Colonialism's Currency: Money State and First Nations in Canada 1820-1950 9780228002536

A revealing analysis of money and politics in the Canadian colonial project. A revealing analysis of money and politic

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Colonialism's Currency: Money State and First Nations in Canada 1820-1950
 9780228002536

Table of contents :
Cover
COLONIALISM'S CURRENCY
Title
Copyright
Dedication
Contents
Figures
Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction
SECTION ONE: MONEY AND MEANING UNDER SETTLER COLONIALISM
1 Money: A Technology of Settler Colonialism
2 Imagining Money as a Threat in the 1820s and 1830s
SECTION TWO: THE FORMATION OF THE TERRITORIAL STATE
3 Fur-Trade Money and the Coming of the State in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean
4 Treaty Money: A Symbol of Sovereignty in Western James Bay
SECTION THREE: RESERVING CURRENCY IN INDIGENOUS-STATE RELATIONS
5 Land, Natural Resources, and Fiscal Control in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Quebec
6 Relief, Rights, and Resources: State Control of Money in the Twentieth Century
Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Citation preview

Acknowledgments

colonialism’s currency

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études d’histoire du québec / studies on the history of quebec Magda Fahrni et/and Jarrett Rudy Directeurs de la collection / Series Editors 1

Habitants and Merchants in Seventeenth-Century Montreal Louise Dechêne

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Crofters and Habitants Settler Society, Economy, and Culture in a Quebec Township, 1848–1881 J.I. Little

10 Carabins ou activistes? L’idéalisme et la radicalisation de la pensée étudiante à l’Université de Montréal au temps du duplessisme Nicole Neatby

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The Christie Seigneuries Estate Management and Settlement in the Upper Richelieu Valley, 1760–1859 Françoise Noël

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La Prairie en Nouvelle-France, 1647–1760 Louis Lavallée

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The Politics of Codification The Lower Canadian Civil Code of 1866 Brian Young Arvida au Saguenay Naissance d’une ville industrielle José E. Igartua State and Society in Transition The Politics of Institutional Reform in the Eastern Townships, 1838–1852 J.I. Little Vingt ans après Habitants et marchands Lectures de l’histoire des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles canadiens Habitants et marchands, Twenty Years Later Reading the History of Seventeenthand Eighteenth-Century Canada Edited by Sylvie Dépatie, Catherine Desbarats, Danielle Gauvreau, Mario Lalancette, Thomas Wien

Les récoltes des forêts publiques au Québec et en Ontario, 1840–1900 Guy Gaudreau

11 Families in Transition Industry and Population in Nineteenth-Century SaintHyacinthe Peter Gossage 12 The Metamorphoses of Landscape and Community in Early Quebec Colin M. Coates 13 Amassing Power J.B. Duke and the Saguenay River, 1897–1927 David Massell 14 Making Public Pasts The Contested Terrain of Montreal’s Public Memories, 1891–1930 Alan Gordon 15 A Meeting of the People School Boards and Protestant Communities in Quebec, 1801–1998 Roderick MacLeod and Mary Anne Poutanen 16 A History for the Future Rewriting Memory and Identity in Quebec Jocelyn Létourneau

Foreword 17 C’était du spectacle ! L’histoire des artistes transsexuelles à Montréal, 1955–1985 Viviane Namaste

27 Nourrir la machine humaine Nutrition et alimentation au Québec, 1860–1945 Caroline Durand

18 The Freedom to Smoke Tobacco Consumption and Identity Jarrett Rudy

28 Why Did We Choose to Industrialize? Montreal, 1819–1849 Robert C.H. Sweeny

19 Vie et mort du couple en Nouvelle-France Québec et Louisbourg au XVIIIe siècle Josette Brun

29 Techniciens de l’organisation sociale La réorganisation de l’assistance catholique privée à Montréal (1930–1974) Amélie Bourbeau

20 Fous, prodigues, et ivrognes Familles et déviance à Montréal au XIXe siècle Thierry Nootens 21 Done with Slavery The Black Fact in Montreal, 1760–1840 Frank Mackey 22 Le concept de liberté au Canada à l’époque des Révolutions atlantiques, 1776–1838 Michel Ducharme 23 The Empire Within Postcolonial Thought and Political Activism in Sixties Montreal Sean Mills 24 Quebec Hydropolitics The Peribonka Concessions of the Second World War David Massell 25 Patrician Families and the Making of Quebec The Taschereaus and McCords Brian Young 26 Des sociétés distinctes Gouverner les banlieues bourgeoises de Montréal, 1880–1939 Harold Bérubé

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30 Beyond Brutal Passions Prostitution in Early NineteenthCentury Montreal Mary Anne Poutanen 31 A Place in the Sun Haiti, Haitians, and the Remaking of Quebec Sean Mills 32 The Pauper’s Freedom Crime and Poverty in NineteenthCentury Quebec Jean-Marie Fecteau 33 Au risque de la conversion L’expérience québécoise de la mission au XXe siècle (1945–1980) Catherine Foisy 34 From Old Quebec to La Belle Province Tourism Promotion, Travel Writing, and National Identities, 1920–1967 Nicole Neatby 35 Genre, patrimoine et droit civil Les femmes mariées de la bourgeoisie québécoise en procès, 1900–1930 Thierry Nootens

iv 36 L’Église et la politique québécoise, de Taschereau à Duplessis Alexandre Dumas 37 Grossières indécences Pratiques et identités homosexuelles à Montréal, 1880–1929 Dominic Dagenais

Foreword 38 Taking to the Streets Crowds, Politics, and the Urban Experience in Mid-NineteenthCentury Montreal Dan Horner 39 Colonialism’s Currency Money, State, and First Nations in Canada, 1820–1950 Brian Gettler

preface

Colonialism’s Currency Money, State, and First Nations in Canada, 1820–1950

brian gettler

McGill-Queen’s University Press Montreal & Kingston • London • Chicago

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© McGill-Queen’s University Press 2020 isbn 978-0-2280-0117-1 (cloth) isbn 978-0-2280-0118-8 (paper) isbn 978-0-2280-0253-6 (epdf) isbn 978-0-2280-0254-3 (epub) Legal deposit third quarter 2020 Bibliothèque nationale du Québec Printed in Canada on acid-free paper that is 100% ancient forest free (100% post-consumer recycled), processed chlorine free. This book has been published with the help of a grant from the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, through the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program, using funds provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts. Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien.

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication Title: Colonialism’s currency : money, state, and First Nations in Canada, 1820-1950 / Brian Gettler. Names: Gettler, Brian, 1978– author. Series: Studies on the history of Quebec ; 39. Description: Series statement: Études d’histoire du Québec = Studies on the history of Quebec ; 39 | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: Canadiana (print) 20200207636 | Canadiana (ebook) 20200207695 | isbn 9780228001188 (softcover) | isbn 9780228001171 (hardcover) | isbn 9780228002536 (pdf) | isbn 9780228002543 (epub) Subjects: lcsh: Money—Canada—History—19th century. | lcsh: Money— Canada—History—20th century. | lcsh: Money—Political aspects— Canada—History—19th century. | lcsh: Money—Political aspects— Canada—History—20th century. | lcsh: Money—Social aspects—Canada —History—19th century. | lcsh: Money—Social aspects—Canada— History—20th century. | lcsh: Imperialism. | csh: Native peoples— Canada—Government relations. Classification: lcc hg654 .g48 2020 | ddc 332.4/97109034—dc23

This book was typeset by True to Type in 10.5/13 Sabon

Foreword

To Elliot and Petra, for teaching me to tell a better story

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Foreword

preface

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Contents

Figures xi Acknowledgments xiii Abbreviations xvii Introduction 3 section one:

money and meaning under settler colonialism 1 2

Money: A Technology of Settler Colonialism

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Imagining Money as a Threat in the 1820s and 1830s 59 section two:

the formation of the territorial state 3

Fur-Trade Money and the Coming of the State in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean 89 4

Treaty Money: A Symbol of Sovereignty in Western James Bay 112 section three:

reserving currency in indigenous-state relations 5 6

Land, Natural Resources, and Fiscal Control in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Quebec 135

Relief, Rights, and Resources: State Control of Money in the Twentieth Century 157

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Contents

Conclusion 189 Notes 197 Bibliography 265 Index 293

Acknowledgments

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Figures

0.1. Mashteuiatsh, Moose Factory, and Wendake. Map by Tanya Kenesky and the University of Toronto Mississauga Library, 2019, using Arcgis Desktop 10.7.1. 17 0.2. Wendake and the surrounding region. Map by Tanya Kenesky and the University of Toronto Mississauga Library, 2019, using Arcgis Desktop 10.7.1. 19 0.3. Mashteuiatsh and the surrounding region. Map by Tanya Kenesky and the University of Toronto Mississauga Library, 2019, using Arcgis Desktop 10.7.1. 20 0.4. Moose Factory and the surrounding region. Map by Tanya Kenesky and the University of Toronto Mississauga Library, 2019, using Arcgis Desktop 10.7.1. 23 1.1. Silver 8 real, Mexico City, 1813. 1821.1952.32.43, American Numismatic Society. Courtesy of ans. 46 1.2. Wfd. Nelson & Co., 1 écu, 9 October 1837. Object id: 1960.0002.00019.000, National Currency Collection, Bank of Canada Museum. Courtesy of ncc. 47 1.3. Obverse, Bank of Montreal, 5 dollars, 7 December 1942. Object id: 1992.0038.00063.000, National Currency Collection, Bank of Canada Museum. Courtesy of ncc. 48 1.4. Obverse, Dominion of Canada, 2 dollars, 1 July 1870. Object id: 1963.0014.00111.000, National Currency Collection, Bank of Canada Museum. Courtesy of ncc. 54 3.1. “hbc clerk Victor Pearson, Trapper Lucassie Nowyakudluk,” Port Harrison, March 1959. Photographer: Richard Harrington. 1987/363-E-383/4, Hudson’s Bay Company Archives, Archives of Manitoba. Used with permission. 96

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Figures

3.2. Lake St John account book, Jerome, 1846–47. B.111/d/2, f. 7, Hudson’s Bay Company Archives, Archives of Manitoba. 97 3.3. Lake St John account book, Indian Balances, 1 June 1848. B.111/d/5, f. 20, Hudson’s Bay Company Archives, Archives of Manitoba. 98 3.4. Hudson’s Bay Company Posts in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. Map by Tanya Kenesky and the University of Toronto Mississauga Library, 2019, using Arcgis Desktop 10.7.1. Data source: United States Department of the Interior, US Geological Survey, National Atlas of the United States. North America Rivers and Lakes (Data file). Reston, va: US Geological Survey, National Atlas of the United States, 2010. https://www.sciencebase.gov/catalog /item/4fb55df0e4b04cb937751e02. 103 5.1. Théophile Hamel, Three Indian Chiefs and Peter McLeod Presenting a Petition to Lord Elgin, 1848, oil on canvas, 44 cm × 34.5 cm, private collection. Photo © Sotheby’s. Used with permission. 140

Foreword

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Acknowledgments

This book vaguely resembles its first incarnation as a PhD dissertation. Without the mentorship, support, and course corrections offered by Alain Beaulieu and Magda Fahrni, the dissertation, let alone the book, would not exist. John Lutz, Toby Morantz, and Martin Petitclerc proved ideal examiners, making the defence stimulating and, indeed, fun; their comments and questions helped immensely as I reinvented the dissertation in book form. Friends and colleagues (most often one and the same) also deserve a great deal of credit. Jacinthe Archambault, Isabelle Bouchard, Stéphanie Boutevin, Philippe Charland, Mathieu Chaurette, Emilie Ducharme, Maxime Gohier, and Sigfrid Tremblay made the Département d’histoire at the Université du Québec à Montréal the perfect place to study. Though rarely in the same city, Nelly Laudicina made the academy more irreverent and less lonely. The Montreal History Group kept me in research when I might well have given up. It provided and continues to provide a haven for research, debate, and fellowship. I thank members past and present, including Denyse Baillargeon, Jean-Philippe Bernard, Bettina Bradbury, Isabelle Bouchard, Amélie Bourbeau, Magda Farhni, Donald Fyson, Karine Hébert, Dan Horner, Nicolas Kenny, Andrée Lévesque, Sean Mills, Stéphanie O’Neill, Valérie Poirier, Mary Anne Poutanen, Paul-Etienne Rainville, Amanda Ricci, Sonya Roy, Jarrett Rudy, Sylvie Taschereau, and Brian Young. The mhg also provided critical support in the form of a postdoctoral fellowship at McGill University, as did Joanne Burgess and “Montréal, plaque tournante des échanges,” a project of the Laboratoire d’histoire et de patrimoine de Montréal at uqàm. Since arriving at the University of Toronto, I have benefited from the generosity, support, and scholarly rigour of a number of colleagues.

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Acknowledgments

Dimitry Anastakis, Heidi Bohaker, Elspeth Brown, Boris Chrubasik, Paul Cohen, Kevin Coleman, Mairi Cowan, Ken Derry, Duncan Hill, R. Cassandra Lord, Sharon Marjadsingh, Shabina Moheebulla, Jan Noel, Chris Petrakos, Alison Smith, Nicholas Terpstra, Heather Thornton, Luis van Isschot, and Rebecca Wittmann have welcomed me and helped me navigate my new surroundings. Several colleagues read and commented on all or parts of the manuscript at various stages; I would particularly like to thank Catherine Evans, Nicole Laliberte, Julie MacArthur, Sean Mills, Steve Penfold, E. Natalie Rothman, Nhung Tran, and Y. Yvon Wang. The Department of Historical Studies at the University of Toronto Mississauga also deserves thanks for hosting a manuscript workshop. Mary-Ellen Kelm and Carolyn Podruchny provided in-depth critique, helping me to improve the manuscript while finally giving me the confidence to submit it to the press. While writing the book, I also benefited from time, space, and effort provided by a number of colleagues and institutions. Nadine Klopfer of the Amerika-Institut at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich and the European Union’s Erasmus+ Faculty Mobility Program provided the impetus and a marvellous environment to deepen my reflection on money’s physicality and the stories Canadian cash has told its users. Tanya Kenesky and Andrew Nicholson at the University of Toronto Mississauga Library composed the maps and asked stimulating questions about the book’s spatial orientation. At McGill-Queen’s University Press, I would like to thank Jonathan Crago. From his sage advice on structure and form, through his work shepherding the manuscript through the peer-review process, all the way to his generosity in sharing his recipe for braised ribs, Jonathan has been instrumental in keeping the project on the rails. It has also been (as always) a joy to work with Magda Fahrni and Jarrett Rudy, editors of the Studies on the History of Quebec series at mqup. I would like to extend a special thanks to the anonymous reviewers, who were models of erudite collegiality, engaging deeply with the manuscript and writing incredibly helpful reports. Kathleen Fraser took over editing in the production phase and Alison Jacques made the book better through careful and critical copyediting. I extend my thanks to them as well. Without family this book would not exist. Françoise, Jean-Pierre, and the whole extended Lego family gave space, time, good humour, and so much more. They allowed me to hide away and write, on sev-

Acknowledgments

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eral occasions until the very last minute before festivities kicked off. Jean and Mike Gettler let me take far too much family time, even on short visits, to work on the book. More importantly, they (mostly) did so with grace, even if all of us would have preferred that I be more present. Elliot and Petra, who have grown up with the book, kept me distracted and focused all at the same time – merci, les flos! I would like to say special thank you to Petra, who, when I asked to be left alone with my computer to work on finishing the book, waved her magic wand and incanted,“Abracadabra! I turn your computer into a book!” Your spell worked! Finally, I thank Béatrice Lego, for love, strength, inspiration, companionship, and everything else.

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Prologue

Foreword

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Abbreviations

acnhw banq bpc cpc dia diaar dpnh hbc hbca lac ncc nwc

Archives du Conseil de la Nation huronne-wendat Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec Board of Pension Commissioners for Canada Canadian Pension Commission Department of Indian Affairs Department of Indian Affairs Annual Reports Department of Pensions and National Health Hudson’s Bay Company Hudson’s Bay Company Archives Library and Archives Canada National Currency Collection, Bank of Canada Museum North West Company

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Foreword

The Backstory

colonialism’s currency

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On the House

Introduction

In late June 1905, D.G. MacMartin, Duncan Campbell (D.C.) Scott, and Samuel Stewart – the first representing Ontario, the other two, Canada – embarked on a two-and-a-half-month journey through far northern Ontario. More than a dozen Indigenous men moved the three commissioners, as well as two police constables, a physician, and the chief Hudson’s Bay Company trader, across thousands of kilometres of rivers and lakes so that the federal and provincial governments could enter into treaty with Ojibwe and Cree living north of the height of land separating the Great Lakes and Hudson Bay drainage basins. Among the cargo the party carried throughout its journey was “the pay-lists and the cash,” stored, in Scott’s words, in a “treasure-chest which was heavy with thirty thousand dollars in small notes.”1 In the form of a one-time “present of eight dollars in cash” to each “Indian” at the treaty signature, along with a pledge of four dollars “annually afterwards for ever to be paid to each of the said Indians in cash,” money sealed the deal. The text of Treaty 9 claimed that the Cree and Ojibwe accepted payment “in extinguishment of all their past claims,” thereby agreeing to “cede, release, surrender and yield up to the government of the Dominion of Canada, for His Majesty the King and His successors for ever, all their rights titles and privileges whatsoever, to their lands.”2 Money secured settler colonial claims to sovereignty while its annual payment at treaty time broadcast these claims to Indigenous peoples and settler Canadians year after year. If the state used money to lay claim to space through Treaty 9, the Cree and Ojibwe did not receive this message in the unambiguous terms of the written treaty. As the commissioners went about securing

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title to far northern Ontario on paper, they told the assembled Cree and Ojibwe that through treaty the government conveyed its respect, friendship, and commitment to help in times of need while simultaneously confirming Indigenous rights to the land and its resources.3 Linguistic evidence supports this reading, as the Moose Cree word for paper, masinahekinwân or masinahikanekinwân, is closely related to masinahikew – “s/he writes” or “s/he takes on a debt” – pointing to the debt the state assumed when officials, in solemn ceremony before each of the assembled communities, signed the treaty.4 This understanding would have been further supported by both the rhetoric of the treaty and its materiality, embodied through gifts of clothing, flags, and, most importantly, money, yet another form of paper signalling debt. Indeed, the commissioners told the assembled men and women at each of their stops something quite similar to what the treaty text records: that is, that their distribution of money served to demonstrate the king’s “satisfaction with the behaviour and good conduct of His Indian subjects.”5 Both the commissioners and First Nations embraced treaty, whatever their particular understanding of its terms, because they agreed that the principal object that materialized the agreement – money – held value. Over a remarkably long period, however, the southern bureaucrats who made treaty payments claimed the Cree and Ojibwe knew nothing of money. Writing in a widely read American literary magazine, D.C. Scott portrayed those men and women whom he and the other commissioners treated as ignorant of the instrument that all settlers knew lay at the heart of the economy. According to Scott, it was only with treaty payments that “the majority of Indians had touched paper money for the first time.” He claimed that the still-current use of tally sticks in trade led on more than one occasion to “honest Indians” protesting to the paymasters that “they had received more in eight ones than some of their fellows had in four twos.” These claims echoed a point Scott had made only a few lines before, arguing that from the perspective of the other, the purpose of both the commissioners and First Nations in treaty negotiations was “unknowable.” Indeed, this mutual inscrutability was something of a refrain in the piece, though most often directed at assumed Cree and Ojibwe ignorance. “To individuals whose transactions had been heretofore limited to computation with sticks and skins our errand must indeed have been dark.” Scott told his readers that it was pointless to explain to the Cree and Ojibwe the finer points of “the pronouncement on the Indi-

Introduction

5

an tenure which has been delivered by the law lords of the Crown” or “traditional policy” as it applied to them, because they could not hope to grasp either.6 This was in keeping with the literary aims of Scott’s piece, a pithy and entertaining account of the 1905 trip titled “The Last of the Indian Treaties.” Drawing on the trope of disappearing Indigenous peoples popularized through works of fiction like The Last of the Mohicans, Scott placed the Cree and Ojibwe firmly on the other side of the closing frontier, ignorant of settler political and economic norms and practices.7 While money signified the expanding space claimed by the settler colonial state on the ground, Scott also indicated that money, of which he assumed First Nations had been entirely unaware, was a sign of Canada’s sovereignty, benevolence, modernity, and self-evident superiority. Over twenty years later, H.N. Awrey carried Scott’s claims forward. As presented in 1928 by an American journalist, Awrey, the Indian Affairs accountant who the next year would become federal commissioner for the extension of Treaty 9 north of the Albany River, argued that the Cree and Ojibwe remained entirely ignorant of money. Their refusal to accept an improvement to the efficiency of treaty payments in a way that recalled Scott’s account made this clear: “Carrying around big bales of $1 bills was inconvenient and it took up considerable space in the canoes, so Awrey decided one year to pay the Treaty money in $5 and $10 bills. But the Indians wouldn’t have it. They set up a terrible commotion, declaring they had been cheated. He had given them only one bill, whereas before he had always given them five or ten. Next year the tribesmen were paid in small bills.”8 Of course, by that point, they had been receiving annual payments from the Crown for over twenty years while carrying on the fur trade using state-backed cash. Moreover, these same First Nations had employed beaver money, the common currency of the fur trade across the subarctic, in the centuries leading up to the 1905 signature of Treaty 9. The Moose Factory Cree had even inscribed this history in their language, using ahtay (“a beaver pelt”) for “dollar” and šôliyânikimâw (“a person in charge of money,” or “paymaster”) for “Indian agent.”9 Though the Department of Indian Affairs only named its first agent in western James Bay in 1929, it seems likely, given the literal meaning of šôliyânikimâw, that the Cree had first used the term to refer to the treaty commissioner and his control of annuity payments. However, Awrey, like others before and since, simply failed to consider that First Nations might already be making use of money and might have good reason for

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resisting change. In this particular case, a far more likely explanation involves the Hudson’s Bay Company (hbc) and nontransferable credit. If the Cree and Ojibwe did not want large bills, it was most likely because they were concerned the hbc would refuse to provide change, forcing them to spend any leftover money on goods sold by the company at higher prices than those offered elsewhere. Neither Scott nor Awrey was novel in asserting Indigenous backwardness with respect to money; instead, they were joining a long line of outside commentators who did just this. An Ontario magistrate had made a similar claim in 1890 when writing that the Cree had “very little idea of the value of money or currency,” just as the Christian Science Monitor would do in 1941 in the caption to a photograph: “A typical group of Indian children at Moose Factory. Visitors report that the youngsters in this area know nothing of money.”10 In all of these cases, from the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth century, an assumed lack of familiarity with money served as shorthand for Indigenous alterity, ultimately understood as inferiority. Money, then, functioned to engage First Nations in market relations – whether paying for title or furs – while simultaneously legitimizing state efforts to “civilize” them, to teach First Nations among other things the value of money. Colonialism’s Currency follows this representational thread across more than a century and a half while simultaneously underlining the absurdity of much of the discourse surrounding Indigenous peoples and money. European and Euro-Canadian ignorance – of which the visitors’ claims reported in the caption to the photograph of Cree children provide an excellent example – explains ongoing misrepresentations of First Nations’ experience and understanding of money. Whether involved in the fur trade or doing missionary work, EuroCanadians who actually lived in far northern Ontario recognized that the Cree and Ojibwe had long made sophisticated use of money.11 Of course, prior to the signature of Treaty 9, the money employed by First Nations in the region would have been unfamiliar to most southerners. Instead of bank or state-issued notes and coins, denominated in dollars and cents or pounds, shillings, and pence, the Cree and Ojibwe made use of a monetary system nominally though not actually based on the beaver skin, which had developed over hundreds of years through the fur trade. Seeing this as money, though, would have required outside observers to close the distance between themselves and those they saw as inherently inferior. In other words, money – its

Introduction

7

presence or absence – enabled Europeans and their North American descendants to judge Indigenous peoples and find them wanting. Money, like legislation, schooling, and land policy, played an important role in the Canadian colonial project. How it did so is the subject of this book. If economics textbooks tend to provide an unambiguous definition of money, what follows takes a different tack. Colonialism’s Currency focuses on monetary practice, on money as action, process, or relationship as much as on money as thing.12 In doing so, it follows a broadly interdisciplinary literature drawing primarily on fields other than economics. Georg Simmel, the hugely influential turn-of-thetwentieth-century author of The Philosophy of Money, saw money as above all an idea to which no single monetary form could perfectly correspond.13 Context here is key, and unambiguous definitions are not particularly helpful. Keith Hart, an anthropologist who has produced perhaps the most significant contemporary body of work on money, notes that clear definitions often fail to describe complex social practice adequately. Money is no exception, characterized as it is by “the interplay of forces that makes up its history and continuing evolution.”14 These forces include those inscribed on money itself. As Hart reminds us, one side of a contemporary coin – that is, “heads” – speaks to the political authority that minted it and, by extension, to the body of social relations that authority represents, while the other – “tails” – embodies market value, making the coin a thing that is comparable to other things. While this neat division fails to describe much of the coin in circulation before the mid-to-late nineteenth century, it captures an important tension at the heart of both historical and contemporary money. David Graeber, drawing on Hart, describes this tension as one between an iou and a commodity, between a political and a market relationship.15 In both of these senses, money functions as memory, reminding users of their ties to society, community, family, institutions, and individuals over time.16 In John Maynard Keynes’s words, money is a “link between the present to the future,” though we must be careful not to neglect the past.17 Money is also a means of crossing cultural divides. Scholars suggest, however, that it is able to do this despite or perhaps because of a clear absence of a shared understanding of what money really is. Jane Guyer’s work on monetary trade in Atlantic Africa bears this out in striking fashion.18 Indeed, Guyer’s historical and ethnographic research on exchange is critical precisely because it comes without a

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single, unified, ahistorical definition of what money is and how it developed.19 Her work demonstrates that different groups used different money at least partially in order to provide profit to everyone involved in trade, this profit coming in the form of customary fees levied when shifting from one monetary regime to another. Guyer makes the critical observation that unambiguous definitions, when applied to former or current colonies, impose European expectations on spaces that function differently. Most often, this results in the judgment that Indigenous practices and institutions are wanting in comparison to the supposedly universal and unbiased norms of European political economy. Other scholars make it clear that monetary practice deviated from the norms of political economy in the more or less distant European and North American past as well. Laurence Fontaine, in her work on the market in early modern Europe, observes a phenomenon similar to that described by Guyer though with respect to class, as rich and poor alike made use of multiple monetary forms to their own advantage (though with obvious differences in scale).20 In his seminal work on “the culture of credit” in early modern England, Craig Muldrew contends that “more than anything credit was a public means of social communication and circulating judgment about the value of other members of the community.”21 This observation applies equally well to money in the context of the Canadian colonial project of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, where cash and credit served to mark those who made use of them in multiple ways. In her work on money in the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century United States, Viviana Zelizer, looking to the gulf Simmel saw separating money as idea from money as thing, focuses on “earmarking.” She finds that Americans routinely made distinctions between their stock of notes, coins, and ledger entries based on source and use that defy money’s theoretically perfect interchangeability as well as the uses toward which it “ought” to be put.22 Together, this wide-ranging body of scholarship points to the need to avoid unequivocal pronouncements on the nature of money and to remain attentive to the complex ways in which people have actually used money. Of course, those economists who take a more functional view of money, assigning it three (sometimes four) uses, are not entirely wrong.23 People employ money, like any technology, because it does something that at least some consider helpful. Writing in the midnineteenth century, John Stuart Mill succinctly communicated this

