. These legal documents and agreements confirmed that settlers could not use land without a collectively negotiated treaty. Despite this, the Anishinaabeg in then-Upper Canada experienced frequent settler encroachment on their unceded land.
Indigenous Peoples, including the Chippewa, experienced hardship with infectious diseases, the colonization of hunting and fishing grounds, and increasing colonial policies and practices, particularly after the War of 1812 and Canadian Confederation in 1867. When negotiating Treaty 18, Chief Musquakie requested that the colonial government provide them with a doctor, though none was guaranteed in the treaty text.
Upper Canada sought to secure more land to settle British immigrants following the War of 1812, when the settler population of the province increased from 95,000 in 1814, to 186,488 in 1828. In need of essential resources, other Anishinaabe Peoples signed treaties with the Crown, including the Mississaugas of the Credit (Treaty 19) and the Michi Saagiig near Rice Lake (Treaty 20).
- October 17, 1818
- A council meeting for the treaty took place at “the home of Nathanial Gamble” near the Holland River in the Township of King on October 17, 1818.
- The treaty encompasses 1,592,000 acres of land that include the current-day towns of Collingwood, Bradford, and New Tecumseth.
Nations and Representatives
- The Treaty 18 document lists the Chippewa representative as “Musquakie, or Yellow Head, Chief of Rein Deer Tribe, Kaqueticum, Chief of the Cat Fish Tribe, Maskigonce of the Otter Tribe, and Manitonobe of the Pike Tribe.”
- Represented by William Claus, Deputy Superintendent General of Indian Affairs. Additional attendees included James Givins, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Alexander McDonell, Assistant Secretary Indian Affairs, and John Claus.
- 1,592,000 acres of Chippewa land.
- Annual payments of £1200 in goods “at the Montreal price” in perpetuity.
- Treaty of Niagara, 1764
- Lake Simcoe Treaty, Treaty 16, November 17, 1815
- Council held at the Garrison of York, June 7, 1817
- Council held in the Township of King, October 17, 1818
- None identified yet
- 17 October 1818, Surrender of 1.5 Million Acres, Library and Archives Canada, Indian Affairs, D-10a, Series A, Volume 1842, Reel T-9938, GAD REF IT056, http://grasac.org/gks, (heritage item id no. 3285)
- None identified yet
- Lake Simcoe-Nottawasaga Treaty, Treaty 18. Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs. “Treaty Texts – Upper Canada Land Surrenders.” June 4, 2013, https://www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1370372152585/1581293792285#ucls16.
- Minutes of Council held at the Garrison of York, June 7, 1817, C-11010, 19881-19884, Image 960, https://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_c11010/964.
- Minutes of an Indian Council held at the home of Nathanial Gamble. October 17, 1818. C13499, 7022-7024. https://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_c13499/525.
- Letter from William Claus to Major Bowles, November 10, 1818, C-13339, 29439-29441, https://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_c13339/1346.
- Surtees, Robert J. “Indian Land Surrenders.” Treaties and Historical Research Centre: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, February 1984. 74-76.
- Miller, J. R. Compact, Contract, Covenant: Aboriginal Treaty-Making in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009. Pg 80.
- Thoms, J. Michael. “Ojibwa Fishing Grounds: A History of Ontario Fisheries Law, Science, and the Sportsmen’s Challenge to Aboriginal Treaty Rights, 1650-1900.” Ph.D. dissertation, University of British Columbia, 2004. Pg. 137-140.
- In Collaboration, “MUSQUAKIE,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 9, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed August 24, 2022, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/musquakie_9E.html.
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