Introduction

9

idea, insisting that money only makes itself felt when malfunctioning: “There cannot, in short, be intrinsically a more insignificant thing, in the economy of society, than money; except in the character of a contrivance for sparing time and labour. It is a machine for doing quickly and commodiously, what would be done, though less quickly and commodiously, without it: and like many other kinds of machinery, it only exerts a distinct and independent influence of its own when it gets out of order.”24 If proponents of so-called “heterodox” monetary theory tend to reject this notion of money as “neutral veil” (a tool that is external to the market and that under normal circumstances meaningfully influences neither individual transactions nor the larger economy), Mill is not incorrect in asserting money’s usefulness.25 Indeed, as we will see, generations of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples made use of money in their day-to-day lives, whether to earn a living or wealth in the market, to gain power or exercise control in political relations, or to give kindness or care to members of the community. Mill and other European theorists, though, obviously fail to communicate the many meanings, both positive and negative, that First Nations have given money. As with other objects, Indigenous communities tended to adopt money according to established cultural norms and practices.26 This is clear in Cree and Innu notions of ownership and the relative importance placed on money. Anthropologist Regina Flannery, writing in the 1930s, observed that the Moose Factory Cree thought of money like other personal property, applying the same notions of gender in both cases: “The Cree woman has equal rights with the man ... The money or goods she receives in payment of personal service is hers. Very often, it is true, it is expended to meet the needs of the family and her husband shares in the benefits, but it is not his place to suggest how the money should be spent, nor would he ever think of appropriating it as his own.”27 Flannery also noted that women considered men with money less-desirable marriage partners for their daughters than men who were good providers “in the Cree sense” – that is, proficient in living on the land.28 This emphasis on the lack of material importance of money corresponds with anthropologist Julius Lips’s claim that the Innu, when returning to Mashteuiatsh in the summer during the 1930s, did not use cash for “indispensable food” but only for “luxuries ... such as pickles, mustard, sweets, etc.” as well as clothing.29 Legal scholar Jean-Paul Lacasse’s work suggests why this was the case. Because money for the Innu was a tool or a means to an end, Lacasse argues that the Innu did not think

10

Colonialism’s Currency

of saving for the future, money, like other material objects, having “no value in and of itself.” Instead, they share or spend it, “because it exists to be used.” In contrast to human and other-than-human persons (animals and plants in Lacasse’s formulation), “money is not alive and so is not respected.”30 This idea finds echo in recent comments by one Innu woman that, “without money, Indigenous peoples were self-sufficient.”31 If colonialism stripped the community of its ability to support itself by embedding it in an alien political, social, and economic order, it did so in part, for the Innu at least, through an inanimate tool unworthy of the respect required of other-than-human persons.32 In this reading, colonial society submits to the domination of a valueless regime of value and forces the colonized to do likewise. Indigenous peoples elsewhere in the subarctic make a similar critique. Members of the Kluane First Nation in Yukon, for example, express a vision of money emphasizing its disruption of appropriate lifeways. Anthropologist Paul Nadasdy writes that “both the making and the spending of money allow one to live without having to participate in a proper relationship with the land and animals upon which people ultimately depend.” This perspective equates money with settlers. Indeed, Nadasdy suggests that some Kluane stories conflate the moment community members had first “seen a White person in the flesh ... [or] seen horses or tasted bannock or tea with sugar” with the first time they had ever seen money.33 Of course, subarctic First Nations could and did approve of money. In the 1930s, the Cree at Moose Factory welcomed cash as a means of purchasing goods via mail order at prices lower than those charged at the local hbc post.34 Twenty years later, a Cree man trading at Attawapiskat recounted a dream to anthropologist John J. Honigmann: “I dream of 2 bears, very fat. I make grease and sell the skins, two for $40. I am extremely rich. I have money and flour.”35 This telling emphasizes the ability of dreams to predict success in hunting, a belief shared by many subarctic cultures. It also positions money and flour (also imported by Euro-Canadians) as signs of wealth gained through proper relations with the land and its other-than-human persons. Further south, Indigenous perceptions of money in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries more closely approximated those of settler society, featuring much of the same contention and contradiction.36 Grand Chief Pierre-Albert Picard Tsichiek8an provides a good example in his diary in 1917 in which he reorded a lengthy moralizing critique of the conduct of other Wendat: “There are currently certain

Introduction

11

individuals in the tribe, who are sowers of discord, who push its members to commit all sorts of unreasonable acts ... for them, money is everything; they can do anything, including the lowest and vilest of things, when it comes time to collect a little money; they prostrate themselves before the dollar sign and slither like snakes over honest people ... These individuals will go to hell at the end of their days because the wrong they cause is out of all proportion and cannot be repaired in time. What a pathetic mindset!”37 Clearly marked by Christian imagery as well as by elite Euro-Canadian notions of propriety, Picard’s diatribe nevertheless indicates the genuine conviction that money, presented as a corrosive force, posed a serious threat to Wendat bonds of community. In this sense, concern about money’s social influence, whether understood in terms that resembled Euro-Canadian critiques of market society or not, broadly informed First Nations responses to it. Adopting this understanding of money as social phenomenon, practice, and process, Colonialism’s Currency analyzes the multiple intersections of colonialism, capitalism, and state formation in First Nations communities in Quebec and Ontario. It does so by focusing on territorial money, its early use by fur-trade companies, and its ultimate establishment as currency whose legitimacy was grounded in the nation-state.38 If the space claimed by the state theoretically circumscribed money, in practice national territorial currency continuously traversed the boundaries it helped imagine. Its development proved critical both to the process of state formation in Canada over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and, as we will see, to the creation of colonial relations between the state and First Nations. As scholars and critics writing from radically different perspectives remind us today, the state in Indigenous communities is not simply the neutral guarantor of monetary value assumed by orthodox economics.39 Instead, the state involves itself in Indigenous economic activity, both on- and offreserve, structuring access to land, resources, and capital. What follows makes clear that this situation is in no way new and, in fact, represents something of an inversion of classical political economy’s ideal system. Indeed, rather than creating money as a public good for unimpeded use in the free market, the state regularly worked to keep money from First Nations and First Nations from the market.40 However, this did not prevent politicians, policymakers, and settler society more generally from claiming that fair markets and neutral money (whether its value came from its precious-metal content or the state’s guarantee)

12

Colonialism’s Currency

would reward (sufficiently “civilized”) Indigenous peoples as handsomely as any other economic actor. Colonialism’s Currency is not a study of money’s first arrival in Indigenous societies. By the early 1800s, all northeastern First Nations had been using money to a greater or lesser degree for centuries. First Nations adopted – and, indeed, helped develop – systems of currency as a means of conceptualizing and expressing value first in the fur trade and later in more diffuse relations of land, labour, and exchange. Some scholars have imagined wampum in these terms. However, if colonists in both New Netherland and New England made use of these beads as legal tender for a short period in the mid-seventeenth century, it does not follow that First Nations necessarily conceived of wampum in monetary terms, too.41 A more convincing case of Indigenous participation in monetary development is found in the beaver money born of the fur trade, as we will see in chapters 3 and 4. By the eighteenth century, First Nations living along the St Lawrence River and the lower Great Lakes regularly made use of coins – a more recognizable form of money to Europeans and Euro-Canadians, in the past as in the present – both among themselves and in transactions with settlers.42 Of course, Indigenous peoples did not always use metallic currency in ways that aligned with European theory and practice, frequently repurposing it and the materials of which it was made, as they had done earlier by using shell and glass beads as adornment, whether in life or, through interment, in death.43 Early money use and market exchange, then, altered Indigenous economies. However, these changes were qualitatively distinct from those experienced by First Nations in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Over this later period, liberalism, state formation, and the expression of an increasingly assertive settler form of colonialism combined to refashion money as a tool that undermined the political independence of First Nations to an extent that far outstripped earlier experience. This book examines a period that witnessed many of the key developments identified by studies of political philosophy in Canada, be it classical liberalism and the liberal subject in the nineteenth century or the rise of the welfare state in the twentieth.44 The influence of liberalism is particularly important here. Emphasizing individual interest in both its political and economic form, liberals found much to admire in money, a tool that classiscal political economy held had emerged spontaneously in the distant past to overcome the imposed market isolation of barter.45 Money and markets brought sovereign

Introduction

13

individuals together and, liberals argued, in the case where state involvement could be restricted to setting and enforcing basic ground rules, civil society and material well-being both necessarily benefited. Of course, liberalism was always theoretical, always a utopian project. If its philosophers looked to marginalized groups such as the “subject peoples” of the British Empire as a source of inspiration when developing their ideas, the formal equality on which liberalism instisted was of secondary importance.46 Indeed, in the liberal discourse of the nineteenth century, Indigenous peoples emerged as anti-citizens. Given their imputed inability to assume responsibility for their own material well-being and to participate fully in the shared life of the broader political community, First Nations provided settler colonial society with a figure against which it defined genuine citizenship. Such representations grew from slowly developing assumptions about private property and money.47 As Jessica Cattelino demonstrates, the assertion that Indigenous peoples lacked government, property, and money is “constitutive of modern theories of money” and has been “from the beginning.”48 John Locke, for example, saw generalized use of money as indicating the legitimacy of political authority, guaranteeing individual rights to property while also defining the bounds of each distinct political community. For Locke, those societies that did not make use of money only allowed for property in the immediate necessities of life. Since most North American lands existed outside of monetary space in the seventeenth century, they could have no owner. In other words, they could only become property with the arrival of European governance and markets, both symbolized by money.49 Locke’s ideas continued to exert great influence in the nineteenth century. Indeed, they were central to the claim that certain forms of state-supplied money posed a threat to both First Nations and settler society, as explored in chapters 2 and 6. State formation also helped determine the interplay of money and colonialism. Scholars have demonstrated how the most unremarkable and seemingly mundane activities may most effectively extend and reinforce the state’s claims to legitimacy.50 This is certainly true of money, simultaneously one of the most banal and most effective means of projecting political authority and building shared identity.51 Canadian money, whether in the largely abstract, quantitative form of book credit or in its more material manifestation as metallic coins or paper notes, played a critical role in the formation of a body politic ultimately represented by a single federal state through its promotion

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Colonialism’s Currency

of a common set of terms, symbols, and preconceived notions. In Canada and elsewhere, though, historians of the state have paid remarkably little attention to money’s political dimensions while also failing to think much about the ways in which First Nations have been central to state formation, not only through their actions but also through stereotypical representations so pervasive in Canada from the nineteenth century. Colonialism’s Currency is not a study of First Nations history per se. Though the reader will find much in what follows on Indigenous peoples, including reference to epistemologies and key thinkers, the history of money from an Indigenous perspective would look quite different. Instead, this is a work that seeks to understand colonialism in Canada through the particular history of power relations between the colonizer and colonized as they passed through money, a social technology of incredible importance. Recent scholarship, building on long-standing though imprecisely expressed understandings of the distinction between colonies of settlement and other colonial forms, provides the book’s conceptual and theoretical grounding with regard to colonialism. The field of settler colonial studies focuses on regions that settlers initially colonized before ultimately gaining formal political autonomy, whether with or without the consent of the metropole. It emphasizes that settler colonialism, once begun, never actually ends, challenging the application of terms such as “postcolonial” to places like the United States and Canada even as it makes use of postcolonial theory to destabilize these nation-states’ most profound mythologies. Finally, settler colonialism points to the systemic logic by which polities work to end the colonial condition, not by freeing themselves from external control but through the erasure of the colonized, whether by way of legal doctrines such as terra nullius, the physical violence of genocide, or settler claims to indigeneity.52 In many ways – as numerous historians have pointed out – this basic concept fits Canadian history quite well and, indeed, is applicable to much of what follows.53 However, the focus on settlers becomes somewhat more problematic in those places, like western James Bay, in which no large body of outsiders ever settled, though they certainly did (and do) lay claim to such lands.54 In her work on twentieth-century eastern James Bay, Toby Morantz argues that “bureaucratic colonialism” more effectively describes relations between the state and the Cree. This variation on “colonialism” emphasizes “the contradictions caused by the various agencies of government’s approach to social

Introduction

15

engineering” in a relatively distant region that never played host to a large settler population.55 Clashing policy and practice between distinct elements of the state is a recurring theme in what follows, though, like “settler colonialism,” “bureaucratic colonialism” provides inadequate purchase on the colonial project as it developed in Quebec and Ontario. Being attentive to other actors, principally those emerging from the market (though whose actions were by no means limited to it) and engaged in what might be termed “resource colonialism” or, perhaps more accurately, “fur-trade colonialism,” will help overcome these limitations.56 What follows, then, looks to a broader vision of colonialism as a set of sometimes allied, sometimes contradictory practices, policies, beliefs, and lived experiences, all of which are profoundly anchored in place, embracing aspects of each of the more limited variants listed above.57 One of the key focal points throughout Colonialism’s Currency is the particular institution charged with managing state relations with First Nations: Indian Affairs.58 Drawing on scholars of the state in Canada and elsewhere, the book highlights the divergence between policy and practice, discourse and action that characterized the institution and that have all too often gone unremarked on.59 In part, the existing lack of nuance arises from the relatively matter-of-fact approach that has characterized studies of the department’s history, itself largely due to the influence of departmental staff on the historiography’s origins and continued development. Indeed, the civil servants who have doubled as more or less official historians have tended to assume a direct correlation between discourse and on-the-ground practice (especially with respect to the state’s avowed goals of protecting, “civilizing,” and assimilating First Nations), a position echoed by more than one historian.60 As a number of scholars of Indigenous-state relations have made clear, this approach is inadequate when seeking to look beyond officially mandated policy to the lives it influenced.61 Instead of emphasizing central authority through analyses of the “imperial mind” or official policy, Cole Harris urges scholars “to investigate the sites where colonialism was actually practiced.”62 What follows accepts this call, agreeing with Adele Perry that this sort of approach “reminds us that colonialism was a popular social experience as well as a political arrangement and literary discourse.”63 Pushing beyond institutionally produced histories of the state requires greater attention to the state itself. The challenge here is, according to Pierre Bourdieu, “to really think a state which still thinks

16

Colonialism’s Currency

itself through those who attempt to think it.”64 Following Bruce Curtis in his groundbreaking work on the Canadian census, scholars need to recognize that the ways in which we conceive of the state – and indeed the ways in which we think of many other apparently unrelated objects, categories, processes, practices, and phenomena (as well as these very objects, categories, processes, practices, and phenomena themselves) – are often products of the state.65 Moreover, it is questionable whether one can really refer to “the state” at all, given that it is not a unitary or even a coherent thing but rather a collection of individuals, institutions, relationships, and practices, each with its own history and operating in service of particular interests. To grapple with this, Bourdieu suggests embracing “hyperbolic” or “radical doubt,” continuously ratcheting up the skepticism with which we regard the state and its claims.66 Doing so is critical in the particular context of money and the Department of Indian Affairs, both of which exhibit a recursive, self-referential, or emergent form of legitimacy.67 Indeed, as civil servants and the general population – both categories products of the state, like money and Indian Affairs – came increasingly to view money and the department as legitimate, that very legitimacy increased.68 Colonialism’s Currency, then, views the state, and Indian Affairs among its constituent elements, in terms similar to the process-based definition of money given above. The state, here, is continuously emergent, as much a collection of relationships as of things; it frames the terms of debate in both the past and the present and gains legitimacy as both a historical and contemporary reality through the scholarly attention we provide it – legitimacy that requires constantly renewed “radical doubt.” Colonialism’s Currency adopts a twinned approach, analyzing both larger regional, national, and imperial political developments and the particular lived experiences of three First Nations: the Moose Factory Cree, the Wendat of Wendake, and the Innu of Mashteuiatsh (figure 0.1). Each of these three communities experienced colonialism and money within its own distinct historical and cultural context. Established at its present location in 1697, Wendake formed part of a growing, culturally diverse urban region in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Moose Factory, on the other hand, hosted only a marginal non-Indigenous population through the mid-twentieth century, even after the completion in 1932 of a railway terminus across the river from the hbc post. Mashteuiatsh, for its part, effectively transitioned in the nineteenth century from a society tied to

Introduction

17

Kilometres

Figure 0.1 Map of Mashteuiatsh, Moose Factory, and Wendake.

the fur trade though unambiguously anchored in the bush along the lines of Moose Factory to one increasingly bound to the reserve and its urbanizing region like Wendake. These communities’ distinct politics, economies, society, and culture provide a broad range of settings and experiences against which to analyze money and colonialism. Moreover, focusing on these communities has the added benefit of bringing experience in Quebec and Ontario to the fore in our understanding of colonialism in Canada. Indeed, both of these provinces played critical roles in shaping the colonial project. Despite this,

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Colonialism’s Currency

recent scholarship on Indigenous-settler relations has largely passed them over.69 The Wendat, thanks to their close proximity to the large settler population of Quebec City since the mid-seventeenth century (figure 0.2), long had a material culture that closely resembled that of their non-Indigenous neighbours. Though agriculturalists by tradition, the Wendat of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries occupied lands that were not ideal for farming, being limited in both size and arability. To ensure subsistence, the community relied on hunting, manufacturing (mainly moccasins and snowshoes), and both professional and manual labour, along with agriculture, generally dismissed as insignificant by outsiders due to its status as “women’s work.”70 Though small, growing from perhaps 180 residents in the 1820s to nearly 500 by the mid-twentieth century, Wendake enjoyed political influence well beyond its size.71 This was primarily due to long-lasting Wendat ties to colonial elites, including artists and writers, politicians, military leaders, and high-ranking officials such as the governor-general, many of whom visited the village themselves and recommended doing so to friends and dignitaries. Moreover, over the course of the nineteenth century, Wendake became a popular day-trip for tourists visiting Quebec City, many of whom had read travel literature describing the village’s inhabitants as exotic, though poverty-stricken and ignorant, in terms designed to appeal to settler and European expectations. The claims, though, did not hold up to the evidence, something of which visitors, finding little distinction between the Wendat and their French-Canadian neighbours, sometimes complained.72 Such complaints underscore the depths of Wendat experience of cross-cultural exchanges, both material and immaterial. Indeed, social and cultural barriers separating the community from its Canadien neighbours had never been particularly great, with both practices and bodies, including adopted children and marriage partners, passing between the two groups with relative ease.73 Wendat market activity, especially that involving money, makes this even clearer. In addition to selling manufactured goods and agricultural produce in Quebec City, wealthy Wendat families played a critical role in local financial networks, lending profits from the retail and manufacturing sector to community members and settler neighbours alike. However, increasingly invasive state policy and practice from the last quarter of the nineteenth century altered this situation, forcing the private capital of Wendake’s elites into the village, where it fed a process of social strat-

Introduction

19

Kilometres

Figure 0.2 Map of Wendake and the surrounding region.

ification and consolidation of local political authority explored at greater length in chapter 6.74 Here the divergence between official discourse, with its emphasis on “uplift,” and on-the-ground practice is obvious. By the nineteenth century, most outside observers agreed the Wendat had achieved “civilization” and yet the logic of the colonial project subjected Wendake to a system of state supervision that undercut official goals, including the full integration of First Nations into market society.75 Prior to the mid-nineteenth century, the Innu of Saguenay-LacSaint-Jean – the southwesternmost portion of Nitassinan, the Innu homeland – led lives that differed substantially from those of both the Wendat and most settlers. Spending much of the year hunting, trapping, and gathering in the bush, they returned to fur-trade posts for a few weeks each summer, conducting business and socializing among themselves and with fur traders and missionaries. From the mid-nineteenth century, however, this lifestyle changed rapidly for some as a

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Colonialism’s Currency

Kilometres

Figure 0.3 Map of Mashteuiatsh and the surrounding region.

result of the establishment of the reserve at Mashteuiatsh (Pointe Bleue), the razing of large portions of the forest along the Saguenay River and the lake (Lac Saint-Jean) by logging companies and farmers, rapid agricultural settlement throughout the region, and the 1888 completion of a railway terminus in Roberval, the fast-growing town immediately adjacent to Mashteuiatsh (figure 0.3). At the same time, the area’s Innu population grew, from perhaps 75 in 1830 to 775 just over a century later.76 Unlike some First Nations farther south, the Innu welcomed the Indian Act’s imposition of the elected band council as a novel means of communicating the community’s needs and wants to the government.77 As the chapters that follow will show, though, this did not mean that Innu relations with Indian Affairs were always or even mostly good. The Innu, like the Wendat, understood market logic and proved more than capable of generating profit. They began trading with Europeans in the sixteenth century, pursuing commercial relations on a sustained and regular basis from the permanent establishment of French

Introduction

21

settlers at the beginning of the 1600s. If merchants worked above all to secure profit, an approach replicated over the following centuries by the large fur-trade monopolies active in the region, the Innu were not passive victims of European commercial strategy.78 Indeed, as we will see, they gained a deep familiarity with traders’ motives while also developing practices that benefited their own bottom line in ways that may appear surprising. Fur auctions are an excellent example. While scholars associate auctions with large, monopolistic firms like the Hudson’s Bay Company as a means of realizing the highest price possible for the company on furs purchased from Indigenous peoples and sold on European and North American markets, the Innu adopted the same practice in the 1920s to increase their own revenue. Though thoroughly annoyed, hbc traders participated alongside numerous merchants active in and around Mashteuiatsh, all working to outbid the others, in the process helping the Innu secure far greater cash income than they would have otherwise been able to earn.79 By the end of the 1930s, though, the population of fur-bearing animals on which many Innu depended for their livelihood had collapsed, in large part because of the unemployed settlers from southern cities who turned to illegal trapping in the subarctic during the Great Depression. Inspired by a successful hbc-run initiative farther north, the federal and provincial governments established the Péribonka Beaver Sanctuary in 1941 in an effort to revive Innu fortunes in the fur trade. As they did in the Kesagami Beaver Sanctuary, founded at the same time by the governments of Canada and Ontario for the Moose Factory Cree (explored in detail in chapter 6), officials closed the Péribonka for much of the 1940s as they worked to reestablish sufficient numbers of beaver to support ongoing commercial trapping. In Mashteuiatsh, the project failed. While beaver populations grew significantly, the Innu, unable to trap for almost a decade, concentrated on wage labour in nearby cities and towns. When the sanctuary opened to trapping in the 1949–50 season, most of those working in sawmills, lumber camps, or mineral prospecting remained in these positions.80 The Moose Factory, or Moosonee, Cree (Môsonîw-ililiwak, “the people of Moose,” or Mushkegowuk, “people of the muskeg”), for their part, continued economic practices through 1950 that closely resembled those they had developed since the seventeenth century.81 Though similar to Innu lifeways at the beginning of the nineteenth century, Cree practice differed substantially owing to the role of Moose Factory (Kihci-waskahikan, or “great house,” in Cree) as a major

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Colonialism’s Currency

hub in the hbc’s commercial empire.82 Fur traders distinguished between “Homeguard” and Inland Cree based on the proximity of each group’s home territory to the post and, as a consequence of that proximity, their presence and willingness to take wage labour for the hbc and to supply its personnel with needed fish and game. The Cree, for their part, seem to have differentiated among themselves along similar lines, though by all accounts making a less clear-cut distinction between coasters and inlanders based on home territory.83 Despite this distinction, the livelihood of both groups remained solidly attached to the fur trade throughout the period, though, as was the case half a century earlier at Mashteuiatsh, the arrival of the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railway at Moosonee in 1932 altered Cree economic options (figure 0.4). In this sense, it was the bush rather than the trading post or any neighbouring Euro-Canadian settlement that structured Cree life throughout the period, which is an important point of distinction with respect to Wendake and, to a lesser degree, Mashteuiatsh.84 Another point of distinction lay in ideas about the land itself. From the seventeenth century into the twentieth century, both fur traders and Cree understood they were sharing the land and its resources. In other words, outsiders who lived at Moose Factory did not imagine themselves to own western James Bay in the same way that settlers farther south imagined they owned the land there.85 Finally, the hbc remained the primary external political actor at Moose Factory throughout the period in a way that it had never been in Wendake and that had ceased to be the case in Mashteuiatsh by the middle decades of the nineteenth century. As we will see, these distinctions profoundly shaped the politics of money. While life on the land dominated daily existence through the middle of the twentieth century, the Cree supplemented trapping income in variety of ways. For example, many worked on the docks, at Moose Factory or on Charlton Island in James Bay (Wînipekw).86 Some of the same men transported supplies or piloted steamers to nearby trading posts operated by the hbc and its main rival in the first decades of the twentieth century, the French furrier Revillon Frères. Both companies also jointly paid a number of men to carry the mail “packet” to Cochrane, Ontario, once every winter, a service that the government of Canada expanded to once a month when it took over delivery in the mid-1920s.87 A small number of women earned income from the companies in exchange for domestic work at their posts.88 Of course,

Introduction

23

Kilometres

Figure 0.4 Map of Moose Factory and the surrounding region.

these workers did not receive wages in cash but were paid in store credit that they could only spend at posts in Moose Factory, which were, as one visiting author observed in 1916, “stocked far better than many of the ‘general’ stores in fair-sized towns.” Yet, lower prices and hard currency led many to travel south to towns like Cochrane.89 There, they could sell their furs to a large number of independent buyers at higher prices and for cash while paying less for consumer goods, whether at company trading posts, general stores, or taverns. Ultimately travelling much farther afield, a significant number of Cree men served in Canadian forces during both world wars, earning income for themselves and, as we will see in chapter 6, their dependents.90 At the same time, the Cree, like many other First Nations, supported the war effort through both personal and community investment in victory bonds and war savings certificates.91 Together, these market practices indicate the Cree were anything but insular, even as their distance from southern population centres and the outsized

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Colonialism’s Currency

influence of fur-trade companies at Moose Factory through the midtwentieth century meant they had fewer options for earning and spending money than the Wendat and the Innu. The twinned approach that follows emphasizes the need to understand the ways in which women and men actively engaged in shaping their lives in a world over which they had little control. At the same time, it allows multiple views of the same issue that account for the divergence of power between the state and transnational capital, on the one hand, and First Nations, on the other, all within interrelated though distinct places and spaces. Put differently, what follows looks to uncover both the theoretical norms that settler society communicated and enforced through money and colonialism and the extent to which these norms constantly deviated from experience on the ground through place-based rather than place-bound analysis. According to geographer Doreen Massey, place-bound analysis constructs place “as in various ways a site of an authenticity, as singular, fixed and unproblematic in its identity.” In contrast, place-based analysis approaches place as “a particular articulation” of “social interrelations at all scales,” recognizing that place “includes relations which stretch beyond – the global as part of what constitutes the local, the outside as part of the inside.”92 Work on the spatial dimension of settler colonialism, seen by some scholars as a more fundamental aspect of this form of colonialism than even population, accords quite effectively with place-based analysis.93 The insights of these two approaches guide Colonialism’s Currency as it considers both the specificity of Mashteuiatsh, Wendake, and Moose Factory and the relation of each to broader forces and phenomena. Of course, these cases have limitations. The three communities all remained small throughout the period; in 1934, for example, the Department of Indian Affairs reported populations of 776 in Mashteuiatsh, 478 in Wendake, and 377 in Moose Factory. These First Nations, then, do not compare with larger communities on which considerably more scholarship has focused, such as the Six Nations of the Grand River, which in 1934 counted 4,908 members.94 Because of their relatively small size, moreover, certain phenomena that were central to life elsewhere either are absent or appear only occasionally in the historical record, the density of which is often directly related to population. At the same time, focusing on communities located in different jurisdictions (whether Quebec, Ontario, and lands claimed by the hbc and other fur-trade monopolies or the Innu Nitassinan or

Introduction

25

the Cree kituskeenuw/nituskeenan),95 each with its own relationship to the spaces of village, bush, and colony/country, complicates the analysis somewhat. What results serves to underscore the disconnect between local phenomena in several distinct places and the universalizing analysis that can emerge when focused on a single locale.96 Mashteuiatsh, Wendake, and Moose Factory each experienced in a unique way the interaction of the state and markets; lands, natural resources, and settlers; and colonialism and currency. If these underscore certain commonalities, reinforcing, for example, the general theory and analysis proposed by settler colonial studies, they also suggest a need for nuance that can appear less pressing when focused either on a single community or on a larger national, transnational, hemispheric, imperial, or global scale. If colonialism is current, its currency is not everywhere and in all times the same, being, like money, as much a process and a relationship as a thing. The book proceeds in broadly chronological fashion. Chapter 1 considers money and colonialism from two angles, providing a history of money in the settler colonial economy through the mid-twentieth century and examining the iconography and materiality of the merchant scrip, coins, and bills that circulated in the colonies and the Dominion of Canada. Money, the messages it spread, and the markets to which it contributed helped create the symbolic and intellectual order through which settler colonialism expanded in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to envelop lands and peoples that had until then lived largely beyond the reach of southern institutions and practices. Chapter 2 traces the contribution of Indigenous policy debates on money in the first half of the nineteenth century to the development of colonialism, seen most clearly in the deployment of the settler notion of First Nations improvidence. Looking to reduce imperial expenditure, the Colonial Office suggested replacing the Crown’s annual distribution of diplomatic presents to its Indigenous allies in Upper and Lower Canada with cash payments. Though some Indigenous leaders supported the project, many more opposed it, as did virtually every colonial official and missionary who expressed an opinion. This debate contributed both to remaking community membership along highly gendered lines and to moving First Nations in the minds of policymakers from relatively independent communities that were effectively external to the colonial body politic to an internal problem that needed solving one individual at a time.

26

Colonialism’s Currency

Chapter 3 is the first of two focused on money’s role in shifting outside claims to the eastern subarctic from the mid-to-late nineteenth century. The settlers who poured into Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean from the very end of the 1830s brought the monetary system of southern Canada with them, replacing the system that Indigenous hunter-trappers and Euro-Canadian traders had developed from the seventeenth century. While the Innu encouraged this shift as a means of tempering the control of the overbearing Hudson’s Bay Company, this would ultimately make them subject to unwanted intervention by the state. Chapter 4 continues this analysis of shifting claims to space, this time in western James Bay, by examining changes in the fur trade at the turn of the twentieth century and the signature of Treaty 9 that quickly followed. Though the state’s replacement of fur-trade money in far northern Ontario was much more consciously directed than it had been seven decades earlier in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, the process left fur-trade corporations in control of the area in all but name for decades to come. The development of land, resource, and fiscal policy specific to Lower Canada is the subject of chapter 5. As the state moved into Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, it ignored multiple requests from the Innu and high-profile non-Indigenous supporters to conclude a treaty. Instead of cash annuities along the lines of those offered at this very moment to the Anishinabe of Lakes Huron and Superior, officials provided the Innu in-kind relief and reserves based on the Upper Canadian model, with no recognition of preexisting title or rights. At the same time, the state assumed management of Wendat natural and financial resources, creating for itself over the second half of the nineteenth century an important means of exerting control over the internal workings of First Nations. Finally, chapter 6 turns to the state’s increasing involvement in western James Bay between the 1920s and 1950 through the institutional capture of veterans’ and dependents’ benefits and through its parsimonious, market-oriented program of fur conservation. While suggesting an increase of control by Indian Affairs, the chapter also highlights two cases in Wendake that point to something else entirely: limited supervision of local agents of the state, who themselves may well have been ignorant of their legal rights and responsibilities with respect to First Nations. Ultimately, Colonialism’s Currency makes the following interlocking arguments about money, colonialism, the state, space, and Indigenous peoples. Discourse around money has contributed to the still widely

Introduction

27

held conviction that Indigenous peoples are inherently improvident – a conviction first fully developed in the early-to-mid-nineteenth century and refined thereafter. Discursively stripped of the ability to use money’s value in the market responsibly, First Nations found, and, indeed, continue to find, both their value to Canadian society and their own specific, cultural values called into question. Money has always been more than a means of comprehending and questioning value, though; it is also one of the ways the authority that issues or backs it makes itself manifest. This was certainly true of money in the fur trade, as companies worked to insulate their business with Indigenous peoples from outside interference through their own closed systems, in the process affirming their control of space and population. It was perhaps even more critical to the projection of authority by the colonial and, later, federal state. Indeed, the images and text borne on coins and bills carried claims to the state’s political authority into regions that, in terms of day-to-day administration, lay almost entirely beyond the reach of distant governments. The ubiquity of transactions featuring physical money-stuff and calculations using the official unit of account may have made money more effective than other, less quotidian symbols of the state’s authority like maps, laws, and postage stamps. In the specific context of Indigenous-state relations, the state’s claims to authority through money were perhaps most visible in the substantial treaty payments made from the mid-to-late nineteenth century in regions from which settlers were more or less absent. Accompanied by conspicuously displayed flags and distributed by uniformed soldiers or police officers, these payments made the state tangible and asserted the value of its sovereignty through the goods that treaty money could procure. At the same time, they made Indigenous populations legible to distant bureaucrats, if not always for the first time, at least in far greater detail than previously. However, once the state placed Indian agents on the ground to oversee dayto-day relations with First Nations, such detail did not guarantee that money and the programs in which it was involved functioned along the lines set out in legislation and policy statements. Indeed, if official discourse emphasized the state’s efforts to remake Indigenous peoples as liberal subjects, money often served to confirm their location beyond the bounds of liberalism. Money, then, has been far more than a neutral measure of market value. It has provided, among other things, an effective means of disseminating colonial social values, laying claim to national space, and disciplining colonized peoples.

28

Colonialism’s Currency

The Backstory

section one Money and Meaning under Settler Colonialism

29

30

On the House

1 Money: A Technology of Settler Colonialism

By the mid-nineteenth century, the dollar, born in Spanish American mines and raised in the colonial project of the United States, had become Canadian. If its name referenced empire, its physical form illustrated the connection through the bodies it foregrounded – royal, allegorical, Indigenous, and settler alike – and the lands and activities it displayed. Like land, treaties, trade, and missions, the dollar reflected and shaped the process of colonialism. However, it did so in complex ways as money’s ability to function day in and day out in the market drew on its myriad claims to legitimacy. These claims were themselves reinforced both by the banal economic activites that money made possible and through the ideas and institutions that money referenced, including empire, the nation-state, “Western civilization,” and settler colonial notions of indigeneity. Concerned with ensuring the value of each coin, note, or entry in a merchant’s ledger, Canadians of the past were far more aware than we are today of the messages conveyed by money and of the social, economic, and political networks in which different forms of money placed them. This chapter focuses on both the “stuff” of money and the ideas it conveyed, beginning with a general description of the settler colonial monetary system in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and then turning to an analysis of the stories told by money’s text and images. If monetary practice developed without much (if any) concern for First Nations, Indigenous peoples were not incidental to this process. Cash placed First Nations outside both the modern economy and the colonial political community through its daily use as well as the representations it made.1 At the same time, money, even when produced

32

Money and Meaning under Settler Colonialism

by private financial institutions, legitimized the state and constructed the national space to which it laid claim. Over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, money developed into something quite unrecognizable, from both what earlier generations of learned commentators presumed it to be and what most ordinary people at the beginning of the period used in day-today transactions. This had to do with the processes of modernization and standardization that both money and the ideas it communicated underwent in the roughly two centuries following the British conquest of Canada. The growth of the state and the consequent constitution of national markets, space, and political community drove this process. This was not, however, a simple case of people and institutions coming together to form something greater. It was also a profoundly colonial process, occurring on Indigenous lands and implicitly, if not always explicitly, articulated through European notions of industry, empire, and indigeneity. Territorial dispossession underpinned the market value of the Canadian dollar while creating the space – space now unambiguously framed as belonging to Canada – in which the dollar and its claims to political authority could circulate. Dispossession also furnished much of the narrative material that would find its way onto Canadian money, whether produced by banks or the state. Money’s meaning was in part self-proclaimed and in part found in the shared vocabulary of value that it spread. Before turning to its self-conscious message, we will begin with an account of money’s development in Canada through the mid-twentieth century. This account will be critical for all that follows: though not as tangled as some, Canada’s monetary history is complex and has received relatively little scholarly attention, virtually none of which concentrates on money’s colonial nature or its role in state formation.

money and the settler economy Like colonialism, in which it played a central role, Canada’s monetary system began as a European import before evolving under local conditions. In the process, three main forms of money developed through the nineteenth century and into the twentieth century: coins, bills, and the abstract accounting currency found in the ledgers of merchants and the state. Between the early nineteenth and the midtwentieth centuries, homogenization gradually did away with the wide variety of circulating media and units of account that had been

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33

one of the defining characteristics of the colonial monetary system. Indeed, colonial residents had initially needed to evaluate transactions using abstract money that did not directly correspond to any individual note or coin. They did so while trading in cash of diverse national origin and bills printed by merchants, banks, and governments in British North America, the United States, and beyond. If not as extreme as the situation in the United States – whose monetary system of privately issued notes and domestic and foreign coins was, in John Kenneth Galbraith’s famous phrase, “without rival, the most confusing in the long history of commerce and associated cupidity”2 – Canada’s money supply was remarkably complex. This led many to scrutinize the cash that came their way while loudly complaining that “good money” was hard to find.3 By the middle of the twentieth century, however, Canadians no longer made such complaints, having largely come to accept the money they handled every day as legitimate and natural.4 How did this occur? Though the three forms of money that charactized the colonial economy all existed prior to the early nineteenth century, the materials from which they were made, the technology used to produce them, and the relationship of each to the others changed greatly over the following 150 years. If the majority of commentators writing at the beginning of the nineteenth century argued that specie – coin made of precious metals – was the only legitimate form of money, this view had all but disappeared by the mid-twentieth century. By this point, coins made of base metals, intrinsically worthless paper notes, and credit found only in bank and merchant ledgers had come to dominate the money supply in Canada as in much of the rest of the world. Credit and debit relations, centred on merchant ledgers rather than on circulating media of exchange, provided the colonial monetary system’s functional core. Though physical money-stuff preoccupied economic theorists and officials during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, its role in the colonies, particularly in remote or rural regions, was of secondary importance. Following the practice in New France, where authorities declared the livre tournois to be the official accounting currency, British administrators, as they did more or less independently in every colony throughout the empire, adopted a variety of pound-based units of account, termed “currency,” as the statesanctioned means of evaluating the colonies’ heterogeneous supply of foreign and domestic coin and bills.5 In Upper Canada, the civilian

34

Money and Meaning under Settler Colonialism

population primarily used York currency, while Halifax currency was the norm in Lower Canada (both abbreviated as £ cy). Residents of the eastern half of the Canadas continued to use pre-conquest French livres, though with decreasing frequency, until the mid-nineteenth century. The empire, for its part, required that all official accounts submitted from the colonies be in pounds sterling while the military used Army Pay in keeping its books.6 Initially, the livre and currency were purely abstract monetary forms, since no single livre or pound currency coin or bill existed.7 Given their nature as a means of expressing the value of cash, goods, and services, colonial residents made use of livres and currency whether employing cash or not. Even in the absence of cash, monetized thinking flourished in the settler economy. Through their account books, merchants in New France and British North America, as they had long done in Europe and as they did in the United States and Australia, traded with their clients using abstract money.8 They did this by serving as local agents of redistribution. In idealized terms, customers purchased goods throughout the year on credit from their local merchant, who recorded these transactions in monetary notation in his ledger. Similarly, the merchant and his customers purchased goods and services from other colonial residents by according them the appropriate amount of credit (and, if the merchant himself had not made the purchase, debiting the account of the customer who had). Customers then reimbursed their purchases with their own produce (e.g., wheat, peas, eggs, butter, artisanal goods like snowshoes or homespun cloth, and furs).9 By accepting commodities in exchange for other commodities based on a system of book debt expressed in a unit of account, the Canadian merchant became a central player in the colonial monetary economy – in the abstract if not the physical sense. Thus, although credit restricted economic action in a way that cash in hand did not (credit not being as generally transferable as hard currency), both served the same basic monetary function. This system, based in money of account with debts settled through payment in agricultural or other produce rather than through cash, remained critical to several regions’ economies until at least 1840.10 Once colonial business elites established note-issuing banks in the late 1810s, these institutions began supplanting “merchant-bankers,” especially in urban areas.11 By contrast, in isolated rural areas, like New Brunswick’s Madawaska valley, economic and territorial expansion depended on these merchants to a much later date because

Money: A Technology of Settler Colonialism

35

colonists could not have hoped to clear land and purchase stock, seed, equipment, and other necessities without a significant line of credit. Thus, in the nineteenth century’s “frontier” regions, in British North America as in other settler colonies, book credit, calculated in money of account, proved as vital to the local economy as it had been in the St Lawrence Valley of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.12 Coins – simultaneously a product and a promotional tool of empire – played a critical role in the settler colonial economy as well. From the conquest through the 1830s, French silver coins minted in the early eighteenth century, especially écus and fractions thereof, supplied Lower Canada with its principal form of specie, supplemented by the low-denomination, often debased American and Mexican silver dollars dominant in Upper Canada. Silver owed its predominance both to the massive quantity of coin minted with the metal extracted from Latin American mines and to British North American ordinances that from 1765 set the official value of these coins above the market value of their precious-metal content. In this way, authorities successfully sought to discourage the hoarding of silver coins, thereby increasing the supply of money in which colonial elites, subscribing to political economic theory of the day, had the greatest confidence – that is, specie.13 This policy had unintended consequences, though, in that it encouraged merchants and banks to redeem notes in British North America using coins such as worn or clipped Spanish and French colonial currency that had fallen out of circulation elsewhere and to export more intrinsically valuable coins to foreign markets.14 By the 1820s, the Bank of Montreal had withdrawn most of even the remaining substandard silver from the colonies, sending much of its reserves at great profit to the United States for use in the rapidly growing China trade.15 At the same time, as the depository of the receiver general in Quebec, the bank received large amounts of British silver, which it claimed to use in backing its increased note issues while actually returning much of it to Britain to purchase bills of exchange.16 While colonial authorities overrated silver, they did precisely the opposite with gold, setting the official exchange rate of these coins below the market price of their precious-metal content. As a result, colonists hoarded gold coins or shipped them overseas, where they held greater buying power. Officials also underrated copper, leading individuals to withhold high-quality copper coins in the same way as gold. All of this contributed to growing support in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries for paper money, since many believed

36

Money and Meaning under Settler Colonialism

that the alternatives – the gold, silver, and copper coins one could actually acquire in the colonies or the cumbersome system of book credit – were not economically viable.17 Colonists reacted to the perceived failure of specie by adopting a wide variety of circulating media, in both large and small denominations. From the 1760s, for example, merchants issued scrip – known in French as bons (each was bon pour, or “good for,” a certain amount) – initially to enable relatively large payments, while a wide variety of generally worn foreign copper coins and tokens occupied the opposite end of the spectrum. From the end of the eighteenth century, merchants made these notes available in denominations similar to those of silver coins. By the 1830s, they began issuing low-denomination tokens while also using worn copper coins from Europe and elsewhere in the Americas, alongside objects that initially had no monetary purpose, such as buttons from British military uniforms.18 The money supply’s heterogeneity diminished as time went on, though, as a result of issues of small change (pennies and half-pennies) by chartered banks in the colonies from the mid-1830s, the slowly shrinking list of foreign coins that held status as legal tender, and the growth of paper money.19 Over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, settler colonial cash increasingly came in the form of notes. Paper money first appeared in what is now Canada during the French regime, in the form of playing cards cut to different sizes depending on denomination.20 Historians have emphasized the settlers’ loss of confidence in paper following the dramatic wartime inflation in the years leading up to the conquest, France’s postwar refusal to accept card money, and the 75 per cent discount British authorities applied to its face value. However, these factors never entirely drove paper money from circulation. Merchant bons together with increasingly common banknotes of all denominations issued in the United States reminded colonists at the turn of the nineteenth century that money came in other forms than precious metals alone.21 Indeed, earlier use of paper almost certainly contributed to the success of “army bills.” These notes, issued in dollar notation by the military in the colonies during the War of 1812 and accepted by the state at face value in payment of all debts, briefly served as legal tender in Upper and Lower Canada, between 1813 and 1817.22 This largely positive experience of paper money, coupled with the withdrawal of army bills from circulation in 1817, helps explain the appearance in the same year of what would become the Bank of

Money: A Technology of Settler Colonialism

37

Montreal, the first note-issuing bank in British North America.23 By the early 1820s, note-issuing banks operated or were represented in the major colonial towns of Quebec City, Kingston, and York (Toronto), in addition to Montreal.24 Contemporary observers in the early 1820s reported that both individuals and the state settled much of their debt in paper money; in the middle of the following decade, one anonymous writer claimed that settlers accepted notes due to their belief in the colony’s financial stability “and not from any reliance on the quantity of debased coin it possesses.”25 This claim is borne out by the boom in the circulation of bank notes in Upper and Lower Canada between 1829 and 1841, a period during which the value of notes in use in the two colonies more than doubled.26 Chartered banks continued to grow steadily through Confederation thanks largely to Canadians’ acceptance, despite sporadic bank failures, of paper in place of metallic currency.27 Through early bank charters, authorities drove this phenomenon by neglecting to specify any penalty for suspending the payment of specie, the theoretical basis of paper’s market value, in exchange for notes in Lower Canada while only providing for mild sanctions in Upper Canada.28 The growth in the circulation of banknotes also speaks to the important public powers assumed in British North America by nongovernmental insitutions. In issuing the major part of the colonies’ paper money, chartered banks exercised powers that resembled those of other agencies outside the formally defined state, notably, as we will see in chapters 3 and 4, the Hudson’s Bay Company. With both chartered banks and the hbc, the institutions’ physical presence across a broad geographic area helped create colonial and, later, national “monetary space” while supporting the political authority of the issuing institution as well as the British Empire and, ultimately, the Canadian nation-state.29 Beginning in the early 1840s, the use of notes expanded again. The financial system’s shift to branch banking brought the bank locations that issued paper into closer physical proximity to much of the colonies’ population.30 Though large institutions like the Bank of Montreal and the Bank of Upper Canada had representatives in the principal towns and cities of both colonies from the very beginning, these banks based their note operations at their home offices alone. As a result, many colonial residents would not have been able to exchange paper for metallic money at the issuing bank itself, as Montreal, Kingston, Quebec City, or Toronto were simply too distant. This, in turn, helps explain the widespread colonial practice of accepting

38

Money and Meaning under Settler Colonialism

early banknotes at a discount, a practice that, among other things, theoretically accounted for the travel expenses required to convert paper into specie. From the early 1840s, major financial institutions began opening branches in small towns across the colonies. In doing so, they removed geographical distance as a reason for accepting paper at a discount.31 Indeed, most notes in circulation now had a regional character as all of the colony’s chartered banks took to branch banking simultaneously.32 The Bank of Montreal, for example, issued essentially identical money at all its locations, the only difference being in the printed or hand-stamped name of each note’s home branch.33 Though only redeemable in specie at a particular branch, these notes, like those of the 1820s and 1830s, spread a common visual and written monetary language, reinforcing paper’s increasingly dominant position in the colonial money supply.34 Though not yet central to the monetary system, the state played an important role in solidifying the standing of Canada’s main banks and the circulation of their notes. In 1833, the British military made the Bank of Montreal its exclusive bank in Lower Canada and the Toronto-based Bank of Upper Canada in the neighbouring colony. State reliance on these two financial institutions, coupled with residents’ growing familiarity with banknotes, encouraged the increasing acceptance of paper at face value and the consequent massive growth in its circulation in the 1830s. At the same time, the state began homogenizing the supply of paper money in Lower Canada when the Special Council, in control of the colony between 1838 and 1841, adopted an ordinance requiring a licence for any institution or individual circulating notes worth less than £5 cy, a sum that vastly exceeded daily expenses for all but the wealthiest.35 In practice, this effectively banned bons, the vast majority of which merchants had always issued in small denominations. It also effectively restricted note issues to chartered banks.36 If the Bank of Montreal and the Bank of Upper Canada issued the largest share of these notes, the value of paper printed and circulated by other, less privileged banks grew dramatically, too. Despite the commercial crises that struck the colonies in 1825–26, 1836–37, and 1847–49, the value of privately issued paper money in circulation rose dramatically from the early 1820s into the 1850s. In 1822, the first year for which we have estimates, banknotes worth £157,498 cy circulated in Upper and Lower Canada, 61 per cent of which were issued by the Bank of Montreal. Though this second number had dropped to 38 per cent by 1854, the bank had by then

Money: A Technology of Settler Colonialism

39

£1,191,000 cy in circulation, or over 7.5 times the combined value of all banks’ notes in 1822. Moreover, by this point, the amount of paper currency in use in the two Canadas had grown to £3,163,030 cy – a twentyfold increase in just thirty years.37 This massive expansion of market-based money was central to settler colonialism. Whether issued by banks or merchants, and whether understood as scrip, tokens, or notes, money was the vehicle through which the colonial economy grew in terms of both the economic value it generated and the space it occupied. The growth of banks and their note issues also contributed to homogenizing the colonial money supply, lessening the use of foreign coin and of merchant tokens and bons. Moreover, colonialism’s dependence on money would only continue as the state assumed an increasingly pivotal role in its production. By the end of the 1840s, the state had begun to intervene directly in the monetary system, once more issuing what amounted to paper currency. If the army bills of the 1810s had contributed to legitimizing paper in the settler colonial economy, the state had further fuelled the dramatic growth in the circulation of notes in the 1830s by relying on the largest financial institutions to handle its own banking needs and by restricting those private actors who could issue notes. The important changes to the colonial money supply in the decades after the War of 1812, however, meant that the state now followed rather than set monetary trends. It did so by adopting many of the conventions popularized by the Bank of Montreal and other financial institutions. Indeed, the interest-bearing debentures produced by the Province of Canada in 1847–48 were transferable, came in relatively small denominations, and drew from the same iconographic and textual palette as the banks.38 Debentures served to fund the Canadian state during the international and colonial loan drought caused by the depression of the late 1840s. Furthermore, despite their inconvenience for most daily purchases – with even the lowest-value debenture ($10, or £2 10s. cy) purchasing roughly 67 lbs of butter or 67 dozen (804) eggs in Montreal – the instrument also served as money, with $2.52 million in $10 and $20 debentures in circulation by May 1850.39 In other words, debentures provided roughly one-third of the colony’s total supply of paper.40 Despite the success of debentures, however, the Province of Canada withdrew them by the end of the year, before reintroducing them at the end of the 1850s.41 Although chartered banks dominated the monetary system through Confederation and circulated notes into the 1940s, the debenture issue of the late 1840s

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Money and Meaning under Settler Colonialism

began the long process by which the state assumed banks’ role of issuing paper money. Debentures also proved critical because they contributed to Canada’s definitive shift away from a system based on the pound and toward one based on the dollar. The province printed face values on debentures in both currency and dollars, yet both the banks and the settler population clearly favoured the latter. This was because of the historical importance of the Spanish dollar and, following the disintegration of Spain’s American Empire in the first quarter of the nineteenth century, Canada’s turn toward currency from the United States, though the circulation of significant quantities of Canadian notes in many of the northernmost US communities also played a role.42 Legislators and merchants recognized this when beginning their formal attempts to adopt a decimal system through the Currency Act of 1841, which encouraged the circulation of gold and silver coins from the United States.43 In tying its monetary system to that of the United States, the Province of Canada represented something of an outlier in the British Empire, where, in places such as the Caribbean and West Africa, the demise of the Spanish dollar led to ever-greater sterling circulation from the 1830s and 1840s. The midcentury boom in gold production in California and Australia and the 1855 establishment in Sydney of the first Royal Mint branch outside the United Kingdom further promoted many colonies’ adherence to the metropole’s monetary system. At the same time, Britain adopted a number of banking regulations that framed note issues throughout the empire from the 1840s, declaring, among other things, that banks in the colonies could not issue notes worth less than £1 in local currency.44 Here again, Canada stood apart, as the province, where banks had long issued £0.25 cy notes, simply ignored the regulations.45 This broader view helps explain the delay in securing official imperial sanction for decimalization and the incremental process through which Canada adopted it. In 1853, the Legislative Assembly declared the pound, dollar, shilling, pence, and cent to be official monetary units. Four years later, a second law effectively ended pound-based currency in the colony by requiring that all accounts kept by the state or submitted to it be in dollars and cents, while making pound notation optional.46 At the same time, colonial officials received permission from London to mint legal-tender decimal coins for the first time. By 1860, the Province of Canada had placed $45 million in

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bronze and silver coin into circulation, significantly altering the monetary landscape through the introduction of a state-produced, strictly decimal currency for the first time.47 Under the Provincial Notes Act of 1866, the state extended the decimal-only currency to genuine paper money (rather than interest-bearing debentures).48 The 1867 unification of the three colonies of Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia led politicians and civil servants to devise a series of standardized practices and objects that symbolically represented the new political order. Canada’s increasingly unified currency occupied an important place among these symbols. In 1868, the Dominion Notes Act made the paper currency of the Province of Canada, now redeemable for bullion in Saint John, Halifax, Montreal, and Toronto, the new country’s official money. In 1876, Parliament extended the act to Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, and British Columbia and in 1886 did so again, this time to the Northwest Territories, thereby ensuring that national currency circulated throughout the totality of the territory claimed by Canada.49 During this period, the state also sought to limit the circulation of foreign coins by issuing 25- and 50-cent pieces along with 25-cent paper “shinplasters,” while at the same time discounting US silver coins to a price below their bullion value. Together, these measures effectively removed most foreign silver from circulation.50 Though authorities simultaneously made British gold sovereigns and US gold eagle coins legal tender, this move had little effect because very few gold coins circulated in Canada.51 The Uniform Currency Act (1871) also made already-minted silver, copper, and bronze coins from the provinces of Quebec, Ontario, and New Brunswick legal tender throughout the country while abolishing Nova Scotia’s unique monetary standard.52 Though the 1871 act may at first glance appear to have created a uniform monetary system for the new dominion, featuring identical abstract and physical currency, large amounts of state-issued cash would retain a subnational character through the end of the century.53 During these three decades, much federally issued currency continued to be redeemable in specie only at the office of the receiver general specified on each note (e.g., Halifax, Montreal, Toronto). Though the Bank of Montreal had abandoned this practice in 1871, the Dominion of Canada only slowly removed restrictions on where notes might be redeemed, doing so with its four-dollar issue in 1882, the two-dollar bill in 1887, and, finally, the one-dollar note in 1898.54 Despite the

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Money and Meaning under Settler Colonialism

growing centrality of the state to the monetary system, then, banks effectively did away with regional distinctions in favour of national space well before the state did. Despite legislation that slowly transferred issuing powers to the federal state, privately issued money remained pivotal to the Canadian economy. It continued to provide the sole source of large-denomination notes into the mid-twentieth century. The Dominion Notes Act of 1868 limited the chartered banks to issuing notes denominated in multiples of four dollars and five dollars, while reserving for the federal government the issue of small bills in the amount of twenty-five cents, one dollar, and two dollars.55 Even as inflation decreased the purchasing power of the dollar, the state’s control of both low-denomination paper and coin meant that this money dominated the daily cash transactions of nearly all Canadians. Indeed, as late as the early twentieth century, rural residents in some places may have been able to survive on their subsistence agricultural production supplemented by as little as five dollars in cash per year.56 The federal government ended private banks’ monopoly over the issue of large denominations with the creation of the Bank of Canada in 1935 before prohibiting banks from issuing currency altogether in 1944.57 Up until that point, banks produced the vast majority of cash by value that settlers used in their day-to-day transactions. In 1901, chartered banks had issued roughly four out of every five dollars in circulation, dropping slightly by 1932 to seven of every ten.58 Of course, given that the state held a monopoly on the printing of notes under five dollars, federally issued currency actually made up a much larger portion of the number of bills in circulation, and hence the cash that most Indigenous peoples and settlers used in day-to-day transactions, than total currency value suggests. Whatever the case, Canada’s homogenous supply of abstract and physical currency, circulated by a single institution throughout the whole of the territory to which the nation-state laid claim, dates only to the end of World War II. Prior to this point, the state had never controlled all notes or the message they communicated to Canadians, First Nations, and the outside world.

money as colonial media To encourage wide acceptance of money, its designers drew on iconographic and scriptural techniques in use across a wide variety of media, from stamps to contracts, the visual arts to newsprint. The care-

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fully wrought material media that resulted embodied money’s abstract nature, making value appear to reside in the physical moneystuff itself rather than in the cultural vocabulary it used or the social and political relationships that underwrote it, both of which are necessary for money to function. As a result, people looked closely at the writing and images found on money, whether they fully appreciated their literal meaning and historical weight and symbolism or not, often either rejecting outright suspected forgeries, clipped or debased coins, or notes issued by distant banks or accepting these at far less than face value. Of course, people judged more than the validity of currency when going about their business; they also judged the people who offered it, making monetary exchange as much about social interaction as the trust placed in the bank or state that purportedly issued the money.59 The physicality of cash, in terms of both its material form and the language and imagery inscribed on its surface, also points to its political import: circulating media participated in the definition of sliding scales of space, from the resolutely local through colonial, national, and imperial and on to the trans- and international. In this sense, the historical process by which money came to appear so natural as to almost disappear runs parallel to the paths to unquestioned legitimacy taken by the state, capitalism, liberal democracy, and the international order. Over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Canadians came to accept uncritically the inherent value of their currency and the story it told of the nation’s legitimacy and the state’s authority. They moved from a world in which notes were considered at best merely symbolic of true value, itself embodied in precious metals and expressed in a host of units of account, to one in which, from 1933, notes (now denominated solely in dollars) would never again be convertible into gold. On the one hand, this process definitively shifted discourse around the ultimate embodiment of market value from specie to fiat currency, whose exchange rate with other national currencies the Bank of Canada was responsible for maintaining from its creation in 1935. On the other hand, the dollar, a monetary unit rooted in the centuries-old transnational circulation of capital rather than the more circumscribed spaces of empire and nation-state, continued the frequently told story of European dominion over the entire world, though often doing so through specific claims to British and, later, Canadian sovereignty. Together, these two aspects of the same story rendered the state the primary arbiter of economic value within

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national territory, thereby playing a critical role in the ongoing expansion of its powers and purview. In J. Edward Chamberlin’s terms, this story held and continues to hold extraordinary power to impart meaning to place and community, expanding present-day sociospatial rootedness through time and legitimizing Canada in the eyes of both Canadians and the outside world.60 The words and images that a wide range of institutions, from empires and nation-states to banks and merchants, placed on notes and coins between the early nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries were anything but innocent or inconsequential. Despite recent scholarship arguing that money is primarily an abstract phenomenon, materiality has long played a critical role in determining its success and influence.61 Indeed, as a marker and maker of meaning, money – alongside other, more celebrated phenomena such as military action, political reform, print media, and transportation infrastructure – has contributed to the creation and homogenization of national space and sentiment. This is made clear by widely circulating coins, whether minted in Canada or elsewhere, and small-denomination notes (five dollars and under) issued by the Bank of Montreal (the single largest private source of money in Canada) between 1819 and 1942, by the Province of Canada in the mid-nineteenth century, by the Dominion of Canada from the 1870s, and by the Bank of Canada from the 1930s. Coins of modest value and small-denomination notes disseminated the monetary messages most commonly encountered by First Nations and settlers in their day-to-day lives. Although money had become a sufficiently naturalized part of public life by the mid-twentieth century that nearly every Canadian accepted it unquestioningly, it had not somehow become politically neutral. Perhaps most obviously, money favoured (as it continues to do today) those who held the most of it. Somewhat less obviously, though, cash presented an idealized image of the developing political, economic, and social order to settlers and Indigenous peoples alike, in the process making claims to space and to shared notions of Canada and Canadianness. Such colonialist discourse frequently turned on First Nations, whether the artists responsible for currency design chose to represent them or not. This section analyzes the text and images circulated by the Canadian monetary supply. It does so by concentrating on money issued by both the state and a key financial institution, the Bank of Montreal. Founded in 1817, the bank dominated the production of Canadian currency for generations, pushing the limits of what money was and

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redefining national space and the tropes that marked it through its circulation of notes and the iconography they bore. In what follows, the Bank of Montreal stands in for the banking system at large. Money, like other visual media, communicates information through the words and images it bears. While it is possible to analyze the intent of its designers, it is far more difficult to determine what users made of the representations found on cash, even when, as in the case of iconography on nineteenth-century Canadian notes, most probably understood the general meanings if not necessarily the specific, often classical allusions.62 Of course, money’s efficacy does not depend on the population’s ability to grasp its visual and written references in all their subtlety but rather on people’s willingness to make use of it. Widely circulating coins from antiquity and the middle ages bearing inscriptions in indecipherable pseudo-Greek and pseudoArabic illustrate this point eloquently.63 Circular thinking is key here: rather than necessarily being comprehensible in semiotic terms, to function as money an object needs to appear to be money. Despite widespread use of paper from the eighteenth century, specie long continued to incarnate money for many Canadians. Due to the stock traditionally placed in precious-metal coins and the success of the colonial monetary policy of rating silver above its market value, many in the colonies believed paper to be a simple proxy for “real” money – that is, specie. By the turn of the nineteenth century, the majority of silver coin entered British North America through the United States, which itself imported most of its supply through commercial ties between its Atlantic ports and those of the Spanish Empire in the Caribbean and Latin America.64 Those coins actually circulating in Canada, whether minted in the republican United States or the monarchies of Europe or their American colonies, shared a broad set of visual characteristics, including the depiction of a head of state or an allegorical figure or figures (such as the foedus inviolable formed by England, Ireland, and Scotland on some British money or Liberty in the case of the United States) on the obverse and a coat of arms on the reverse. Coins also generally featured brief inscriptions around each face’s image, in Latin when minted by a European power or its colonies and in English when produced by the United States, often including the coin’s date of issue (figure 1.1).65 The iconography found on these coins proved incredibly influential, not only because silver circulated in the settler economy far more than underrated gold, but also because silver’s lower market value was

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Figure 1.1 Spanish silver dollar, minted in Mexico City in 1813. Coins like this were used in trade in Europe, Asia, and the Americas (including British North America), providing a truly transnational symbol of value through the early nineteenth century.

more appropriate for day-to-day transactions. We see this influence when looking at the design of paper money in Canada. Before the first banknotes entered circulation at the end of the 1810s, Canadian paper, whether in the form of army bills or bons, resembled bills of exchange; they featured only the most minimal and generic graphical elements.66 From the moment the Bank of Montreal issued its first notes in 1819, though, colonial paper currency relied heavily on iconography.67 This process rapidly gained pace, as both banknotes from the 1820s and merchant currency from the 1830s attest. Merchant scrip from this later decade, for example, often portrayed the specific silver coin – whether Spanish, American, or British in origin – with which it shared its nominal value. In doing so, it invoked specie’s long history of inspiring trust and sometimes portrayed the currency of a particular nation-state to make a political point. This was true in the case of scrip issued by prominent Patriote Wolfred Nelson in 1837 depicting an American half-dollar to evoke the ideals of republican democracy (figure 1.2). Depicting specie may have been doubly necessary because settler scrip promised to pay the bearer in banknotes rather than coin.68 Perhaps because of their convertibility into specie, banknotes referenced metallic currency somewhat less directly, using coin-shaped disks to enclose denominations alongside

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Figure 1.2 Scrip worth one écu (two shillings and six pence or fifty cents) issued by prominent Patriote Wolfred Nelson in 1837. By depicting a US halfdollar, Nelson evoked the ideals of republican democracy while grounding the scrip’s claims to value in widely circulating currency.

classically inspired representations of sovereigns; allegorical, historical, and political figures; and coats of arms and other insignia that so often appeared on specie. To reinforce their claims to value, notes drew on other conventions as well, particularly the formal language of bills of exchange and other legal documents, including exquisitely rendered signatures, dates, and seals.69 References to globally circulating silver coins as well as to older means of long-distance payment situated the value of colonial merchant and bank paper in transnational commercial networks and the tools of trade that allowed them to flourish. Canadian notes and scrip also laid claim to value by invoking the local community from which they emerged. Coats of arms, for example, recalled an institution’s rootedness in a particular town, city, or region, insisting that the market value of its money arose in part from this connection to place and the people who lived there.70 Such assertions invoked credit’s traditional reliance on personal relationships and shared local knowledge of the trustworthiness of individuals, families, and organizations. Though the Bank of Montreal demonstrated its local attachment most obviously through its name, it also used the city’s seal and motto on much of its money, including the large quantity of low-denomination copper coins it put into circulation from the late 1830s and the banknotes it issued from the end of

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Figure 1.3 Five-dollar note issued in 1942 featuring the Bank of Montreal seal and its depiction of two Indigenous men, a beaver, a cornucopia, and Montreal’s 1833 coat of arms. This image occupied a central place on the bank’s notes throughout their history while continuing to be visible on the façades of many current and former branches across Canada.

the following decade.71 Though its cash remained tied to Montreal through the bank’s name and its seal, its notes took on an additional local character as the bank began opening branches in other cities. By printing or stamping the office of issue on each note, the Bank of Montreal did two things. First, it made these notes convertible into specie at the local branch, and second, it thereby signalled the investment of the bank’s significant capital (the amount of which it also generally indicated on notes) in the local community along with the stability such reserves purportedly afforded the institution and its clients.72 This shift foreshadowed the transformation of its coat of arms in the early 1850s, as the Bank of Montreal celebrated its home city’s role (by then largely historical) in the fur trade and symbolically laid claim to the prosperity that this commercial empire afforded much of the continent. Notes from the decade depicted a beaver above the bank’s seal with an overflowing cornucopia at its base, an Indigenous woman and man in generic First Nations attire at each side.73 A remarkably similar coat of arms would feature on all of the bank’s notes until Parliament barred private institutions from producing money in 1944 (figure 1.3).74

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While issuers sought to anchor money’s value locally, they simultaneously connected it to global symbolic and political orders, both imperial and transnational. With the exception of the dollar denomination, explicit connections to globally circulating specie had largely disappeared from Canadian currency by 1840;75 in contrast, references to the British Empire or the ideals of “Western civilization,” in the form of classically inspired engravings, increased as time wore on. This shift resulted from a combination of advances in printing and the rise of a small number of note-producing firms responsible for designing a large portion of Anglo-American money. Though Canadian notes had featured images since the 1810s, printing technology, as well as the quality of the paper and ink used, severely limited their sophistication through midcentury. Prior to the late 1850s, for example, most notes were single sided and entirely monochromatic (black ink on white paper). The consolidation of the international note-printing industry in the middle decades of the nineteenth century dramatically increased paper money’s complexity and aesthetic appeal. In the process, a common visual vocabulary spread throughout Europe, its colonies, and the emerging nationstates of the Americas by way of currency, postage stamps, bonds, and other securities, all produced by specialized British, American, and, from the 1860s, Canadian firms. All of these companies kept catalogues featuring stock images that could be, and indeed were, added with minimal fuss to Canadian notes.76 Along with allied text, such images tied Canadian money, the growing space in which it circulated, and the population that used it to the British Empire, the larger mental geography of “Western civilization,” and the emerging Canadian political community. In the same way that merchants, banks, and the state evoked the local, they used common European, imperial, and national symbolism first and foremost to inspire confidence in a monetary form that defied classical notions of value. The Bank of Montreal, from its earliest notes through the end of the nineteenth century, did this in part through a combination of shared European and often colonialist imagery, such as Neptune and Christopher Columbus, alongside specifically British imperial iconography, including Britannia, the crown, the royal coat of arms, Queen Victoria, and St George slaying the dragon.77 The Greek- and Roman-inspired iconography referenced pan-European cultural ideals, while the prominent images of

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Britannia holding shield and spear against backgrounds displaying ships clearly gestured to the empire’s commercial and military prowess.78 Text served to relay related messages. For example, notes foregrounded the issuing bank’s legal foundations to reinforce claims to value, referencing Parliament as the source of its charter and thus of its legitimacy and creditworthiness.79 Merchants, for their part, began adding other images alongside depictions of widely circulating silver coin in the late 1830s. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they relied primarily on representations of commerce, navigation, agriculture, and technology, all of which carefully elided the labour involved in these activities, while also evoking empire through the Crown, lion, and unicorn and even, as in the case of Thomas and William Molson, rooting their scrip in Canadian communities by portraying a pipesmoking, toque- and ceinture fléchée–wearing habitant.80 On banknotes and merchant scrip, Indigenous figures often supplied the metaphorical meeting point of such resolutely local representations with those of empire, Western civilization, and, from the final third of the nineteenth century, the nation-state. These depictions functioned to emphasize the Euro-Canadian mission civilisatrice while simultaneously indigenizing settlers, their society, and their institutions.81 In this symbolic register, Canada was not Indigenous territory; instead, the land’s Indigenous peoples served to justify the colonial project and to differentiate this colonial space from the European countries from which settlers had migrated. When including such references, though, moneymakers rarely used specifically Canadian imagery, instead drawing representations of Indigenous peoples, like those of many other subjects, from stock catalogues featuring engraved versions of paintings, drawings, and sketches, themselves often produced in Britain or the United States. Though a handful of Canadian notes depicted Indigenous peoples in the 1810s and 1820s, the number of distinct vignettes leaped from one in the preceding decade to twenty-one in the 1830s. Improved printing technology allowing for multiple detailed representations on a single note partially accounts for this dramatic increase, though Canada’s growing claims to territory controlled and predominantly populated by First Nations certainly contributed. Though their numbers fluctuated, vignettes featuring Indigenous peoples remained remarkably common into the 1860s (between six and fifteen in each decade), decreasing thereafter to between two and seven over each ten-year period through the first decade of the twentieth century, before falling off

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to one or two in the following decades and disappearing entirely by midcentury.82 Over its history, the Bank of Montreal featured eight depictions of Indigenous peoples on its notes – more than any other bank.83 With the exception of the two First Nations figures flanking its seal used on all of its banknotes beginning in the 1850s, each of these vignettes appeared in the 1830s, 1840s, or 1850s. Rather than being ethnographic in nature, such depictions presented idealized versions of supposedly primitive Indigenous peoples that adhered to classical artistic norms.84 This practice was in no way limited to the Bank of Montreal; indeed, almost every engraving of an Indigenous person featured on the notes of any Canadian bank followed such conventions.85 Emily Gilbert argues that Canadian currency, in drawing inspiration from classical iconography, echoed European and American tropes as a means of coming to terms with elite and bourgeois material prosperity arising in large part from overseas or domestic colonial projects. If Greece and, especially, Rome had carried the light of civilization to the farthest reaches of Europe and the barbarians who lived there, the civilized descendants of those barbarians now had a duty to pursue their own mission civilisatrice to the four corners of the world. The frequency with which Canadian money portrayed St George slaying the dragon (a particularly resonant representation in Britain of Christianity’s triumph over evil) reminded those in the colonies of empire’s role in bringing civilization to the “wilderness,” itself represented through forests, mountains, and wild animals.86 Instead of dispossession, then, the colonial project offered uplift through trade, industry, agriculture, and good government; instead of greed, it was driven by altruism and hopes for profit that would enrich the future of all of humanity. At least, these were the claims made by the makers of paper currency, a tool of visual communication whose circulation rivalled just about any other before or since. If banks continued to print most of the paper money in terms of value as late as the 1930s, they never enjoyed a monopoly, sharing production first with merchants and, from the late 1840s, with the state. However, the techniques and designs used by Canadian chartered banks, along with those of financial institutions elsewhere, profoundly influenced the composition of these other notes. When planning the debentures that the Province of Canada would issue in 1848, Francis Hincks, the inspector general and the principal advocate of publicly issued money in the colonies, advised the note-printing firm that the

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design should reference both local and imperial symbolism, a requirement that would be satisfied by including Britannia as well as the royal and provincial coats of arms.87 Over the following decades, state-issued currency expanded its thematic range to include figures associated with Canada’s “discovery” and amalgamation into the British Empire, along with heads of state. In 1858, the Province of Canada issued its first metallic money: one-, five-, ten-, and twenty-cent coins, all of which confidently asserted British sovereignty through an image of the queen with the inscription “Victoria Dei Gratia Regina – Canada” on the obverse and a crown and maple-leaf wreath on the reverse.88 The following decade, just months before Confederation, the province issued a new series. The one-dollar note featured Jacques Cartier and Samuel de Champlain, the royal seal, and representations of agriculture and shipping; the two-dollar note depicted an exoticized Indigenous woman along with allegories of British commerce and England, Scotland, and Ireland; and the five-dollar note featured Queen Victoria alongside representations of navigation and the British Empire.89 Together, these notes provided the province, and the dominion that would inherit its name, with a set of mythohistorical reference points – “founding fathers,” idyllic Natives, royal sovereignty, and the growth of material prosperity owing to agriculture, industry, and global trade – and differentiated Canada both from the antimonarchical republic to the south and from the metropole that shared neither the colony’s French roots nor its claimed indigeneity. After Confederation, the dominion continued to circulate these tropes in an effort to constitute Canada, which now included Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, as an “imagined community” within its own “imagined space,” tying the past to the future through the present, Britain and France to continental dominion through appeals to a novel national identity.90 It did so through coins and small- as well as large-denomination notes, thereby targeting a mass audience and playing a critical role, in much the same way as newspapers, in the creation of a broadly shared cultural idiom typical of developing nineteenth-century Euro-American nations.91 Money, the markets it extended, and the representations it circulated, then, mapped the settler colonial project as effectively as surveyors or fence posts. Holding a note tied individual settlers and Indigenous peoples alike into a vast network of value(s) and imagination, making manifest the nationstate, its claims to legitimacy, and its ties to the broader project of European empire.

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The first series of notes issued by the federal government in 1870 made this work clear. It included a twenty-five-cent “shinplaster” dominated by Britannia and a one-dollar bill featuring Cartier along with a female figure indicating Canada’s location on the globe. The series also included a two-dollar bill representing Generals Wolfe and Montcalm and a single First Nations man surrounded by the words “The Dominion of Canada.” Sitting in an overgrown patch of ferns and smoking a pipe, this figure passively watches a train that, having recently left an eastern city, heads into the “Nor’West,” driving cattle and sheep before it (figure 1.4).92 Over the seven years that followed, Canadian officials would use notes from this series to seal Treaties 1 to 7 with First Nations in the West, in the process accomplishing one of the largest formal transfers of land in the history of the world. Though the meaning of the treaties themselves continues to be a source of debate, the story the notes told officials, onlookers, and Indigenous signatories, whether immediately after the conclusion of negotiations or on treaty day in the years and decades that followed, seems less ambiguous. These notes suggest that Canada – “discovered” by French explorers, whose fate was secured by European generals – formed part of a global empire, an empire aided and abetted by the march of technological progress while First Nations, realizing their inability either to alter this advance or to change themselves, could only look on.93 Admittedly, the final part of the story would have been pure prophesy, as the notes were designed in the immediate aftermath of the successful resistance to Canadian expansion by the Métis-dominated provisional government of Red River and before treaty negotiations had begun in the West and the federal government had made its 1871 promise to British Columbia to build a transcontinental railway. Nevertheless, in designing the $2 bill, the British American Bank Note Company confidently asserted that the railway would come and that First Nations, their representative wearing a peace medal, smoking a pipe, and pointing a gun away from this scene of progress, would accept this or some note like it as a token payment in exchange for their lands. This image and the story it tells would find echoes on notes issued by several private banks through the end of the nineteenth century. In all of these notes, trains cut across the prairie, either observed passively or simply ignored by Indigenous men. At the same time, the banknotes that took up the motif after the 1870 dominion note all feature scenes of Euro-Canadian men engaging in hard physical labour, be it

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Figure 1.4 Two-dollar note asserting Canada’s claim to the continent. Featured prominently is a First Nations man who wears a peace medal, smokes a pipe, and directs his gun away from the action at the heart of the vignette. The note suggests that this seated figure is the past and that the train, settlement, and livestock, all in fast-paced motion, are the future.

the clearing of forests and sowing of crops or the opening of mines.94 Notes began telling this story of Indigenous peoples’ inherent inability to participate in the modern economy – and, indeed, of their apparent unwillingness or incapacity to labour – almost as soon as the Bank of Montreal issued currency emphasizing the fundamental role of Indigenous peoples in fuelling the prosperity of the fur trade and of Montreal itself. From 1840, notes suggested the incompatibility of First Nations and economic development, including iconography of obviously primitive onlookers who could do nothing but gawk at the passing technological marvel of the steamboat (carrying British enterprise and values – the Union Jack and Red Ensign proudly displayed – upriver along with its passengers and cargo). In the 1850s, notes added a comment on industrialization, representing Indigenous peoples disquieted by factories billowing clouds of smoke.95 Of course, by foregrounding stock representations of stoic warriors, these notes implied that Indigenous men, who had once struck fear in the hearts of all who saw them, had become a source of at best pity and at worst ridicule. Indigenous women, for their part, served much more frequently as representations of the fruits of settler labour, whether propping up a tableau featuring a lumberjack at work in 1882 or quite literally denuding herself for the benefit of an 1843 note’s holder.96 Much as modern technology and Euro-Canadian industry and resolve

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emasculated First Nations men, the story goes, these same forces conquered Indigenous women and the natural resources they so clearly represented to these notes’ designers. Dominion notes would spin a new version of this story at the turn of the twentieth century. When federal and provincial commissioners arrived in far northern Ontario in the summer of 1905 to sign Treaty 9 with the Cree and Ojibwe living there, their canoes carried a “treasure-chest ... heavy with thirty thousand dollars in small notes.”97 These consisted of the one- and two-dollar notes issued by the dominion in 1897 and 1898, both of which illustrated Canada’s commitment to natural resource development. The one-dollar note featured a logging scene flanked by the governor-general and his wife on the front and the imposing architecture of Parliament on the back, while the two-dollar note depicted fishermen catching cod next to a portrait of the Prince of Wales on one side and a scene of farmers harvesting wheat on the other.98 Though the Indigenous peoples living north of the height of land did not cultivate wheat, many of them had experience cutting hay for the Hudson’s Bay Company and they surely would have understood the meaning of fishing and logging, too. Just as when officials made treaty payments in the 1870s, then, money told a story in which the state oversaw the exploitation of natural resources by Euro-Canadian workers. By the turn of the twentieth century, however, this story did not even need to mention First Nations, managing to do away with even the utterly passive Indigenous character presented in the 1870s. Between the 1910s and the early 1950s, the story changed again, this time neglecting natural resources altogether, as state moneymakers preferred to foreground austere political authority in the form of governors-general, royalty, and the Parliament buildings, occasionally complemented by a return to technological marvels (specifically, passenger trains and the locks at Sault Ste Marie).99 The land and the people who lived and worked there had now entirely given over the stage to the state’s figureheads and halls of power, both supported by the infrastructure that allowed rapid movement of people, goods, capital, and information across the continent. From its establishment in 1935, the Bank of Canada played a central role in perpetuating this profoundly colonial vision. After having gained monopoly powers over the circulation of currency in 1944, Bank of Canada management carried this project forward through its 1954 issue, the first time a single institution had designed, produced, and circulated all of the country’s

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cash. This harmonization of the story told by Canadian money shifted the focus from technological marvels and urban centres of power to depictions of northern wilderness and rural landscapes, free of people but not of evidence of transformations in the cleared and tilled land, while also innovating by featuring the reigning monarch on every denomination for the first time.100 By the immediate postwar period, then, national currency projected an understanding that Canada’s essence lay in pristine nature and pastoral countryside and that the Crown, still the highest authority in a country that increasingly differentiated itself from the imperial homeland, provided the nation with its truest personification. The land having been emptied, first of Indigenous peoples, then of settlers, Canada could claim its rightful place as the oldest and most magnificent dominion of the still world-spanning British Empire. When Europeans moved overseas to participate in colonial projects, they brought a good many ideas, practices, and stories with them. Money illustrates this perfectly. If colonial elites, adhering to political economy’s preference for precious metals, complained of the supposed lack of acceptable cash, most residents of British North America simply went about their daily business using a dizzying mixture of credit, specie in various states of decay, allegedly inferior coin, and paper money. However, this situation changed as the money supply gradually became more homogeneous over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and as its theoretical foundations shifted radically. At the beginning of the period, precious metals, whose inherent value European philosophers had long argued derived from nature, functioned as the ultimate guarantor of economic value in the settler economy. By the 1930s, however, the state, due to its own process of naturalization by which most Canadians came to accept it as unquestionably legitimate, had assumed this responsibility. Even if it initially proved reluctant to engage in monetary production, the state slowly began to venture into the sector from the mid-nineteenth century, markedly increasing its operations from the 1860s. If the standardization of abstract money of account was crucial for Canadian state formation, we need to remember that its physicality and the messages this allowed banks and the state to transmit were equally important. Indeed, without this physicality, money would not have been able to communicate these messages, including the brutally simple claim

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Canada made to national territory. Treaty 9’s massive injection of dominion notes into western James Bay suggests the effects of money’s materiality and message. Well before the arrival of the railway or permanent representatives of the state, but within only ten or fifteen years of the treaty’s signature, James Bay’s residents had ceased talk of “going to Canada,” accepting for the first time that they were already there.101 This means of reinforcing the state’s legitimacy, particularly in regions where Indigenous peoples formed a large portion of the total population, indicates money’s power to dispossess, both legally and metaphorically.102 Even as most Canadians came to accept representational and, finally, fiat currency over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the words and images borne by this changing monetary supply communicated the existence of a growing gulf separating First Nations from modern economies. Paper money first affirmed Indigenous marginalization when faced with industrialization and settler enterprise before removing First Nations from the picture altogether, replacing them with representations of Euro-Canadian workers and political authority, cleared farmland, and vast expanses of visibly empty wilderness. This process paralleled the broad shifts in political affiliation and notions of belonging that both transcended formal political structures and lay well beneath their surface. First Nations played a central role in this story of change: first, as we will see in chapters 3 and 4, Indigenous peoples in regions distant from settler Canada’s southern core actually used settler-issued money, helping the nation-state expand its symbolic reach in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; second, after briefly representing precisely this expansion, First Nations exited currency altogether. While empires needed Indigenous peoples for the pursuit of the mission civilisatrice, and colonial institutions might employ their image as a means of affirming local distinctiveness, monetary representations of Indigenous peoples proved far less appealing to the nation-state. Once the dominion had gained title to much of Rupert’s Land through Treaties 1 to 7, national currency could do without representations of indigeneity. The land had been bought and Indigenous peoples would soon assimilate into the national body politic or, as romantic notions held, simply disappear in the face of a modern world in which they could find no place. Canada grew not only on Indigenous lands but in the conceptual space of indigeneity itself, as settler populations and

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their institutions, through currency and other national symbols, appropriated what it meant to be “from” the land. As we will see, money’s contributions to representations of the colonial project paralleled the multiple ways in which it helped reconfigure both Canada’s institutional landscape and First Nations’ material conditions and lived experience.

2 Imagining Money as a Threat in the 1820s and 1830s

In late 1836, Sir Francis Bond Head, the lieutenant governor of Upper Canada, dismissed a project that officials in the Colonial Office had been considering for the better part of a decade. “I am not prepared,” Head wrote to his superior, colonial secretary Lord Glenelg, “to recommend that Money should at present be substituted for Presents.” Both the Crown and merchants had relied on presents, material goods regularly distributed in accordance with set protocol, to establish and renew diplomatic and commercial relations with First Nations since the seventeenth century.1 Presents came in multiple forms, including arms and ammunition; blankets, clothing, cloth, and sewing materials; medals, brooches, and beads; hunting, fishing, and trapping supplies; and tobacco.2 By the late 1820s, however, officials in the metropole had begun questioning the expense of shipping and distributing these bulky goods and proposed their commutation into annual monetary payments. Head objected to this proposal in terms that would have been immediately recognizable to anyone with even a passing familiarity with British political debate, especially in the context of the New Poor Law (1834).3 If money, carefully husbanded, could help avert poverty, the argument went, it could just as easily make poverty worse if squandered with no regard for the future. This is what Head had in mind when rejecting the substitution of cash for presents. “Unless good Arrangements were previously made,” he warned the colonial secretary, “the Indians, from their improvident Habits, would in many Places be left destitute.”4 In the 1820s and 1830s, a constellation of officials, humanitarians, missionaries, and Indigenous peoples on both sides of the Atlantic

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engaged in a debate in which money occupied centre stage. Focused on presents and, more fundamentally, on the relationship between colonial society and First Nations, this debate led to a broadly shared consensus that Indigenous peoples were inherently improvident – that is, that they were incapable of adequately planning for the future and therefore of independently ensuring their own survival. Understood in these terms, improvidence had everything to do with money, which promised freedom, something that, in excess, Head and others believed to be one of the principal causes of poverty. Improvement – that is, paternalistic education in market mores – was required before First Nations could safely handle cash. In the meantime, reformers agreed that too much freedom for English paupers, Indigenous peoples, and those who had been enslaved and were now emancipated posed a real threat to these groups and to society as a whole.5 The empire-wide circulation of these policy debates and the assumptions born of political economy from which they arose are a perfect example of the colonialism visited on First Nations through money. Head played an emblematic role in this process. In the year and a half before reluctantly accepting the lieutenant governorship in late 1835, Head served as assistant Poor Law commissioner responsible for implementing the recently reformed approach to relief in Kent, England.6 In his own words “grossly ignorant of everything that in any way related to the government of our colonies” on his arrival in Upper Canada and demonstrating a remarkable preference for romanticism over observation or experience, the lieutenant governor applied his mission “of reviving the character and condition of the English labourer” to First Nations.7 If, in operating the apparatus of the New Poor Law, Head had helped build the state in the United Kingdom, he did something similar in Canada, though from a position of much greater personal influence. Head contributed directly to state formation, popularizing the idea that money and First Nations did not mix and, in the process, justifying the involvement of the Indian Department in the internal affairs of Indigenous communities. Of course, he was not the first to argue this point, nor, indeed, was he ever the most central figure involved. Head’s experience and beliefs do, however, effectively illustrate the influence that the insistence on Indigenous peoples’ supposed incapacity to use money responsibly had not only on the apparent legitimacy and growth of the Indian Department but also on the longer-term redefinition of First Nations as minors under the care of the Canadian state. Like Head, other officials, less knowl-

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edgeable of the specifics of the New Poor Law but no less influenced by its assumptions, claimed that First Nations, in the image of English paupers, were inherently improvident and could therefore not be trusted with money. The argument that money in the place of presents threatened Indigenous and, indeed, colonial material well-being accompanied and ultimately played a key role in justifying what was perhaps the most important evolution in the institutional management of Canada’s relations with First Nations during the period. If the Indian Department had been responsible for overseeing these relations since its creation in the 1750s – that is, even before the British conquest of Canada – its role shifted substantially in the decades immediately following the end of the War of 1812. As the department’s earlier military character faded before disappearing entirely in 1830, it gained a new purpose as the legal guardian of First Nations, a purpose predicated in large part on claims to Indigenous improvidence – claims that were strengthened by the debates on the commutation of presents. This chapter focuses on discourse on money and indigeneity in the early-to-mid-nineteenth century. It concentrates on the debates on presents and cash that solidified the image of Indigenous peoples as inherently improvident in the minds of policymakers. This image, as we will see throughout the rest of the book, had major long-term implications for Indigenous-state relations.

presents or cash? official debate across the atlantic The proposal to substitute cash for presents, first made in the 1820s, grew from two interrelated factors: first, the belief among officials that in the absence of armed imperial rivalry, diplomatic presents along with the institution charged with their distribution – the Indian Department – constituted an unnecessary indulgence; and second, the metropole’s repeated calls to reduce expenditure. Neither of these factors was new in the 1820s and 1830s. Indeed, when the commander-in-chief of British armed forces in North America, General Jeffery Amherst, had attempted to end presents immediately after Britain’s conquest of Canada, he argued for doing so along both fiscal and military lines. Using language that nineteenth-century officials would echo, Amherst characterized presents as a costly and unnecessary drain on the Treasury that tended to create dependence and curtail

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industry.8 Amherst’s project failed – indeed, officials would come to see it as one of the root causes of Pontiac’s War – yet similar proposals would resurface in the aftermath of both the American Revolution and the War of 1812.9 While generations of officials broadly shared the opinion that presents were expendable when cost outweighed benefit, the state would continue to distribute them through the 1850s. From the point of view of officials in the colonies as well as the metropole, military utility and concerns that ending distributions would lead to poverty provided the most important justification for the practice’s continuation over this period. First Nations, of course, had a different perspective on presents, seeing in them a sign of good faith on the part of the British that was necessary for continued relations, a sign whose symbolism went far beyond the items’ simple, if not insignificant, market value.10 Indeed, according to most First Nations, presents served to maintain crucial social and political ties to the state, most often imagined through the person of the king or queen and that of the governor, the Crown’s local representive.11 British officials thought of annuities in similar terms. Though related to presents, annuities were distinct. If the Indian Department distributed both each year, officials viewed annuities alone as a right. Indeed, while recognizing that their long distribution had created “a prescriptive Title,” Glenelg claimed that the department gave presents “in the Absence of any original Obligation.”12 In all likelihood, the colonial secretary made this claim because he was unaware of any written trace documenting the origins of presents.13 This had the effect of making “presents” appear voluntary in the eyes of officials, arising from self-ascribed British liberality rather than any legal or moral obligation. These same officials, though, viewed annuities as a right guaranteed by written treaty.14 First Nations and state negotiators had initially sealed treaties in Upper Canada with lump-sum payments made in kind; beginning in 1818, these agreements replaced single payments with annuities – that is, smaller sums paid each year. Annuities also came in the form of goods, whose value was set in currency “at the Montreal price,” that closely resembled those distributed as presents.15 While annuity payments held steady at the rate specified in any given treaty, both the quantity and the market value of presents diminished rapidly from the end of the War of 1812. Over the course of the war, Indian Department expenditure had more than doubled, in large part as a result of substantial increases in the distribution of

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presents. Within a decade of the war’s end, Indian Affairs had cut its total annual budget to less than half of what it had been in 1811, and between 1816 and 1829, it reduced its annual spending on presents by 84 per cent.16 Despite such massive cuts, the Colonial Office and Treasury pursued further reduction in the Indian Department’s budget, again particularly in the area of presents. By the late 1820s, though, imperial authorities sought more than simple savings. Under the influence of the leading lights of Britain’s humanitarian movement, the Colonial Office moved to encourage Indigenous “improvement” in addition to continued retrenchment.17 Money, officials in London argued, could help to achieve both goals. In 1827, the recently appointed colonial secretary, Viscount Goderich, requested that the governor-in-chief of British North America, the Earl of Dalhousie, supply detailed information on “the precise expense of the Indian department, both in the salaries of officers, and in the amount of stores distributed to the Indians, with the view of effecting the reduction, and ultimately abolition of the establishment.” Goderich further directed the governor to instruct the heads of the department ... to confer with leaders or chiefs of the Indians, who are entitled to annual presents, either as subsidies to their tribes, being independent, or as rewards for past services as subjects, or as retaining fees in nature of half-pay to those who have been employed in arms, or lastly in payment of lands ceded to His Majesty’s Government, and to negociate with them for the commutation of such payments into money, such commutation to be fixed in British currency, and to be payable in the description of coin most agreeable to the chiefs. By proposing the conversion of presents into cash, with the ultimate goal of eliminating them altogether, the Colonial Office aimed to realize a “necessary measure of public economy and improvement”; that is, it sought to reduce imperial expenditure while encouraging Indigenous “uplift.”18 Dalhousie objected to the project, claiming that First Nations would receive “with the utmost alarm” any proposal “to convert the payment of presents, or other tribute to them, in money.” Providing terms that successive governors would use to oppose commutation, he cast presents as a form of material assistance and argued that “money to Indians is instantly spent in spirituous liquors.” Indeed, the

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governor claimed, “the system adopted in making useful presents as payment was intended expressly to avoid temptation and take away the means furnished to that dreadful state of brutal drunkenness.” Dalhousie declared “the proposed measure fully fraught with mischief to the Indians, no saving nor advantage possible to Government, and the future consequences of it dangerous in the extreme.”19 Though needing nearly a year to do so, the governor did ultimately comply with Goderich’s request for information, commissioning a report on First Nations in Upper and Lower Canada from the deputy superintendent general of Indian Affairs, Major-General Henry Charles Darling.20 Ignoring the question of commutation in Lower Canada, Darling echoed Dalhousie in the context of Upper Canada, claiming that the transformation of presents into money, or their outright abolition, “would be received with the utmost apprehension and alarm.” He claimed, “The Indian would receive no benefit whatever from a small sum of money put into his own hand, which he would find of little value, compared with his blanket and ammunition.” Darling did feel, however, that “a sum of money, in lieu of a portion of the presents now given, might be annually laid out for them to advantage, in the purchase of ... agricultural implements and common tools.” Darling proposed using funds generated by the surrender of lands to purchase these goods.21 To provide precedent and prove its practicality, Darling looked to an experiment in “civilization” begun in Upper Canada in 1825 where, he claimed, “one hundred pounds was so laid out in the case of the Mississaquas of the Credit River, and with the best effect.”22 At more or less the same time as Darling’s enquiry, James Magrath, an Anglican clergyman in charge of the Toronto Township mission, proposed something quite similar, also in connection with the Mississaugas.23 Writing in March 1828, Magrath reported that the Mississaugas claimed “that the articles they get are generally unnecessary, as they cannot use or wear out those they receive in a year; they frequently dispose of many articles at a great loss, particularly the guns. If they received one-half in cash they could procure many necessaries which (as they are now settled) they stand in need of, on more reasonable terms than they could do with the presents.” Magrath, then, imagined that money might help First Nations to improve their own lives. Nearly a year later, he would make this case once more, appending a note to his report documenting the continued “earnest wish of the Indians to receive the amount of their presents in money.” In relaying the Mississaugas’ desire for commutation, Magrath made it clear

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that they would ultimately use the money to pay for medical attendance as well as agricultural and fishing supplies.24 Of course, Indigenous peoples understood that money had many more uses than this. As we will see, some echoed colonial authories in expressing concern that cash would only serve to fund the consumption of alcohol, while others cast it as a useful tool in uncertain times. Chief John Assance of the Matchedash Bay Ojibwa did so in arguing in favour of partial commutation. Peter Jones Kahkewaquonaby, a Methodist minister and member of the Mississaugas of the Credit River, forwarded Assance’s words to the colonial secretary in 1830. According to Jones, Assance “wishes to have something always in his pockets and never be empty, so that when he gets hungry he may put his hands into his pockets and find something jingling to buy bread with.”25 Assance, then, suggested that money would be of greater use than presents as then distributed in that it would allow its responsible recipients to purchase appropriate goods when necessary.26 Colonial administrators – first the lieutenant governor of Upper Canada and then the governor-general – ignored claims that cash in lieu of presents would be beneficial while highlighting for their metropolitan counterparts the emphasis Darling and Magrath placed on purchasing utilitarian goods. Moreover, they continued to do so well after the Colonial Office had accepted the case against commutation, indicating that they were also concerned about the continued existence of the Indian Department in the face of Goderich’s proposal that it be reduced and ultimately abolished.27 In this sense, the claim made by both Darling and Magrath that an alternative transformation of presents would benefit both the state and First Nations proved doubly useful as it undercut calls for commutation while maintaining a role for the department, an institution that, by the 1820s, some perceived as existing solely to distribute presents. In a pair of 1829 letters, recently appointed governor-general James Kempt brought the substance of Darling’s proposal to the attention of the new colonial secretary, Sir George Murray. In the first, Kempt claimed “that the Indians, when settled, would readily agree to the substitution of implements of husbandry, and seed, &c. for many of the gaudy and useless articles which now compose their presents and which are daily falling in their estimation.”28 In his second letter, written a month later, he forwarded the request of Sir John Colborne, the lieutenant governor of Upper Canada, “to apply the money annually paid to Several Indian Tribes in Upper Canada in ‘Presents’ ... towards

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building houses and purchasing agricultural Implements and stock for such Indians of those Tribes as may be disposed to settle in that Province.” For Kempt, this would improve First Nations’ lives while making “them independent of the bounty of the missionaries from the United States” and protecting them not only from themselves but also from the “the knavery of the Traders with whom they are now compelled to deal.”29 Kempt claimed that “any commutation in money for those presents, of which they would in all probability make an improper use,” would only compound these problems.30 Finally, the governor predicted that, in at least some cases, these goals could “be accomplished without direct expense to the Public,” funding programs from annuities generated by land sales (as in the specific case of the Six Nations) as well as by converting funds already dedicated to presents to material assistance.31 In these letters, then, Kempt lays out what he perceives to be the problem – the danger posed by money to supposedly improvident Indigenous peoples – while simultaneously proposing a solution: in-kind development aid distributed to First Nations “settled” under the watchful eye of state officials. This is where the debate remained until Glenelg proposed commutation once more in the mid-1830s. The colonial secretary did so at the request of both the Treasury and Parliament, themselves reacting to R.I. Routh, the commissary general at Quebec. Charged with acquiring and managing military supplies in the colony, the commissary general began lobbying London in 1834 to end presents altogether. Routh’s opposition to presents was entirely self-interested. Responsible for acquiring them for the Indian Department, Routh himself drew no political capital from presents while being held accountable for their cost at a time when the Colonial Office and the Treasury pursued savings wherever possible. He first voiced his opposition in a lengthy 1834 letter to the Treasury in which he rehearsed the argument first advanced by Amherst: “Industry and circulation are within their reach, and Presents without an object, help to prolong their subjection to old habits.” Rather than commuting “those small articles now so easily to be procured everywhere, and which, in fact, are not esteemed by the Indians in any proportion to their cost,” he argued, they “might be given up altogether, and some retrenchment might immediately be made.”32 Routh’s argument rested on his conviction that First Nations in Lower Canada, if not necessarily those in Upper Canada, “ought to have the means of maintaining themselves without our assistance.”33 This view, shared by others in the commissariat, mobilized an image of

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Indigenous peoples as being fundamentally responsible and therefore entirely at odds with the emerging consensus around their supposed improvidence.34 Though marginal as a means of framing indigeneity in colonial discourse, Routh’s dismissal of inherent Indigenous improvidence helps account for the Colonial Office’s decision to relaunch the debate on commutation. Indeed, Indigenous peoples emerged from Routh’s pen as self-sufficient, allowing officials in London to imagine an end both to the financial commitment embodied in presents and to the Indian Department. In October 1835, after having familiarized himself with Routh’s correspondence, Glenelg directed his assistant undersecretary to write to the Treasury.35 Taking a careful tack, the colonial secretary expressed “his opinion, that the time is not yet arrived at which it would be possible, safely or with justice to discontinue altogether the issue of annual presents, nor Consequently to abolish the Indian Dept. through which alone the distribution can be made.” Regardless, Glenelg suggested to the lords of the Treasury that the time may have come to institute commutation. Before moving ahead, he promised to obtain “the consent of the Indians themselves” and to “restrict this Commutation to those Tribes only which are settled on the land, and would except from it all such as still retain the habits of savage life.”36 The lords of the Treasury had no objection, even if they would have preferred to avoid direct cash payments and to instead use funds to promote “the diffusion of moral and religious instruction,” presumably by hiring teachers, building schools, and purchasing educational supplies. Whatever the Colonial Office decided, the lords of the Treasury supported Glenelg’s broader goals of cutting expenditure and ending the department. Indeed, they suggested that “the whole of the Establishment of the Indian Department should undergo a further revision with a view to every practicable reduction, and especially to the substitution of resident ministers or schoolmasters for any of those parties now employed in the custody or distribution of the presents, or in the performance of any other functions which might be devolved on the minister or the schoolmaster.”37 Within weeks of the Treasury’s letter, Glenelg raised the issue with the governor-general of British North America, the Earl of Gosford, and Lieutenant Governor Head. The colonial secretary informed them that the Committee of the House of Commons on Military Expenditure in the Colonies had recently adopted a resolution calling for the reduction of spending on the part of the Indian Department.

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Glenelg underlined the resolution’s focus on the expense of the annual distribution of presents and the committee’s desire to determine “whether any Arrangement might not be made to dispense with such Distribution in the future, or to commute the Presents for Money.”38 London sought to reduce the expenses incurred by the department with a view toward the institution’s eventual dissolution, as it had done a decade earlier. Using language more or less identical to that in his letter to the Treasury, Glenelg actively sought to reassure administrators in the colonies that he would not take any immediate action.39 For the time being, he claimed to be interested in gathering information that might eventually allow savings without harming First Nations. Though Glenelg viewed presents as a privilege and not a right, he took pains to underscore that they would not be abandoned lightly, perhaps hoping to defuse both Indigenous and colonial fears that London would put an end to presents in the short term.40 Glenelg directed the two governors to consult Indigenous leaders regarding the proposal to replace presents with money. In doing so, he also suggested, as both Magrath and Assance had years earlier, that money might in fact be beneficial to First Nations. If Gosford or Head should find “that the Well-being of the Indians would be promoted by substituting an Equivalent in Money in lieu of the Articles at present issued,” Glenelg wrote, then they should consider themselves “at liberty ... to effect such a Commutation.” The colonial secretary offered another option as well: the Treasury’s preferred program of “civilization,” to be partially funded by the state and largely directed by churches. To this end, Gosford and Head were to ask Indigenous leaders whether they would “sanction the Application of at least a Portion of the Sums now expended in the Purchase of Stores and Presents to the Erection of Schoolhouses, the Purchase of elementary Books, and the Payment of resident Schoolmasters.”41 Glenelg’s instructions fit long-standing Colonial Office practice of using Indigenous improvement as a justification for its actions, whether in North America or elsewhere. Following the Slavery Abolition Act (1833), officials increasingly invoked Britain’s humanitarian credentials even when pursuing goals, such as retrenchment, that may have been detrimental to the interests of Indigenous communities.42 Although Glenelg could have required authorities in Canada to carry out his will, he preferred to collaborate with his counterparts in the colonies on this issue. The Colonial Office practice in this instance, then, is symptomatic of its general approach to governance

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of Indigenous peoples: it gathered information on the specific situation while allowing officials in the colonies to decide whether or not to implement its preferred policy.43 Head responded to Glenelg’s instructions like Dalhousie had a decade earlier: by first ignoring them and finally refusing to respect them. In his initial response, sent in August 1836, Head reported having received the colonial secretary’s directions too late to act upon them that summer. Instead of relaying the information that Glenelg sought, Head wrote concerning his plan to purchase Manitoulin Island as a reserve for “those Indians, who are now impeding the Progress of Civilization in Upper Canada.”44 Three months later, the lieutenant governor sent his second and final response to the colonial secretary’s instructions. This letter did not include the detailed report based on consultation that Glenelg had requested either, instead offering only Head’s personal impressions and observations: “I am not prepared to recommend that Money should at present be substituted for Presents to the resident Indians in this Province, – 1st, Because I think, unless good Arrangements were previously made, the Indians, from their improvident Habits, would in many Places be left destitute; and, 2dly, Because, without due Precaution, a Money Delivery to so many Men, Women, and Children might possibly be attended by very great Impositions.” Though “quite alive to the Advantage which we should gain by the Substitution of Money, if it could be properly effected,” Head felt that cash payments might ultimately cost the imperial treasury more than they were worth. In the end, he would need “Another Year’s Experience and Reflection” before being able to provide a definitive response – one that he never sent.45 Head’s summary responses did not develop in a vacuum. Shortly after arriving in the colony, and before formulating his first response to Glenelg, Head had received two lengthy letters and a visit in Toronto from Routh on “the subject of the reduction and gradual abolition of the Indian Expenditure” in Upper Canada.46 If the commissary general brought the proposal to replace presents with monetary payments to Head’s attention, Routh noted that he would only support it under very particular circumstances. He considered that “no advantage would result from this measure, unless the administration of the Indian Service could, as a consequence of its adoption be very considerably reduced or altogether transferred to the Commissariat.”47 Despite Routh’s lobbying efforts, Head rejected this transfer. To his mind, “the Government of the Indians requires moral Considerations and elastic

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Adaptations which are totally incompatible with the straight Railroad Habits of a Public Accountant.”48 The well-being of First Nations, in other words, required more than simple monetary expediency. In arriving at this conclusion, Head appears to have accorded far greater weight to his earlier experience in England than to the ideas of Routh or anyone else.49 Indeed, the lieutenant governor emphasized Indigenous peoples’ supposedly “improvident habits” and their corresponding inability to use money wisely in terms that resembled those he had used previously to describe entirely different people on the other side of the Atlantic. In 1835, Head had written a report for the Poor Law Commission in which he denounced the “little shopkeepers” and the owners of “beer-shops” who profited “from the vast and hitherto unprotected mass of money, which has been collected nominally for the support of the poor.”50 To his mind, monetary assistance to the poor was nothing less than a hidden subsidy for the unscrupulous traders selling alcohol, who, like the paupers and First Nations who bought from them, occupied the lower rungs of liberal society. This helps explain Head’s contribution to the broader debates on poverty in Upper Canada as well. In arguing for the application of the English workhouse model of indoor relief to the colony, the lieutenant governor made it clear that the poor required both protection from those immoral merchants and reconversion into productive members of the modern, industrializing economy.51 Again, the parallels to the increasingly shared understanding of what was best for Indigenous peoples is striking. If the connection was more direct in his case, Head was only one of many colonial commentators presenting Indigenous peoples as inherently improvident in the image of European paupers while recommending that similar measures be taken to deal with the issue. Gosford, for his part, came to a similar conclusion, though he did so through a distinct process. Instead of refusing or moving slowly to conduct a formal investigation, the governor quickly ordered a general enquiry on First Nations in Lower Canada that gave special attention to the possibility of replacing presents with cash. He submitted the results to Glenelg in a series of letters beginning in November 1836 and culminating, in July 1837, in a report that he had commissioned from a committee of the Executive Council of Lower Canada. This report detailed Indian Department activities in the colony and included an in-depth analysis of the proposed commutation, featuring the most refined survey of ideas of Indigenous improvidence pre-

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sented during the period. In the decades following its completion, officials embraced the report and its conclusions. Indeed, the chapters that follow underline their influence on official policy and practice through the mid-twentieth century.

first nations opposition to commutation The committee Gosford struck based its report to some extent on opinions expressed by the leaders of mission villages in Lower Canada at a series of councils organized by the Indian Department in the summer of 1836. Although the records of these meetings are by no means lengthy, they permit an invaluable glimpse of Indigenous understandings of presents and of the dangers associated with cash. Each of the six communities consulted by James Hughes, the department’s Montreal district superintendent, as well as the four others consulted by Louis Juchereau Duchesnay, its Quebec district superintendent, categorically rejected commutation.52 Their leaders made two principal claims: first, that money given in lieu of presents would deprive the communities’ weakest members of basic necessities, permitting those receiving cash – the male heads of household – to spend it on alcohol, and second, that presents formed a venerable compact between the Crown and First Nations that could not in good faith be altered. Each of the communities described the problems they felt commutation would create in effectively identical terms. The reaction of the Nipissing, Algonquin, and Iroquois of Lake of Two Mountains (Kanesatake) is, in this sense, typical: Tell our Father we want no Money from him; most of our young Men and many of the old ones would make bad use of it ... Was our Father to give us Money instead of the Articles we now receive as our annual Presents, our Wives and Children would be naked and miserable, and we Men unable to procure a Livelihood for them. We are sure our Father will find that we speak true, that he will listen to us, and continue the Issue of our Great Father’s annual Bounty to us as heretofore.53 The grand chief of Kahnawake, Martin Tekanasontie, went further, offering “proof” that recipients would waste money. He recounted the scene at a recent distribution of treaty annuities by the United States at

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St Regis, New York (Akwesasne): “The American Indians had upwards of 2,000 Dollars to receive. On that Day the Payment was made to us the Council-room was full of Tavern and Grog-shop Keepers, with their Account Books under their Arms, to receive our poor Brothers hard-earned Money for nothing but Rum, which they had advanced them on Credit. Upwards of 1,000 Dollars were paid to these Rum Sellers.”54 Deeply objectionable as a replacement for presents in British North America, money had occupied a central role in treaty policy in the United States from the country’s independence. Yet this does not mean that commentators to the south did not view currency in Indigenous hands as dangerous; many did, in terms remarkably similar to those used by Tekanasontie, who, like Head writing the year before and a world away, suggested that monetary payments constituted a more or less direct subsidy to vendors of alcohol.55 When making this argument, Tekanasontie and others deployed notions of kinship that had characterized diplomatic relations since the mid-seventeenth century, casting their ties to Britain in highly gendered and hierarchical terms.56 In providing presents, chiefs claimed, the Crown recognized Indigenous men’s military service by helping them exercise their own paternal obligations with respect to women and children.57 As Indian Affairs cut expenditure on presents in the early 1830s, leaders in the St Lawrence Valley expressed their disappointment in markedly paternal terms. Three Abenaki chiefs and six “captains” requested that Governor Aylmer communicate to their “good father the King [that] if his children be deprived of their annual presents, they be miserable, our little ones, & wives shall be made pitiful.”58 When in 1836 the Indian Department held councils to discuss commutation, chiefs reiterated these claims yet again. Simon Obomsawin, speaking on behalf of two other chiefs and three warriors from Odanak, told Hughes, the superintendent of the Montreal district and the Abenakis’ “Brother,” that “we ... look upon ourselves as Orphans, and have always adopted the Representative of our Great Father the King as our Parent and Adviser; we have always and still look upon him as our Protector.” Highly coded, Obomsawin’s words flattered the king, and by extension the governor, while asserting his people’s special connection to the Crown and making it clear that relations had been and continued to be a choice made by the Abenakis. At the same time, Obomsawin employed language of masculine responsibility to women and children within the household that would have been entirely

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familiar to British officials. He asked Hughes to tell the governor “that Money as an Equivalent for our annual Presents is of no Value whatever to us; it would do us much more Harm than Good, because many of us would squander it away in Liquor; of course our Wives and Children would be naked and miserable, and us unhappy. The Articles of Clothing that we now receive annually from our Great Father the King, as a Sort of Remuneration for our past Services, we prize too much; we depend upon them to protect us from the Cold.”59 If such claims emphasized proper masculine responsibility, they also communicated the idea that susceptibility to alcohol was an equally masculine, if profoundly classed and ethnic, trait. In making such comments, chiefs from a number of other villages echoed common European and North American notions of the intersection of poverty, gender, class, and improvidence. This emphasis on male agency and female passivity helped Indigenous leaders refute commutation. For example, Tekanasontie claimed that “when the generality of Indians have Money they must drink; the Whites have brought us to that Habit ... We therefore pray and beseech of our Father to continue the present Way of giving Blankets, Cloth, &c. as our annual Presents, otherwise most of us, our Wives and Children, would be naked.”60 As Canadian society and politics took on an increasingly liberal inflection, First Nations, like French Canadians, moved to align their articulation of gender norms in the public sphere with those originating in Britain.61 As a consequence, local understanding and practice with respect to gender shifted too. With encouragement from Indian Department officials, Iroquois and Wendat chiefs, for example, remade identity politics in the early nineteenth century by asserting that community membership flowed through the male line. Though this argument corresponded nicely to British expectations, it deviated quite substantially from practice in historical and some contemporaneous Haudenosaunee communities.62 This discursive shift, clear in debates on presents and commutation, would also seem to have influenced the legal turn toward patriarchal Indigenous identity politics from the 1850s.63 Attempts to retain presents and to exercise local political control in these communities, then, seem to have been critical to enshrining British gender norms in Canadian law, as would perhaps be most clearly embodied by the Indian Act, the incredibly important law that, starting in 1876, would frame state intervention in First Nations communities.

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Over the course of the 1836 councils, chiefs did more than argue that commutation posed a threat to their community’s most vulnerable members. They also reminded Hughes and Duchesnay of the critical symbolic charge of presents in their relations with Britain. Each of these men seems to have understood the precise origin of this symbolism in one of two ways, both relying on a distinct reading of history. In the summer of 1836, the Akwesasne Iroquois alone claimed that they had an absolute and unquestionable right to presents. “Saro Oriwagati, the oldest Man and Chief of his Tribe (i.e. Ninety-four Years of Age),” made this argument on behalf of his community: “Father, I have outlived a great many Winters, and Three bloody Wars, in none of which did I ever find cause to doubt the good and faithful intentions of my Great Father the King towards us his Indian Children; and I cannot believe that he now thinks of breaking that Promise of his Forefathers, which was guaranteed to us when I was a young Man: ‘Presents so long as we shall remain a tribe.’”64 Whether or not officials could find written proof of their origins, presents were more than mere objects furnished by the state; they symbolized, in a way that money simply could not, a solemn and venerable pact between First Nations and Britain. When discussing presents, Indigenous leaders, like the chiefs of the Abenaki of Odanak, sometimes described them as “a Sort of Remuneration for our past Services.”65 Chiefs of the Algonquin, Nipissing, and Iroquois living in Kanesatake, as well as the Iroquois of Kahnawake, made similar claims. By painting them as payment for services rendered, Indigenous leaders sought to anchor presents in specific historical acts, playing to the British military tradition of providing pensions to Indigenous and British veterans alike. Ultimately, those chiefs who employed this argument almost certainly did so because they thought it would be more effective than rights talk at maintaining presents and avoiding commutation. This strategic thinking is suggested by changing claims to presents after the 1836 councils. The state’s decision following these meetings to end the distribution of presents to children born after 1 May 1837 occasioned these shifts. In February of that year, sixty-five chiefs representing Kahnawake, Kanesatake, and Akwesasne sent a petition to Gosford protesting the decision. They claimed not only that the French had begun the systematic distribution of presents, which the British then continued after 1760, but that these presents could never rightfully be terminated: “Father, these presents (as we have been

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taught to call them) are not, in fact, presents at all, they are a sacred debt on the part of the Government promised to our fathers by the Kings of France to compensate them for the lands they gave up, confirmed by the Kings of England since the cession of the country and up until the present punctually paid and acquitted.”66 The chiefs who signed the petition ultimately struck a conciliatory tone, requesting rather than demanding the continued distribution of presents to children. However, the mere assertion that the French had originally given presents as a means of paying in perpetuity for land cessions underlines the highly symbolic and historical charge that these objects carried. The British, moreover, implicitly encouraged First Nations to read presents in this way, given the nearly identical form taken by presents and, from 1818, the treaty annuities distributed as payment for lands in Upper Canada. The Indian Department also explored the Treasury’s preferred way forward, asking chiefs at the 1836 councils if they would be willing to transfer funds spent on presents to schooling. Each village in Lower Canada that considered this proposal flatly rejected it, for identical reasons.67 The response of the chiefs from Odanak illustrates this effectively: “Brother, tell our Father, that ... we are well aware that they [the children] can but reap great Benefit from receiving an Education, but at the same time tell him, that the great Majority of the Abenaquois Tribe are so wretchedly poor, that they have not the Means of paying for the Instruction of their Children; that the Presents they annually receive from their Great Father’s Bounty are barely sufficient to protect them from the Cold.”68 While recognizing education’s value, First Nations argued that their extreme poverty prevented them from paying for it. Like their counterparts from other communities, chiefs from Akwesasne communicated their complete willingness to accept education as long as it was publicly funded: “We hope in this respect to be put on a Footing with our Brethren the White Skins, who, we are informed, have their Children educated at the public Expense. If Schools are established amongst us on such a Footing, we will cheerfully send our Children to them.”69 Just as they resisted commutation, First Nations in the St Lawrence Valley opposed any change to the financial support of schooling that would diminish funds invested in presents. Symbolism was central to Indigenous attachment to presents, yet chiefs emphasized poverty when arguing against changes to the system, aiming to play on administrators’ pity and the emerging consensus around Indigenous improvidence.

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The chiefs’ words provided the Committee of Lower Canada’s Executive Council with something its predecessors lacked: clearly demonstrated Indigenous opposition to commutation.70 In this sense, their words legitimated what by then had become the standard response to the proposal among officials in the colonies. Indeed, in its final report, the committee, relying in part on Indigenous statements, concluded that cash payments should not replace in-kind presents and that the budget reserved for presents should not be used to fund schooling, either partially or fully. While rejecting claims that First Nations had any right to presents, the committee recognized, much as Glenelg had done, that established practice prevented their immediate abolition. However, the committee went beyond the colonial secretary in endorsing the chiefs’ self-ascribed poverty and in popularizing claims made by generations of military officers, from Amherst through Routh, that presents were in some sense responsible for creating and maintaining this social ill: “This System, by fostering their natural Improvidence, by estranging them from the ordinary Pursuits and Industry of civilized Life, and teaching them to consider themselves as under a special Tutelage of the Crown, and in dependence upon it, has further strengthened their Claim to a Continuance of it until they shall be raised above their helpless Condition to which it has mainly contributed to depress them.”71 The committee, pointing to the negative effects of public welfare programs, held that only a turn toward the cash-based market could end Indigenous dependence on the state. This report, submitted to the Colonial Office in July 1837, marked a turning point.72 Over the preceding decades, not all officials had assumed improvidence as a given, with some even imagining that the distribution of cash might potentially be a useful means of encouraging “uplift”; however, by the late 1830s this was no longer the case. Now, the shared conviction that First Nations required guidance in a world that was rapidly passing them by – embodied in in-kind assistance and depicted from this very moment, as we saw in chapter 1, on the money itself – became a core principle driving Indigenous policy and the growth of the Indian Department. Over the decades that followed, this consensus echoed on both sides of the Atlantic, often in terms nearly identical to those used in 1837. Between 1839 and 1858, five separate commissions of inquiry – four working under the auspices of the colonial state and one struck by a humanitarian organization in the metropole – clearly supported the findings of the Lower

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Canadian report. In the process, these bodies helped form what one historian terms the “corporate memory” of the Indian Department and its institutional successors even today.73 The questions on which these commissions focused and the answers they provided underline the change that occurred after 1837. While all of the commissions dealt with presents and the dependence they supposedly created, only a single commission even considered commutation, rejecting it as self-evidently dangerous. Writing in 1839, Upper Canadian judge James Buchanan Macaulay recognized potential savings in the project: “It might (treating the presents as a dry matter of debt) be more convenient to pay in cash than in goods.” However, he, like his predecessors, considered this argument insufficient and, indeed, fraught: “Considering the motive and object, and, the well known indiscretion and folly of the Indians ... [i]t is manifest that the money in itself can be of no benefit to them, it can only be useful to exchange for necessaries, and it may readily be supposed that if not enticed from the improvident holders with liquor excessive prices would be exacted from them for necessaries, of inferior quality, and undue advantages be taken of them in every way.”74 This required the state to take a more careful and appropriate tack, supplying Indigenous peoples “with useful supplies such as clothing, implements of husbandry, fire arms, ammunition and food, in short almost anything but money.”75 With money out of the question, all five commissions used the dangers associated with money and claims of improvidence to argue in favour of distributing judiciously selected material assistance. At the same time, each blamed the state for creating dependence through presents. In 1839, for example, a committee of the London-based Aborigines’ Protection Society found that officials, whether consciously or not, cultivated improvidence and poverty. In providing First Nations facing “increasing difficulties” with presents that “gratify their savage tastes or minister to their immediate wants, or enable them to pursue their original mode of life, as wandering hunters, without even the exercise of their own rude arts,” the state made them “increasingly helpless and dependent.”76 Five years later, the Bagot Commission proposed a similar analysis. In the context of renewed calls to end presents, the commissioners claimed that Indigenous “reliance has doubtless had the effect of encouraging their natural indolence and improvidence; of keeping them a distinct people; of fostering their natural pride and consequent aversion to labour; and of creating an undue feeling of dependence upon the protection and bounty of the

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Crown.” Explicitly framing presents as a form of material aid, the commission’s report concluded that “the majority of the Indians throughout the United Provinces, are still in such a state of actual destitution, and of incapacity to hold their place among the whites, that it would be inconsistent, both with justice and humanity, at present to withdraw such assistance from them.”77 The Pennefather Commission, writing in 1858, summarized these claims, returning to what its members viewed as the single best piece of analysis of Indigenous-Crown relations produced on the question of improvidence, dependence, and poverty: “The conclusions arrived at by the Executive Council of Lower Canada in their admirable Report to the Earl of Gosford in 1836, cannot we think be controverted.” Pennefather and his colleagues reminded readers that their predecessors had flagged the “unusual facilities for educating and improving the Aborigines” held (following the conquest) by the empire in the form of direct diplomatic relations and embodied in presents. Unfortunately, as the Lower Canadian committee had demonstrated, “the advantages afforded by that system were not realized,” and indeed, First Nations found “the wretchedness in which they were plunged” actually worsened by the distribution of presents in their customary form. Rather than encouraging Indigenous peoples to take responsibility for their own material conditions, “the state of tutelage in which the latter were kept by the Crown taught them to look up to it, and to feel dependent upon it.”78 These notions – assumed improvidence, the consequential need to avoid monetary payments, and the risk that officials associated with overly generous assistance – underpinned Indigenous policy moving forward. They helped construct a Canadian polity from which First Nations had been excised while simultaneously providing the Indian Department with a renewed mandate. No longer charged with maintaining alliances with First Nations, the institution, buoyed by laws adopted beginning in the 1850s, was now responsible for shepherding Indigenous peoples toward liberal individualism and their ultimate integration into Canadian society.

the idea of improvidence in the nineteenth century If money promised growth and prosperity, in the wrong hands it seemed to threaten these very things. The debates on commutation made it clear that Indigenous hands were the wrong hands. The dan-

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ger that officials and humanitarians associated with money arose from its fungibility, its capacity to become almost anything that, in turn, struck at the heart of programs of material assistance relying on outside supervision. This seemed true even in the case of presents, where, despite changing rhetoric, the original goal had never been to provide relief or to ensure that Indigenous peoples made “proper” use of these goods. Here, money was a symptom of something deeper, of the root cause of settler society’s growing suspicion of First Nations’ ability to meet their own material needs. In a word, money’s threat to society lay in improvidence. A lack of foresight – understood as an individual rather than a collective failing – supposedly characterized the improvident, preventing them from planning for the future. According to this view, the liberal male head of household had a duty to labour and to save money or to purchase insurance to protect themselves and their families from unforeseen hardship. Failing this, the impoverished individual was to accept with gratitude the purposefully invasive strictures of the public poorhouse or private charity. Shame and meagre assistance, reformers argued, would prevent the poor from making improvidence a virtue by bringing significant social and material pressure to bear on the impoverished to improve themselves and their lot.79 “Improvement,” then, would expand liberalism outward to marginalized groups, especially those outside the metropole, including them in its social and political project of individual responsibility and self-regulation.80 Bruce Curtis, writing on schooling in Lower Canada, underscores the imperial thrust of such projects when noting that “the extension to the colony of the ‘civilizing’ institutions of British government” aimed to prepare “the people for the exercise of liberal freedom.”81 Though couched in the language of necessary and natural progress, promising to make improvident Indigenous peoples responsible liberal subjects, improvement always remained just beyond reach, as we will see in the case of military pensions in the first half of the twentieth century, explored in chapter 6. Of course, improvidence is very much a question of perspective and others disagreed with both the liberal diagnosis of poverty and its prescribed remedy. Working-class families, for example, were more likely to subscribe to practices of mutual aid, perhaps best represented in fraternal societies and their work to ensure members’ survival in hard times. Indeed, as Martin Petitclerc argues in the case of Quebec, fraternal societies explicitly opposed the liberal conception of poverty and the blame it placed on the supposedly improvident poor. These

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groups sought to remove dependants from the aegis of private charity by furnishing support as a right, paid for by the deceased, injured, or ill member’s dues, rather than as a privilege as in the case of private charity.82 This rejection of liberal notions of im/providence in favour of collective solidarity resembles the model of gift economies put forward by anthropologists, in part based on North American examples.83 Historians drawing on this literature argue that gift-giving among First Nations functioned to durably bind community members together, ensuring that earlier liberality would be repaid in kind if required. In other words, debt, considered such a threat by liberals, formed an absolutely essential survival mechanism among First Nations, who, as such, did not perceive in it any indication of improvidence – quite the opposite, in fact.84 Regardless, as we have seen and will continue to see in what follows, outside observers claimed time and again to detect improvidence in Indigenous peoples, drawing heavily on earlier representations of both First Nations and the urban poor when doing so. Here, the common assumption that beneficiaries of charity or social assistance were incapable of managing their money in a sensible and selfsustaining manner proved particularly influential.85 In general, the remedy proposed by Victorian politicians, philanthropists, and clergymen, in Canada and elsewhere, relied on moral reform and a strict prohibition of monetary assistance.86 The idea that the poor were the authors of their own misfortune fit quite comfortably alongside preexisting stereotypes of First Nations, particularly those of their supposed indolence and heathenry. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, most European commentators held that Indigenous men lacked industry, pointing to their transgression of “civilized” gender roles and social hierarchies as proof of their barbarism. Indeed, while northeastern Indigenous women typically performed the hard manual labour of farming, men engaged in hunting – in Europe an activity primarily associated with the aristocracy.87 Europeans also applied this representation in the case of market-oriented hunting. However, as Ann Carlos and Frank Lewis argue, charges of laziness spoke to competition between fur buyers rather than to any actual behaviour. Contrary to the dominant historiographical interpretation, evidence from the eighteenth century suggests that hunters and trappers did not reduce production when faced with rising fur prices. Rather than purchasing an unchanging set of goods irrespective of price, they expanded their consumption of luxury goods as revenue

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rose. Moreover, Carlos and Lewis argue that hunter-trappers actually expended greater effort as time went on, precisely to gain access to more consumer goods. In other words, they were industrious and not, as fur traders sometimes claimed, improvident.88 At the same time, perceived lack of religious enlightenment and material comfort encouraged generations of Europeans to see “poor Indians,” ignorant of the Gospel and in need of moral support and protected access to subsistence.89 Rather than celebrating First Nations’ inherent virtue as some earlier thinkers had done, most nineteenth-century commentators looked to assumed European cultural superiority and to advances in industrialization to prophesy Indigenous peoples’ inevitable extinction. Leaving behind Rousseau’s critique of a morally decrepit Europe, incarnated by the figure of the “noble savage,” these thinkers drew on another aspect of what J.G.A. Pocock calls the “Enlightenment narrative” – the creation of “savagery” – to claim that First Nations merited pity rather than praise.90 Visibly racing toward their own disappearance and unable on their own to do anything about it, these imagined Indigenous peoples were literally improvident and, living in a rapidly monetizing world, in desperate need of assistance.91 The policy debates on commutation in the 1820s and 1830s elevated Indigenous improvidence to a shared assumption that restructured social relations and provided a relatively easy way of making sense of the world.92 The image of fundamentally improvident First Nations provided officials with a means of simultaneously thinking through their management of Indigenous-state relations and communicating the bases of this management to contemporary public opinion.93 These assumptions, which became hegemonic during the nineteenth century, allowed administrators, philanthropists, and politicians to diagnose a more or less real political “problem” – Indigenous improvidence – while at the same time prescribing a relatively straightforward remedy: a program of “civilization” seeking to “uplift” or “improve” Indigenous peoples to the level of their Euro-Canadian neighbours.94 The increased powers that legislators accorded the Indian Department from the mid-nineteenth century are in large part a consequence of this vision. In this sense, the consensus that emerged from debates on commutation, according to which Indigenous peoples were predisposed to improvidence, helped naturalize the sociopolitical distinctions between them and settlers upon which the mandate of the Indian Department was remade.95 This consensus and the power it provided the department to intervene in the day-to-day

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affairs of Indigenous communities also brought pressure to bear on notions of gender, race, and belonging in Indigenous communities, pushing these to align more closely with British social norms. As we have seen, though, Europeans and their Canadian descendants did not monopolize the notion of innate Indigenous improvidence in policy debates. Over the course of the nineteenth century, the concept became a shared tool through which authorities, philanthropists, and Indigenous peoples could render intelligible the effects of colonialism, much like claims of starvation in the subarctic fur trade.96 Though everyone involved understood the “Indian problem” differently, they all made use of the developing consensus that Indigenous peoples were naturally improvident to carve out a place in colonial society. Indeed, philanthropists, and later the state, mobilized this vision to justify intervening in everyday life, while First Nations themselves referenced their supposed improvidence to recall colonial society’s traditional manner of recognizing their particular rights through the distribution of diplomatic presents. Together, these sometimes competing, sometimes concordant goals profoundly influenced the development of the colonial project in Canada from the nineteenth century, as, indeed, they continue to do today. As individuals turned away from presents in the 1840s and 1850s, so too did the state. In 1851, the secretary of state for the colonies, Lord Grey, announced plans to abolish presents altogether after 1858. Though executed on this schedule, the end of presents excited relatively little comment, perhaps because the special relationship between the Crown and First Nations that presents had long embodied lived on in immaterial form. While high-ranking colonial officials including the governor and the attorney general had expressed ambivalence at the prospect of maintaining separate Indigenous legal status and rights only a decade before Grey’s announcement, the Legislative Assembly anticipated the colonial secretary’s plans by effectively entrenching them in law from 1850.97 Along with legislation that would follow in 1851, in 1857, and after Confederation, the 1850 act protected reserved lands from settler encroachment in both Upper and Lower Canada and for the first time defined who was “Indian.”98 Once inscribed in law, this definition allowed officials to identify status without recourse to material distributions. Put simply, the double move toward a legal definition and away from presents strengthened the ability of Indian Affairs to surveil and manage Indigenous com-

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munities by codifying the department as the arbiter of “Indian” legal status.99 While the department had earlier used presents as a means of identifying “Indians” and, as we will see in chapter 5, punishing those who resisted the authority of officials and chiefs, the new legal definition gave it far greater power. If presents lost their influence, distributions did not. Indeed, as we will see in chapter 4, monetary payments, though rejected as a replacement for presents, would ultimately provide the department with similarly expanded powers when made in the form of treaty annuities. If in the 1820s and 1830s most Indigenous peoples protested commutation on the grounds that money could not replace presents as a means of symbolically renewing relations with the British Crown, others would have preferred to be able to respond to material needs as they arose with “something always in [their] pockets” so as to “never be empty.” To these people, the “temptation” of alcohol and their own supposed improvidence were not issues that overwhelmed all others, and the economic value of money at least sometimes surpassed the symbolism of presents. Communities were not necessarily unified and the interests of political elites did not always correspond with the interests of those they represented. Though the Indian Department had earlier encouraged First Nations to look on distributions as critical to maintaining ongoing relations, it had also come to the conclusion by midcentury that presents had outlived their usefulness.100 And chiefs too – though having enjoyed the notoriety and prestige that came with the receipt of “full” rather than “common equipment” – seem to have lost interest, shifting their attention, as we will see in chapter 5, to the management of village life and the band funds that grew from local state involvement. This shift was not innocuous, though. While individuals wanted money and chiefs wanted funds, the state and civil society, backed up by arguments made by First Nations themselves, increasingly viewed indigeneity as necessarily tied to improvidence. By affirming the supposedly natural inability of Indigenous peoples to manage money, external commentators construed them as being incapable both of independently governing themselves and of handling the assumed imperative of adapting to modernity. In the decades that followed, colonial legislators defined who was and was not an “Indian,” remaking Indigenous peoples as legal minors. Like settler women made formally dependent on their husbands, fathers, or sons by the law, Indigenous peoples found themselves placed in the care of the Indian

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Department, their new legal guardian. Debates on commutation and presents naturalized the gendered and racialized notions that underwrote colonial legislation from the 1850s. As chiefs, civil servants, clergymen, and humanitarians argued, Indigenous men could not resist the temptation of alcohol. Since British social norms required husbands to provide for their wives, fathers for their children, and adult sons for their elderly parents, nearly all the men who framed this debate rejected substituting money for material goods in the most strenuous terms. The absence of women’s voices underscores the highly gendered nature of the debate. As Patriote and Reformer politicians – all men – moved to disappear Canadien women from the polls in the early-to-mid-nineteenth century, their Indigenous counterparts – also men – worked to remake public participation in their own communities along similar lines. The positions staked out by each participant in the debate over commutation provide insight into the development of Indigenousstate relations long after the middle of the nineteenth century. Imperial authorities, supported by the Canadian commissary general, focused on presents’ cost, considering them an indefensible use of state funds in a period characterized by retrenchment, massive metropolitan support for free trade, and the accompanying general acceptance that “advanced” white settler colonies like those of British North America ought to be granted responsible government. The attempts initiated by the Treasury through the Colonial Office to reduce expenditure constituted one step along the path to the 1860 transfer of authority over Indian Affairs to the Province of Canada and Britain’s active support later in the same decade for the unification of Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. Officials in the colonies, on the other hand, constructed inherent Indigenous improvidence through the debates over commutation. Their writing on the question shows presents as a form of social assistance that could not, according to the moral precepts of Victorian charity, be converted into cash payments. The words of Indigenous leaders lent weight to these claims. Officials in both the metropole and the colonies instrumentalized these men’s genuine concern about the destruction caused by alcohol to recall contemporaneous debates on poverty in Europe and urbanizing North America. Thanks to the intervention of missionaries and philanthropists who drew on sometimes conflicting Indigenous claims, imperial and colonial authorities came together not to commute presents but to convert them from the arms, ammunition, medals, and

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blankets that supported an older symbolic and material order of Indigenous alliance to goods calculated to “civilize” by encouraging farming and fishing. All of these external commentators remarked on the degradation of living conditions among First Nations and, as a result of debates on commutation, from the late 1830s universally assigned this state of affairs to Indigenous improvidence and men’s inability to resist the temptation of alcohol. Though supposed weakness when it came to alcohol had long been a trope of European representations of Indigenous peoples, its emphasis and effects began to change in the 1820s and the 1830s. Instead of underscoring alcohol as such, external commentators now argued that money was dangerous. This, in turn, justified the state’s project of involving itself in the everyday affairs of these communities while also laying the basis – still in place today – for pathologizing Indigenous peoples as inherently improvident and impoverished.

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The Backstory

section two The Formation of the Territorial State

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On the House

3 Fur-Trade Money and the Coming of the State in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean

During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, present-day Quebec and Ontario consisted of two distinct, though sometimes overlapping, monetary spaces. The first – the steadily growing area inhabited by settlers – was home to official state accounting currency of initially British and later Canadian origin alongside what was at first a wide variety of circulating forms of cash.1 The second – the region demographically dominated by First Nations, in which fur traders and missionaries provided the primary permanent or semipermanent EuroCanadian presence – boasted privately defined and maintained commercial money based on the beaver pelt, which fur traders employed with Indigenous peoples but not with Euro-Canadians.2 Drawing on Eric Helleiner’s concept of “territorial currency,” “monetary space” describes the geographical area in which a particular system of money (sometimes constituted by coexisting monetary forms circulating in parallel and largely exclusive networks) is predominant. According to Helleiner, despite historiographical emphasis on the 1648 Peace of Westphalia as signalling the birth of the modern sovereign state, money came to serve this new master only during the nineteenth century, through the exclusion of foreign currencies from national political space, the creation of consequential amounts of state-backed, low-value coins, and the homogenization of official currency in circulation.3 In this way, money played a role in the broader shift in spatial thinking taking place in Canada over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, described by Gerald Friesen as “the translation of place from the language of land ... to the language of nation.”4 If this chapter largely endorses Helleiner’s account, it also argues that

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while the nation-state certainly sought to monopolize control over the monetary system in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Canada, it was not the first institution to have done so. The fortunes of the two monetary spaces – one based in settler society, the other in the fur trade – shifted during the period, with beaver money having disappeared from much of the region by the early years of the twentieth century. While this change may at first appear inconsequential, the differing historical trajectories of these two “territorial currencies” point to a much larger process: the shift from older forms of territorial management and European claims to sovereignty, exercised in part by royally sanctioned monopolistic corporations, to their modern counterparts, almost exclusively based in the Victorian nation-state. Monetary circulation, then, played an important role in the process by which the colonial and, later, federal state assumed the pretension of territorial sovereignty previously asserted by the French and British Crowns through chartered companies such as the Hudson’s Bay Company. This chapter ties these political changes to alterations in the structure of the monetary system in subarctic Quebec, in particular as they affected the Innu (Montagnais) of the southwestern end of Nitassinan (the Innu homeland), the present-day SaguenayLac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec. This community experienced the substitution of the state for the hbc as the pillar of the monetary system during the middle of the nineteenth century. Chapter 4 examines the case of the Cree of western James Bay who experienced a similar shift in the first decade of the twentieth century. Like the reserve system, this process of currency replacement formed one of the visible ways through which the political community centred on the St Lawrence Valley and the lower Great Lakes expanded to engulf and to dominate the vast majority of present-day Canada’s territory and the population already living there. It also contributed to “reterritorializing” Canada and its “imagined geography,” expanding the space understood by those in the colonies and metropole as “belonging to” the settler polity and its state.5 During the mid-nineteenth century, the state in British North America, as in the United States and much of western Europe, came to occupy an increasingly central role in political and economic life.6 In addition to its growing involvement in sectors such as education, policing, and transportation, the state, as we saw in chapter 1, also pursued monetary standardization, symbolically and functionally integrating colonial and, later, national markets and polities in the

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process.7 The creation of a system based on a unified abstract accounting currency and physical medium of exchange constituted a major symbolic change in relatively heavily colonized regions, signalling a shift in political authority in southern Canada. In much of the subarctic and the West, this change was, if anything, more dramatic, spelling the end of money that had been in use since at least the late seventeenth century and transferring ultimate political authority from monopolistic companies to the emerging nation-state. This earlier monetary system had developed as a mutually intelligible means of evaluating manufactured goods, provisions, and furs, drawing its force from the ties that bound the two groups together over generations. As the British North American state of the mid-to-late nineteenth century expanded beyond the relatively limited zone of European settlement in the St Lawrence Valley and the lower Great Lakes, it built upon institutions that already existed in the regions it entered, many of which were a legacy of the fur trade. Thus, the monetary system of the subarctic underwent changes in the nineteenth century that were predicated on conceptual continuity (the value of money residing in the faith placed in the issuer’s ability to repay) while signalling a fundamentally altered universe in which the central political authority was no longer the same. Though foregrounding political symbolism, this chapter does so through an analysis of the day-to-day experience of debt and the “truck system,” both typical of preindustrial and industrializing production in many parts of the world. Businesses that practised truck paid some portion of wages in goods at stores operated either directly by the company or by a close commercial partner. Scholars suggest that this system – which was widespread in Great Britain, portions of British North America, the United States, and elsewhere in the north Atlantic during the nineteenth century – potentially served two purposes. First, truck allowed employers to pay wages that, due to the higher-than-market price charged in company stores, were inferior to their nominal value. Second, making payment in goods helped employers and their employees overcome scarcity of cash.8 The first of these two factors played a role in Parliament’s efforts to end the truck system in nineteenth-century Britain. The Truck Act of 1831, designed to outlaw the system, arose from a double motive on the part of members of Parliament who sought both to increase the state’s seigniorage revenue and to protect workers from exploitation at the hands of their employers. By increasing the amount of official currency in circula-

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tion at the expense of truck, the state sought to decrease the difference in the nominal and real value of wages earned while generating revenue from the amount of official currency in use – revenue arising from the difference between currency’s higher nominal value and its lower production costs.9 If Parliament applied the Truck Act to Britain, it did no such thing in the colonies, perhaps as a result of the characteristically remote regions in which truck took root outside of Great Britain.10 In the North American context, scholars have focused primarily on the system in natural resource–based industries such as fishing, mining, and lumbering, suggesting that the distance from population centres at which these industries operated influenced the state’s decision to overlook the theoretically illegal private monetary systems they spawned.11 Notions of race also influenced colonial truck, leading in several cases to the creation of credit, payment, or monetary systems tailored to a specific racialized clientele.12 While drawing inspiration from these studies, the present chapter also steps beyond them by analyzing the geopolitical nature of the fur trade in nineteenth-century Canada and the role played by company money in manifesting British claims to sovereignty over parts of the subarctic. During this period, the hbc and its rivals held a theoretical or actual monopoly over much of the region’s fur market, functioning in many remote areas of the continent as the sole representative of the British Crown or the colonial government. By focusing on one part of the fur trade’s economic infrastructure and the political weight it carried, this chapter expands on existing analyses of truck. The hbc’s two-tiered monetary system allowed the company to trade with its agents and the handful of other Euro-Canadians present in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and, as we will see in the next chapter, in western James Bay by way of the pound sterling or Halifax currency, while dealing with the Innu and Cree in beaver currency alone. This practice separated colonizer from colonized and symbolically founded the company’s authority in its privileged relationship with London, through which it functioned as the state’s officially sanctioned representative. This status legitimized the hbc’s monetary system while also contributing to the British Empire’s claims to sovereignty. The analysis that follows also challenges the essentially orthodox conception of money, in which even some of the most original studies of the fur trade are rooted, to argue that the hbc’s “made beaver” system was not simply “modernized barter” but, as an abstract unit of account

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used at multiple points in time, constituted authentic money.13 The chapter traces the ways in which such money marked space and the influence it allowed the hbc to exert over Innu lives. Here as elsewhere, however, Indigenous peoples did not passively accept marginalization. Ultimately, their actions contributed to the process by which the state superseded both the hbc’s monetary system and its political dominance in the subarctic.

the fur trade and the political power of monopolies Prior to the transfer to Canada of Rupert’s Land in 1870, the Hudson’s Bay Company held a royal charter that, in addition to monopoly trading rights, provided it with political and legal authority over much of North America. As time went by, the company took an increasingly broad view of the region described by its charter.14 In doing so, it acted to exclude competitors and to strengthen its claims to the monopolistic powers it exercised in commerce as well as in law.15 In this sense, the hbc formed a “company-state” in much the same way as other early modern and modern overseas trading corporations, most notably the East India Company.16 In addition to the hbc, several other large commercial ventures, such as the Compagnie du Nord, the Compagnie de la Colonie, and the North West Company (nwc), struggled at one time or another for control of the fur trade throughout much of the Canadian subarctic. Although ostensibly solely commercial enterprises, all of these companies, in at least certain instances, operated under government-furnished monopolies, theoretically allowing them to purchase pelts in the absence of competition while also providing them with a certain measure of legal and political power within the region covered by their charter. For example, between 1802 and its fusion with the hbc in 1821, the Montreal-based nwc leased monopoly rights from Lower Canada to the King’s Posts, a region roughly corresponding to present-day Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and including a portion of Charlevoix and the North Shore of the St Lawrence. The French state had initially set aside these posts, also known as the King’s Domain, in the midseventeenth century as a reserve in which it prohibited settlement not directly tied to the fur trade or missionary work. Over the nearly two hundred years that followed, both the French and British Crowns either leased the exclusive right to trade in this region to commercial

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concerns or exploited the trade for their own profit.17 Although the 1802 lease held by the nwc formally applied only to economic activities involving the region’s fur trade, fisheries, and lands, the colonial state essentially provided the company with complete authority over the King’s Posts. Indeed, in 1803, the lieutenant governor of Lower Canada proclaimed a ban on the “intrusion, hindrance or molestation, by any Trader or Traders or any other Person or Persons whatsoever within the limits of the said Domain Lands and Posts, and the dependencies thereof.”18 Following the conquest, officials in the colony encouraged further independence on the part of lessees of the King’s Posts by appointing individuals from within their ranks as justices of the peace for the District of Quebec, the judicial district covering the posts.19 This effectively provided leaseholders with the authority to regulate legal disputes involving individuals of European descent within the King’s Posts as they saw fit.20 Thus, even in the absence of a royal charter, the nwc effectively ruled this region on behalf of the state. Following the fusion of the nwc and the hbc in 1821, the new company (also known as the Hudson’s Bay Company) proved uninterested in renewing its rights to the King’s Domain, and in 1822 a new enterprise, the King’s Posts Company, acquired a twenty-year lease to the region. hbc management, however, quickly came to believe that passing on the lease had been a mistake. Working from the margins of the King’s Posts, the company engaged its new competitor in a struggle for control of the fur trade in the region throughout the 1820s. This conflict ended when the hbc purchased the lease of the King’s Posts Company in 1831.21 In this way, the hbc functionally integrated the King’s Domain in Lower Canada into Rupert’s Land, the region over which the company claimed control through its 1670 royal charter.22 By 1831, then, the hbc was exerting its influence, both economically and politically, over a considerable portion of the Canadian subarctic.

the nature of money in the subarctic fur trade Shortly after European merchants arrived on the shores of Hudson and James Bays in the late seventeenth century, transactions in the region came to be structured through the use of the beaver pelt as the standard of trade. The English, who since 1670 had traded under the

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auspices of the hbc, referred to this standard, which expressed the theoretical value of a single prime beaver pelt, as the “made beaver,” whereas French traders and their Montreal-based successors referred to it simply as the castor.23 Regardless of its name, the beaver provided participants in the fur trade with the means of attributing market value. Primarily abstract rather than physical, beaver money quickly came to lose any direct relationship it may have initially had to the value of any given skin.24 On occasion, however, it did circulate in physical form as coins, tokens, or stamped wooden sticks.25 According to a document compiled by the Museum of the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1959, though, the primary purpose of these objects was to provide material support for mental calculation, a use illustrated by a photograph taken the same year at Inukjuak (Port Harrison), on the eastern shore of Hudson Bay (figure 3.1). For example, white fox might be worth ten “skins” and the “skins” worth 50¢, so the fox pelt would be worth $5.00 in Canadian money. Ten tokens would be put on the counter by the trader in the trading room at the post. Then, when the native went to purchase goods in the trade store, worth five skins say, the trader would move five tokens over the counter to show the native how much he had to pay and move the other five tokens to indicate to him how much credit he had left. We have always, since the earliest trading days, kept actual book accounts while the natives have kept their records of debt and credit in their minds with surprising accuracy.26 Although several scholars have remarked on the existence of this monetary system, none has underlined its fundamental role in the creation of the debt-based fur trade, an institution that has received far more attention.27 Yet, without an abstract measure of value, the fur trade could only function through “straight barter.” The modern Innu word for ten cents – pushkuatai, or “half a beaver skin” – and the Cree word for dollar – ahtay, or “beaver pelt” – further suggest that this was, indeed, money.28 Following the appearance of beaver money and the simultaneous construction of permanent trading posts, First Nations and merchants could begin to exchange goods against future promises to pay, recorded in the traders’ ledgers and, in principle, agreed upon by all parties to the transaction. Thus, this particular form of money, like forts, provided the fur trade with the infrastructure nec-

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Figure 3.1 Inuk trapper Lucassie Nowyakudluk and hbc clerk Victor Pearson make use of company tokens, in Inukjuak (Port Harrison), March 1959.

essary to develop an ongoing economic relationship between First Nations and international capital. On the relatively rare occasions that it circulated in physical form, beaver currency also visibly promoted the authority that issued it.29 Although the nwc drew its political and economic support from Montreal, the hbc had always derived its support from the metropole, as its royal charter and the identity of its investors made the company a representative of the British Empire in a way that differed substantially from the resolutely colonial nwc.30 Despite these differences, both companies traded with Indigenous peoples using beaver currency instead of either the British Empire’s standard money (the pound sterling) or the accounting currencies used in the North American colonies (Halifax or York currency). In some regions, hbc employees and First Nations continued to use this money in their dealings instead of either imperial or national cur-

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Figure 3.2 Hudson’s Bay Company ledger for Métabetchouan (Lake St John), 1847 and 1848. The account includes both the merchandise the Innu trapper Jerome purchased and the furs he sold, all of which the company accounted for in beaver money.

rencies well into the twentieth century. Despite their similar natures, the hbc’s made beaver was not identical to the nwc’s castor; the two currencies could only be used within the corporate network from which they originated. Furthermore, the vast majority of this money “circulated” in book form alone – that is, in company ledgers – and the hbc, at least, attempted to maintain a strict separation of accounts between its different posts and districts (figures 3.2 and 3.3). This meant that debits and credits calculated in beaver currency were tightly circumscribed within the relatively small geographic units in which each individual trading post was located rather than across the whole of the territory in which the company traded.31 The rare coins that the hbc issued make this clear in that they bear the name of the district in which they were to be used.32 At first glance,

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Figure 3.3 A list of debts owed on 1 June 1848 by Inuu trading at Métabetchouan (Lake St John) to the Hudson’s Bay Company. The company kept the accounts of the first two hunters in dollars and of the remaining Innu in beaver money.

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then, it might appear inappropriate to characterize the made beaver as a territorial monetary system. However, in spite of corporate attempts through both ledgers and physical currency to restrict the use of beaver money to single posts or within single districts, beaver money provided the hbc and First Nations with the abstract means through which to evaluate furs, merchandise, and labour throughout much of the territory over which the company exerted control. Thus, Indigenous trappers who were “attached” to a given post might decide to travel great distances in search of higher prices for their furs or lower prices for their provisions, all the while using the made beaver to complete their transactions.33 In this sense, beaver money was as much a territorial currency as those developed by colonies and nation-states across the globe through the late nineteenth century, in that it allowed the hbc to mark the regions it controlled through a unique and locally intelligible means of expressing value. The process by which beaver money gave way to the Canadian monetary system, then, represents more than the disappearance of a premodern curiosity. Rather, it underlines the process through which the liberal democratic state, over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, came to proclaim itself the legitimate institutional expression of national political community.34 It also suggests that the hbc and other chartered companies were central to the assertion of sovereignty by European crowns over much of the early modern and modern world.

the advent of large-scale colonization Nitassinan (“our land”) is the term the Innu use today to refer to their homeland, which covers a vast area of the subarctic in the provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador. Present-day ties among the eleven Innu communities, along with the ongoing struggle over land and resources, encourage a broad, though often provincially circumscribed, understanding of the region; historically, in contrast, local communities and the spaces they occupied were paramount. Early missionaries and fur traders recognized this and carefully distinguished between local communities. From the eighteenth century, though, outsiders increasingly employed the catchall term “Montagnais” when referring to any of the Indigenous peoples of the region. The Innu, for their part, continued to identify above all with local community, the

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territorial limits of which corresponded largely to the area drained by the major river system in which it was located. The massive freshwater lake Lac-Saint-Jean and the equally imposing Saguenay River into which it flows – currently known collectively as Saguenay-Lac-SaintJean – form the southwesternmost of these areas.35 Covering approximately 88,000 square kilometres, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean provided the easiest water route to the interior (as it does today) and therefore attracted the sustained efforts of missionaries and fur traders over several centuries. In the early nineteenth century, these efforts collided with settler society as it expanded from the southwest. By the 1820s and 1830s, Lower Canada’s colonization movement had begun looking to Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean as a source of fertile and unclaimed lands, thereby preventing the emigration of at least some of the province’s booming French-speaking population. As a result, the first wave of colonialism in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, which centred on exploitation of the region’s fur-bearing species by the Innu for sale to Euro-Canadian merchants, gave way to a second wave, characterized above all by settler colonization. French Canadians, primarily from the neighbouring Charlevoix region, began colonizing the shores of the Saguenay River in the late 1830s, before continuing on to the lands surrounding Lac-Saint-Jean in the 1850s. Beyond settlement, this second period of colonialism was also characterized by a focus on forestry, largely directed by extraregional capital, coupled with locally controlled subsistence agriculture. From the late 1830s, then, colonialism in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean led to the arrival and continued presence of a stationary Euro-Canadian population and to the creation of local markets in which agricultural produce, as well as furs and manufactured goods, exchanged hands.36 Much like the fur trade in the region, colonization along the Saguenay River began as a relatively large-scale profit-seeking enterprise. In 1838, twenty-one shareholders formed the Société de Vingt-et-Un to underwrite the founding of commercial logging in the region by a group of Euro-Canadian settlers. Four years later, after the shareholders had exhausted their funds, William Price purchased the sawmills that the colonists of the Vingt-et-Un had built on the Saguenay, thereby creating for himself a virtual monopoly on forestry operations in the region.37 Also in 1842, the hbc’s monopoly rights to the King’s Posts expired. Although the company renewed its lease, Lower Canadian authorities insisted on several important changes: while the hbc maintained exclusive rights to the region’s fur trade, the government

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officially opened Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean to colonization by providing the legal means for settlers to acquire title to lands that they had “improved.”38 Thus, by the early 1840s, the King’s Posts were no longer off limits to Euro-Canadian colonization. This change, in turn, led to a radical reworking of the political and economic climate of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. The transformation was largely the result of the ascendancy in the region of William Price and Company. By 1851, the approximately four thousand Euro-Canadians living along the banks of the Saguenay River depended on Price to varying degrees, whether for their income or for their tools and provisions. Much like the hbc, William Price and Company maintained a proprietary monetary system, issuing bills to a maximum value of £1 cy for use in paying wages and purchasing goods from the company’s stores.39 At midcentury, the lumber company and its competitors also sold provisions to their employees on credit, later deducting the amount from their wages. In other words, wage earners, like Indigenous hunter-trappers, found themselves locked into a cycle of nontransferable debt that diminished their access to more universally acceptable forms of cash. Price and Company reinforced this system by extending mortgages on its employees’ lots in exchange for credit at the company store. Despite not owning their lands outright, as a result of either having failed to pay the full purchase price or having occupied the lands illegally, forestry workers were thus doubly beholden to the company for which they worked.40 A state-commissioned report on the Saguenay region, written in 1850, asserted that timber companies were able to exercise this stranglehold on the local economy precisely because of a lack of public economic infrastructure (including state-issued currency): “The Saguenay colonist is in an exceptional situation. At a considerable distance from all markets, he cannot find in the lands he inhabitats any means of procuring the money he needs by the sale of his modest produce, if he has any.”41 By the middle years of the nineteenth century, then, the monetary system of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean was dominated by private currency, both physical and abstract, that circulated in two essentially sealed networks. Despite the two system’s similarities, the hbc’s money set itself apart in one very important way. While both helped to ensure that their users remained beholden to the corporation that maintained them, only beaver money served to mark the space in which it circulated and the population that made use of it in explicitly political terms. If Price and Company’s money

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indicated the employment status of its users, beaver currency helped trace the region within which the hbc exercised authority while at the same time contributing to the distinctions made in both the fur trade and broader colonial society between Indigenous peoples and Euro-Canadians. While such racialized distinctions would carry forward, the arrival of the colonial state changed notions of space and political authority, in the process shifting the way in which the British Crown claimed sovereignty over the region and the First Nations who resided there.

from beaver currency to the canadian dollar Despite the increasing importance of Price and Company to the region’s money supply, the hbc remained central to the monetary system used by First Nations. Between the seventeenth century and the 1840s, Innu hunter-trappers used beaver money at the handful of trading posts scattered throughout Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. From its acquisition of the lease to the King’s Posts through the end of the nineteenth century, the hbc operated a total of four posts in the region: Ashuapmouchouan, Chicoutimi, Métabetchouan (or Lake St John), and Pointe Bleue (Mashteuiatsh) (figure 3.4). As a result of internal competition within the hbc and, in the case of Chicoutimi, the massive influx of settlers, the first two posts rapidly lost importance to the Innu economy.42 Although Métabetchouan remained open until 1879, Mashteuiatsh quickly became the centre of the hbc’s operations in the region following its establishment in 1866.43 This final post owed its longevity (it would continue to operate through the middle of the twentieth century) to its location on the reserve at Pointe Bleue, which was convenient for the hbc’s Innu trading partners.44 During the whole of the nineteenth century, the fur trade in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, as in much of subarctic Canada, was predicated on two interlocking institutions: the annual cycle and the debt system.45 In idealized terms, Indigenous hunter-trappers arrived at the trading post in late summer and purchased, on credit denominated in beaver currency, the goods necessary to carry out their family’s winter hunt. At the beginning of the following summer, if not before, the individual who had received credit or a family member returned to the same post, selling the winter fur collection to the company to settle their debt. Ideally, each hunter-trapper would repay the entire amount

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Kilometres

Figure 3.4 Map of hbc posts in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean in the nineteenth century.

owed at the beginning of the summer, thus allowing the fur-trade company to turn a profit while maintaining the hunter-trapper’s access to credit.46 In practice, however, Indigenous hunter-trappers were rarely debt-free.47 This closed commercial relationship served the interests of fur-trading companies (and particularly the hbc) in two ways. First, through the use of a pure system of book credits and debits, the hbc stood to make a profit both on its fur purchases and on its sale of goods and provisions. Indeed, its post managers tended to charge higher prices for goods and pay lower prices for furs than their smaller competitors throughout the subarctic. In this sense, the hbc treated the goods it supplied its trading partners as unsecured loans, with the difference in market and company prices being equivalent to interest. Second, the hbc recognized that the use of freely circulating and universally accepted monetary instruments threatened its position, in that Indigenous huntertrappers holding cash might take their consumer business elsewhere.48

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However, because of the uncertain nature of hunts from one year to the next, the hbc was never able to impose a pure credit-for-furs system. If the company wished to prevent First Nations from turning to the competition while keeping them hunting for saleable furs rather than for survival, especially following poor years when a family’s returns alone would not permit that family to outfit for the following season, it was often forced to sell goods on credit. In spite of its dual desire to conduct trade using only abstract monetary means and to retain its clientele, the hbc frequently felt that the dangers of allowing its Indigenous clients to purchase merchandise on credit (unpaid debt and the corresponding drain on profitability) outweighed the benefits (increased profits resulting from a captive clientele).49 Due to the historic and contemporaneous French presence in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, the hbc referred to its money of account in the region as the castor rather than the made beaver.50 Although the company’s records are unclear, it would appear that at midcentury the Innu and the hbc traded at Métabetchouan based on a system of book debits and credits from which circulating media of exchange were absent. In spite of transactions that appear to be “pure barter,” the exchange of furs for provisions alongside the sale of furs toward the repayment of book debt suggests that the Innu and the hbc evaluated all exchange, regardless of its specific form, in monetary terms.51 Writing in 1857, David E. Price, the eldest son and a partner of William Price in addition to being the self-appointed Indian agent in SaguenayLac-Saint-Jean, noted that the hbc continued to use the castor at its Métabetchouan post. Through its accounting practices and this abstract currency, the company established creditor-debtor relations with its clientele, thereby encouraging the sale of furs and the purchase of merchandise.52 Price asserted that this system of carrying on its business allowed the hbc to fleece its Innu trading partners through the conscious manipulation of the value of its in-house currency. The Company here trade by “castors” which they change in value to suit their own purposes, from six pence to 2s. 6d., so that no one but the Clerk knows what he values them at; as for instance, one day a “castor” represents ¼ lb. of powder and next day 1 lb. The Indian sells his furs for so many castors, and more he gets the more value he fancies he has obtained for his furs, but as the value of the castor is changed to suit the Company’s purpose the poor Indian is “taken-in” without his being aware of it.53

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Price asserted that because the hbc alone accepted the castor, this system not only encouraged monopolistic exchange over its freemarket counterpart; it also prevented the Innu from learning to appreciate “real” money: “They do not know the value of money but in few instances.”54 This document underscores a shift in both the economic and political makeup of the region. Although Price’s vehement critique of the castor is somewhat ironic given his own company’s use of a closed monetary system, his ability to make this critique as the self-styled Indian agent underscores the hbc’s loss of political supremacy in the region. Indeed, prior to midcentury the position of Indian agent had not existed even in this informal sense, as the lessees of the King’s Posts wielded essentially unchallenged authority over Saguenay-LacSaint-Jean and its population.55 Price’s letter also points to this changing political climate by calling for the replacement of the castor by “money,” thereby explicitly questioning the hbc’s legitimacy in maintaining its own monetary system. Of course, this critique would have been impossible in the absence of a viable alternative. However, by the late 1850s, an infusion of state-issued cash had begun to alter the region’s money supply, making an economy based on public rather than private currency feasible for the first time. The availability of cash was largely the result of the arrival en masse of settlers, many of whom competed with the hbc by either trapping furs themselves or acting as middlemen.56 Unlike the situation in Rupert’s Land, the hbc did not possess a monopoly on exporting furs from Canada, which made the company’s operations in SaguenayLac-Saint-Jean vulnerable to both small and large competitors who could sell either to the merchant-furriers of Quebec City and Montreal or to the hbc itself.57 This competition, whether carried on by Euro-Canadian or Indigenous traders, most frequently operated as a sideline to other economic activities and therefore necessitated virtually no additional expenditure on the part of fur buyers.58 Furthermore, since the fur trade was not the primary industry in which such competitors were engaged, they did not seek profit in the same way as the hbc (on the sale of goods as well as on the purchase of furs). Rather than maintaining a network of stores, then, small traders paid for furs in cash, which the Innu were then free to spend wherever they saw fit. Such pressure irrevocably altered the hbc’s monetary regime. Unsurprisingly, this system first underwent complete transformation

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at Chicoutimi. By 1849, if not before, the post at Chicoutimi had begun keeping its books in provincial, or Halifax, currency, suggesting that state-backed money had replaced its private counterpart in the trade along the Saguenay.59 By the late 1850s, in accord with the general movement toward the use of decimal currency in the Canadas, the hbc had switched monetary notation once again at the post, this time in favour of the dollar system.60 The company’s post at Métabetchouan began accepting state-issued cash on a limited basis, apparently from Euro-Canadians alone, beginning in the mid-1840s.61 However, the post’s records do not clearly state the quantity of money or the specific use made of it by the hbc.62 While the company had begun occasionally making small cash payments at Métabetchouan by the second half of the 1850s, this money went only to EuroCanadians prior to the early 1860s.63 While the hbc recognized state-backed money as a threat to its standing in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean fur trade, and thus attempted to restrict its use for as long as possible, the Innu, also aware of money’s potential power, sought to increase their access to cash. Despite the hbc’s preeminent role in the region from the 1830s, Indigenous peoples actively contributed to the downfall of the castor monetary system. Their role is particularly obvious in the use of abstract accounting currency. Beginning in the mid-1840s, the hbc post at Métabetchouan kept Innu accounts either in castor or in provincial currency. The hunter-trappers appear to have decided themselves which money of account was used, as each individual’s sales and purchases were always recorded in the same units.64 Through the 1850s, the number of Innu trading in provincial currency slowly grew, until, by the beginning of the following decade, the hbc accounted for all of its business in the region in dollars.65 At this point the hbc began to pay the Innu significant amounts of cash, suggesting that in the context of increased competition, Indigenous hunter-trappers were able to demand payment in hard currency rather than book credit. In 1862, only two years after what was apparently the first monetary payment made to an Innu at Métabetchouan, Etienne Jourdain received thirty dollars from the hbc, or one-quarter of the annual total (in goods or in currency) earned by the average Innu hunter-trapper from the company.66 From the middle of the 1860s through at least the middle of the 1870s, the amount of money that an “average” Innu hunter-trapper might make annually from the hbc varied widely, but in general remained relatively small, ranging

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from slightly more than two dollars to thirteen dollars.67 However, once the outliers are removed from the data set, this “average” individual earned roughly eight dollars in cash annually, although this sum might double in a good year.68 This method of analysis obscures as much as it illuminates, though. For example, the higher average cash payments that the hbc made in 1872, when compared with other years during the early 1870s, was primarily due to several individuals receiving greater amounts in currency than in other years. The highest earner in 1872, Prospère Cleary, earned nearly twice as much in monetary payments as he did for the “outfits” (the hbc’s fiscal year) 1870, 1871, and 1873 combined.69 In addition to Cleary, three other Innu hunter-trappers (François Jourdain, Peter of Ashuapmouchouan, and Charles Carrot) made significantly more in cash payments in 1872 than in any other year. Despite such fluctuations in the amount of cash that the hbc paid its Innu trading partners during the third quarter of the nineteenth century, it is clear that monetary authority in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean had shifted from the hbc to the state. This interpretation is supported by evidence of Innu charitable donations made during the period, the amount of which suggests that they had access to far more cash than company records alone indicate. In 1858, shortly after state-issued cash had first appeared in the hbc trade on Lac-Saint-Jean (although at this time it was still restricted to non-Indigenous trappers), the Innu provided the visiting Oblate missionary with £127 cy with which to renovate the small chapel at Métabetchouan.70 This was anything but an insignificant amount, being over four times what an Innu hunter-trapper earned in cash and goods from the hbc in an “average” year at the time.71 Five years later, Flavien Durocher, the Oblate missionary most active among the LacSaint-Jean Innu during the nineteenth century, wrote concerning a hunter-trapper who had converted to Catholicism and sought literally to pay for his sins. “This good Antoine, the best hunter on the lake, the Benoni72 of the traders, wanted to redeem his sins by way of alms; when I made a collection for the chapel at the end of the Mission, he gave me, in banknotes, the sum of 30 dollars.”73 Moreover, Antoine was not alone; between 1860 and 1863, the “forty or fifty families of the lake” contributed more than $1,200 to the renovation of their chapel at Métabetchouan.74 In other words, each year from 1860 through 1863 the Innu provided the church roughly the equivalent of what they collectively earned in cash from the hbc, suggesting that their income included money from other sources as well.75

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The hbc’s resistance to the use of state-issued cash is also suggested by the continued use of local, informal debt – whether transferable or not. In addition to its official form (notes and coins), the Canadian dollar circulated as drafts and bons – that is, handwritten and signed notes acknowledging a monetary obligation on the part of the issuer to the holder.76 The hbc used this method of payment as it had traditionally used book debt to earn profit from both the purchase of furs and the sale of goods (drafts were accepted as payment only at company posts). However, the frequency with which the hbc issued circulating credit in the form of bons appears to have diminished during the period.77 At the same time, the company occasionally collaborated with William Price and Company, by then one of the hbc’s chief clients in the region, perhaps to prevent its Innu trading partners from using cash in transactions with the company’s rivals.78 Thus, at least during the 1860s and 1870s, private forms of transferable debt continued to provide the hbc with an effective means of limiting the Innu’s ability to conduct business elsewhere than at its posts. The hbc’s continued use of abstract, book-based money in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean also points to its resistance to state-issued cash, caused primarily by the profitability associated with the captive clientele typical of truck systems. Anything but improvident, the Innu were, in the words of their Indian agent, “honorable in paying their debts.”79 Nevertheless, the company had stopped extending credit at its Lac-Saint-Jean posts by the late 1870s. James Bissett, the hbc’s chief factor at Montreal, claimed that because the company no longer needed to underwrite unpaid advances, it could “afford to sell goods cheaper than when giving them out on credit.”80 Although this change in policy proved untenable, with the company having definitively abandoned it in the region by the end of the following decade, the hbc’s practice of refusing credit most likely played a part in the decision of certain Innu to employ cash when paying for a portion of the merchandise they purchased at Mashteuiatsh.81 However, such cash expenditure remained marginal, most likely because the Innu sought hard currency with which to make purchases from retailers who, unlike the hbc, did not deal in book credits/debits and therefore sold goods at lower prices. In the 1880s, the company’s managers realized that currency had become a permanent part of business with the Innu. From this point, the question changed from whether to use money to how best to control it.82 By the end of the decade, the hbc had once more begun

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extending credit to Innu hunter-trappers at Mashteuiatsh, going so far as to provide a portion in cash, something it had never previously done. In 1890, the inspector for the hbc’s Saguenay District described the potentially hazardous outcome of this system. He argued that cash advances to the Innu constituted a very real risk to the company’s bottom line, “especially in this District where such inducements are held out [by competitors] to Indians to be dishonest.” However, he agreed with the post manager at Mashteuiatsh who felt that “the effect of abolishing all cash advances to Indians would be disastrous, and I have no doubt that to a certain extent he is right, as they are bound to have cash, and if not supplied will keep back furs to obtain it from others.”83 This policy was clearly directed at securing Innu trade in what was proving to be a particularly challenging environment for the company. By the 1890s, colonization on the shores of Lac-Saint-Jean had significantly increased the size of the region’s Euro-Canadian population. The growth of towns in the immediate vicinity of Mashteuiatsh created new outlets for the sale of furs, apparently raising prices and injecting large amounts of money into the Innu economy.84 At the same time, retailers in these towns proved eager to sell merchandise to hunter-trappers in exchange for cash. In 1898, J.B. Ross, an hbc employee in the Saguenay District, informed the company’s Pointe Bleue manager that “the Indians on their way to this Post dispose of a great many furs for cash to the storekeepers.”85 The hbc responded to its local cash-paying competition by dramatically increasing the amount of currency it employed when purchasing furs from the Innu. On May 31, 1901 alone, the hbc post at Pointe Bleue paid Innu hunter-trappers at least $255.32 in cash (and perhaps as much as $389.14).86 The wide-scale colonization of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean altered the monetary landscape by introducing new trading partners and currencies while pushing the hbc to retreat in the face of a booming settler population. As a result, the Innu integrated their economic activity into the networks imported and created by their new Euro-Canadian neighbours, in the process diminishing the economic and political power of the hbc. The slow creation of infrastructure – the markets and roads that were still largely lacking at midcentury – brought about changes in the region’s monetary system. By the end of the nineteenth century, the Innu had free access to the Canadian dollar,

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in both its physical and abstract forms, making use of it with the hbc as well as with the company’s competitors. As a result, they were no longer beholden to the company in the same way as they had previously been, thereby gaining at least a measure of economic and political autonomy. However, during the same period that the hbc’s hold on Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and the Innu slipped, the state, primarily through the Department of Indian Affairs, became increasingly involved in the everyday lives of the Innu through the creation of reserves and the introduction of band councils.87 Thus, the shift from one monetary regime to another underscores the changing ways in which the British Empire and the young Dominion of Canada managed the territory to which they laid claim and its inhabitants, making it clear that the hbc, like chartered trading companies elsewhere, acted as an agent of empire. Moreover, this shift also points to the problematic nature of the present-day assertion of state sovereignty over Indigenous peoples, in particular in the province of Quebec. Indeed, whereas certain authors, adopting the position developed by the state since the eighteenth century, assert the absence of Aboriginal title to Quebec as a result of pre-conquest French policy, such claims mask far more complicated historical processes of state formation and the establishment of territorial control typified by the changing monetary system in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean.88 As settlers moved into Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, they brought Halifax currency and ultimately the Canadian dollar with them. The federal and provincial states followed in their wake. Neighbouring Indigenous peoples who neither received treaty annuities from the state nor lived in close proximity to Euro-Canadian colonization continued to use the made beaver well after the Innu had begun employing the dollar.89 In this sense, an analysis of money provides insight into the diverse ways in which Europeans and their descendants exercised control over vast areas of northern North America. Whereas settler colonialism in the St Lawrence Valley and the lower Great Lakes had long pushed First Nations to the economic and political periphery, the Innu constituted Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean’s predominant population through the middle of the nineteenth century. Moreover, prior to this point, the state had held relatively little sway in the region as the hbc occupied political centre stage through its control of networks of exchange and its maintenance of several state-like institutions. Despite the hbc’s preponderant role, First Nations, in collaboration with their Euro-Canadian neighbours, proved capable of

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overturning the company’s monetary regime, thereby loosening the grip fur traders had over their daily life. Of course, in replacing fur-trade money, the arrival of Canadian currency also contributed to the process through which the region came to be identified with southern polities rather than overseas commercial and political empire. To the Innu consciously deciding to embrace new monetary forms, though, this was not a story of impending doom at the hands of the state but rather one of lessening the hbc’s political power while reaching for new economic opportunities. However, as we will see in chapter 5, the state’s arrival undermined the Innu’s ability to realize the benefits these opportunities promised. Indeed, at exactly the same time as southern currency replaced the castor, the state rejected calls to recognize Innu rights to lands and resources through treaty (and the annuities that would have accompanied it), offering institutionalized, in-kind relief instead. In Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, as elsewhere, officials saw only “improvident Indians.” The Innu, though, failed to fit the image. They were not alone. The western James Bay Cree also sought improved economic conditions for themselves in ways that entirely failed to correspond to official expectations. It is to their work to end beaver currency and the ramifications of their success that we now turn.

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4 Treaty Money: A Symbol of Sovereignty in Western James Bay

In subarctic Ontario, as in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, state-backed money replaced beaver currency. It did so, however, at a different historical moment – the beginning of the twentieth century – and as a result of different external pressures: a well-funded and extremely ambitious commercial rival and the annual cash payments guaranteed by Treaty 9. Though the hbc effectively enjoyed powers in James Bay at the turn of the century similar to those it had held in Saguenay-LacSaint-Jean in the 1830s, the company’s legal status in the two spaces differed considerably. When, in 1870, Canada purchased the hbc’s title to Rupert’s Land (the region drained by rivers flowing into Hudson or James Bay), it simultaneously assumed the company’s claims to sovereignty over all of James Bay. By the end of the following decade, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and Parliament in London recognized Ontario’s claims to the western side of the bay south of the English and Albany Rivers.1 By 1900, then, Moose Factory lay well within the bounds of not only the Dominion of Canada but also the province of Ontario. Despite this, residents of James Bay maintained a markedly different “geographic imaginary,” thinking of the region as entirely separate from Canada. Indeed, as late as the 1910s, many who lived there continued to speak of “going to Canada” whenever they or anyone else headed south.2 Moreover, neither the provincial nor the federal government exercised much obvious day-to-day authority on the ground in the decades that followed. This allowed the hbc to continue administering its operations almost entirely as it had done for centuries, even if it now also served as intermediary between James Bay’s inhabitants and the southern state that claimed sovereignty over the region.

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During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Canadian fur trade boomed as Canadian, American, and European capital, taking advantage of developments in technology and infrastructure, financed the activities of new actors entering the Canadian North to meet growing demand for luxury furs in northwestern Europe and North America.3 The French furrier Revillon Frères was the most important of these newcomers to James Bay, although numerous independent fur buyers also altered the region’s trade. The resulting fierce competition drove up prices paid to Indigenous trappers while encouraging the spread of cash. hbc executives responded through policies directed at dictating the terms by which their subordinates would employ cash, credit, and direct exchange. With the company’s market share under threat, its upper management, once again perceiving in unpaid debt a major drain on profitability, attempted to force as much of the company’s business as possible into “straight barter.” However, this policy proved unsuccessful and the hbc, having abandoned its attempts to control the fur trade through abstract money, found itself unable to restrict the use of the Canadian dollar as an abstract measure of value and, increasingly, as a physical medium of exchange. At the same time, the state’s posture in turn-of-the-century James Bay contrasted sharply with its earlier involvement in Saguenay-LacSaint-Jean. Whereas a wave of settler colonialism carried it into the latter region as a growing population of European descent cast about for “new” lands, the state purposefully worked to establish itself in western James Bay long before the arrival of any large non-Indigenous population. This distinction largely explains the different monetary trajectories of the two regions. In the context of eastern James Bay, a close neighbour to far northern Ontario, Toby Morantz argues that colonialism from the late nineteenth through the middle of the twentieth century is best understood as being bureaucratic in nature.4 Given the absence of any significant settler population, this makes sense, though one might just as accurately consider the region a theatre of “resource colonialism” or “fur-trade colonialism.” Though Canada alongside Quebec and Ontario formally exercised jurisdiction over James Bay, the state most often neglected the region and its inhabitants, focusing far more attention on densely populated areas in the south. When they did focus on far northern Ontario, both the provincial and federal governments concentrated on resource extraction. This focus may well have contributed to the state’s willingness to

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leave the hbc effectively in charge of the region’s day-to-day management, as it had been exploiting natural resources there for centuries. In this context, the money introduced under Treaty 9 in 1905 rendered Canadian sovereignty visible in western James Bay for the first time. Here, then, the state played a far more proactive role in the process of currency replacement than in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. After summarizing money use in western James Bay in the late nineteenth century, this chapter concentrates on the major changes experienced in the fur trade during the first years of the twentieth century and their effects on money use. It then turns to an analysis of the state’s veiled presence prior to 1905 and its symbolic arrival under Treaty 9. The chapter concludes by underlining the hbc’s institutional centrality in western James Bay well after this moment when the state had theoretically supplanted it.

money at the turn of the twentieth century In 1900, James Bay’s monetary system closely resembled that of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean in the early nineteenth century, in that the Cree expressed market value when dealing with non-Indigenous entities such as the hbc and the Anglican Church in terms of beaver currency. They most often did so through hbc ledgers, approximating earlier practice in cash-poor southern Canada. Along with the tokens the company circulated, its books provided a means of payment for transactions between the Cree and the church in which the hbc was not directly involved. In this instance, the hbc provided the same service that generations of settler merchants had done farther south: that is, it used its ledgers to square credits and debits between Cree and clergymen for transactions in which the company was not directly involved. In 1859, John Horden, the Anglican bishop of Moosonee, printed a syllabic version of the Gospels at Moose Factory; years later he reported having charged, almost certainly through the hbc’s ledgers, “two shillings each, a little less than one beaver skin,” using “the money thus raised” to purchase paper for the following year’s print run.5 Sophia Newnham, whose brother succeeded Horden as bishop from 1893 to 1903, observed Cree monetary donations to the Church of England at Moose Factory, recalling those made by the Innu to the Catholic Church in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean several decades before. According to Newnham, one woman “had just earned

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four beaver by extra hard work at the Factory, and of this she put a paper for half beaver into the plate.”6 As elsewhere, the made beaver provided the hbc significant force in dealing with its Indigenous trading partners, tying their economic well-being to this symbol of the company’s effective if not necessarily official political authority.7 Though made beaver coins and notes circulated in hbc-controlled territory into the twentieth century, post employees and hunter-trappers most often used the currency in its abstract form, accounting for both the vast majority of sales on credit and the marginal “straight barter” transactions in made beaver.8 This explains the failure of many visitors to recognize trade in the region as monetary at all. While an Ontario magistrate claimed in 1890 that the Cree had “very little idea of the value of money or currency,” sixteen years later a high-ranking Indian Affairs official argued that trade in far northern Ontario “had been heretofore limited to computation with sticks and skins.”9 The region’s Euro-Canadian residents disagreed, however, recognizing sophisticated Indigenous money use. In 1891, the hbc’s inspector for James Bay argued that even if the Cree had no access to state-backed cash, “the money they can earn by work at Moose during the summer months” explained their refusal to travel to more southerly posts such as Abitibi where the Canadian dollar circulated widely.10 Such use underscores the made beaver’s territorial nature and the hbc’s central role in monetary relations in James Bay. As the state involved itself by way of the dollar in all transactions to the south, the company did the same in the north through its account books. The hbc’s restrictions on Canadian money use were also critical in maintaining the company’s political authority. When conducting business with non-Indigenous partners, it used cash, letters of credit, and personal cheques drawn on European or southern Canadian banks, denominated in pounds sterling or dollars. The hbc treated these methods of payment as book credit, supplying goods to a maximum of the amount for which the letter or cheque was made while only accepting state-backed cash at its two sales shops in western James Bay (Fort Albany and Moose Factory).11 Regardless of the form in which it received payment, the hbc seems to have never provided change for any unspent amount. In fact, it only distributed cash in instances where individuals were en route out of the region. In June 1902, the hbc eliminated twelve Moose Factory servants from its payroll in order to lower the post’s expenses. However, the company’s James Bay

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district manager, George McKenzie, predicted that because these men were “deeply in debt to the Company ... on arrival at the front [the railway, they] will find themselves totally destitute.” Several months earlier, in anticipation of their dismissal, McKenzie had suggested the following solution: “give each party say a ten Dollar Bill as a bonus. Even this would be a saving in order to get rid of them.”12 hbc staff, then, did not object to providing state-backed cash as long as it circulated beyond the bounds of the district. Within James Bay, non-Indigenous payment in British or Canadian currency did not trouble the hbc, either, since it could be converted into book credit. Visitors did not complain, because the hbc offered the only site of commercial consumption in the region and, at least among Euro-Canadians, credit was readily transferable between the company’s posts. This closed commercial circuit allowed the hbc to dictate restrictive trading terms even to those holding hard currency, while reinforcing the spatial dimension of its unofficial authority in the process. Yet the company’s attempts to prevent the circulation of non-beaver currency were never entirely successful. The Cree managed to gain access to a certain amount of cash originating primarily from two sources: small independent traders active on the edge of the region (generally along the railway) and hbc posts in these same peripheral areas that, given the much larger Euro-Canadian population, were unable to control the money supply.13 By the turn of the twentieth century, the railroad offered the Cree a relatively accessible trade alternative.14 In far northern Ontario, as across much of the subarctic, this trade meant heightened competition between fur buyers on the one hand and retailers on the other, as well as generalized use of the Canadian dollar.15 At the time, hbc management was well aware of the threat that widespread use of the dollar posed to Moose Factory’s business and generally attempted to prevent its trading partners from travelling south by making the price of furs and merchandise at Moose Factory “approximate that at the line.”16 However important territorial concerns may have been to the hbc, managers were sometimes led to ignore them in favour of the bottom line. In 1901, Alex Milne, the hbc’s inspector for its Southern Department, wrote, “Three trusted Servants of the Company have been of recent years under instructions to, quietly as if for themselves, buy up odd furs held by the Indians with the purpose of sending or taking them inland. Last Outfit 25 Otters at $8.00, 1 Fisher $5.00 and 1 Bear $5.00 were secured in this way.”17 It is impossible to determine

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whether the men purchased these furs using Canadian currency or hbc coin.18 It seems likely, however, that the Cree earned dollars in this case, as this form of payment would have enhanced the illicit appearance of the sales, as required by the scheme. Whatever the case, the small amounts paid here would have had only a marginal influence on Cree access to Canadian currency.19 The hbc also offered significantly greater amounts of Canadian currency, at least to a handful of Moose Factory’s best hunter-trappers. Not the result of external competition or company policy aimed at buying furs on the “black market,” this cash came from fur purchases at a neighbouring post. Although initially reluctant to do so, the hbc had been buying furs with Canadian dollars at its Montreal Department post on Lake Abitibi since at least the late 1880s.20 In 1901, Milne suggested overcoming competition within the company by using currency to purchase furs at Moose Factory, “the profit to be sought on the goods rather than on the furs.” He pointed to the negative effects that the refusal to employ cash had already had and might have in the future. Though other Cree may very well have made the switch at an earlier date, Milne reported that “one of the two best hunters appears to have gone to Abitibi Post last year, attracted by the cash tariff there, and the other, it is feared, may follow his example this winter.”21 If the hbc had already been forced to jettison beaver currency in places along the “line,” like Mashteuiatsh and Abitibi, upper management had no intention of doing so farther north. Developments in the years immediately following Milne’s report, though, gave the company little choice as the dissolution of its monopoly put an end to beaver currency in western James Bay and then treaty payments forced the company to give up on the project of returning to a cashless trade.

competition and the end of beaver currency At the turn of the twentieth century, Revillon Frères, a centuries-old furrier looking to lower its costs, began purchasing pelts directly from Indigenous peoples across the Canadian subarctic and arctic. The French company first established itself in western James Bay in the summer of 1902, adjacent to the hbc post at the mouth of the Moose River.22 This competition, which would continue through the 1930s, did far more to threaten the hbc’s bottom line at Moose Factory than

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the trade to the south that had until then preoccupied management.23 Revillon Frères’s initial inability to stock its post with trade goods also led to the replacement of the made beaver by the Canadian dollar in the region. The few Revillon employees who established operations on the Moose River in 1902 had come overland rather than by sea. They built a temporary trading post while awaiting the delivery of building materials, supplies, and staff scheduled to arrive the following summer. In 1903, though, the company’s supply ship ran aground near Fort George, causing the loss of all provisions aboard and leading its crew and the additional Revillon staff it carried to travel out of the region via the Moose and Abitibi Rivers just before the onset of winter.24 From July 1902 until the summer of 1904, then, the French company relied solely on canoes to convey people and goods to the region. As a result, Revillon Frères did not have adequate supplies to support even its own employees, much less trade with the Cree.25 McKenzie, the hbc’s district manager, hoped to turn this situation to his company’s advantage. Shortly after the French traders arrived at Moose Factory, he instructed the company’s manager there to refuse cash payments from them: “If any of the opposing party should appear near or at your Post you will not give them any assistance whatever either by selling them provisions or selling to their men for cash. Provisions are not to be supplied at any figure.”26 McKenzie also informed Revillon Frères that they could not hold the hbc responsible if any employees were to die of starvation.27 This official stance, however, appears to have been more or less ignored on the ground. From 1 June 1901 to 31 May 1902, the hbc sold goods for a total of $807.47 in cash at its Moose Factory sales shop, maintained solely for its Euro-Canadian clientele.28 During the next two years – precisely the period in which Revillon Frères proved unable to supply its post on the Moose River – the hbc’s Moose Factory cash sales grew significantly, to $2,426.97 in 1902–03 and then to $3,241.03 in 1903–04. The following year, the first in which Revillon Frères managed to supply its post’s needs in provisions and trade goods, hbc cash sales returned to 1901–02 levels ($819.05).29 Coupled with data from nearby hbc posts that lacked Revillon presence, the purchase of provisions by the French company would appear to be the sole cause of the increased cash sales at Moose Factory.30 This, in turn, explains the massive decrease in such sales in 1904–05. Once Revillon Frères could support its employees and its business using trade goods alone, the hbc lost

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the only customer from which it accepted sizable cash payments, since it had not altered its policy of using book credits and debits alone with the Cree. Though its cash business declined sharply, the hbc had abandoned beaver currency at Moose Factory by 1904–05. Prior to Revillon Frères’ arrival, the hbc and the Cree used only made beaver in their mutual transactions, but the post’s records make it clear that the dollar had taken its place by the winter of 1903–04, even if the Cree word ahtay (“beaver pelt”), used to refer to the dollar, continued to bear witness to the earlier system.31 This abrupt change resembles the slower move from beaver currency to the pound and, later, the dollar in midnineteenth-century Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. In both regions, local familiarity with southern currency pushed the hbc to adopt a monetary unit used beyond its own posts, aligning the everyday language of value with that used elsewhere. Revillon Frères’s use of dollars and cents, then, challenged the hbc’s dominance of the fur trade, the centrality of its currency to setting the terms of exchange and the expression of value, and its ability to define James Bay in symbolic terms as lying outside the bounds of the nation-state to the south. Though beaver currency gave way in the face of Revillons Frères’s use of the dollar, hbc staff discounted in letters to upper management the newcomers’ chances of capturing any significant part of the fur market owing to their lack of merchandise.32 However, post journals and correspondence with colleagues at nearby posts demonstrate that such claims amounted to misrepresentation. Indeed, within weeks of the French company’s arrival, hbc staff in James Bay were well aware that Revillon was paying for Cree furs and labour in cash.33 By early 1903, at least some of these men were genuinely concerned about the challenge posed by Revillon Frères. In January, McKenzie warned the hbc manager at Abitibi, “I understand that Mr. Loudin our opponent is going down your way on his way out you better pick up all furs as soon as you can as he is paying all sorts of outrageous prices and of course would get the furs if there are any to get.”34 It seems clear that many Cree profited handsomely. Indeed, according to the Anglican missionary based at Fort Albany from 1899, the Cree took advantage of Revillon Frères’s supply difficulties in order to charge them “Parisian prices for fish and game.”35 Despite hbc claims to the contrary, the Cree viewed accepting cash in exchange for furs, fish, meat, and other “country provisions” as advantageous. Indeed, the hbc’s claims were entirely disingenuous, as its staff launched a cash fur-

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buying program to combat Revillon at Moose Factory at precisely this time, paying $136.25 in 1903 and $296.65 the following year.36 Like the Innu before them and, indeed, like the hbc itself, Cree huntertrappers understood the potential power of money, seeking to use it to transform their relationship with the region’s dominant economic and political actor. However, the fur trade on its own failed to provide a durable means of accomplishing this in western James Bay. Once Revillon Frères managed to supply its post with sufficient merchandise in the summer of 1904, it adopted the hbc’s cash-free system of book credits and trade goods. Still, this return to fur-trade orthodoxy at Moose Factory would prove fleeting.

treaty 9 and the continued centrality of the hudson’s bay company Prior to 1905, the state, though present, was more or less invisible on the ground in James Bay. Canada formally asserted sovereignty over the region in July 1870, a year after it purchased the hbc’s claims to Rupert’s Land for £300,000. Two years later, it began collecting duties on goods imported at Moose Factory.37 In that year (1873–74), the federal government gathered $2,332.80 (4 per cent of the estimated total value of goods imported: $58,320).38 Writing in 1890, Ontario magistrate E.B. Borron estimated that in their first ten years of activity, federal authorities had raised at least $100,000 “at the port of Moose Factory alone.” He claimed that if one added imports at Moose Factory to those made through Montreal for Abitibi, Mattagami, and Missinaibi (posts on the “line” at which many Cree traded), it became clear that between 1867 and 1890 Canada had collected not “less, I am inclined to think, than $200,000, and possibly a quarter of a million dollars.” Despite such impressive sums, “amounting on an average to at least ten dollars per annum each family,” Borron claimed that Canada had spent nothing for the benefit of the Cree, Ojibwe, and Algonquin, “whether for public works, postal facilities, support of schools, missions, medical attendance, or in any other form or way calculated to advance their comfort and welfare. In fact their closer connection with the Dominion of Canada, so far from resulting in any benefit to them, has been an unmitigated evil.”39 Though First Nations would have definitely noticed higher prices for goods at hbc posts, they would not necessarily have been aware of their connection to federal taxation.

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For its part, the state demonstrated only passing knowledge of the Cree prior to 1905. Though both provincial and federal efforts produced voluminous reports on James and Hudson Bays in the late nineteenth century, these documents focused resolutely on geology and geography, generally dedicating only a phrase here and there to Indigenous peoples.40 Beginning in 1872, the Department of Indian Affairs claimed that 420 Cree traded at Moose Factory each year. It never noted the source of this figure and never once changed it before removing Moose Factory from its published population tables in 1883.41 In 1902, as federal bureaucrats undertook initial preparations for what would become Treaty 9, Indian Affairs asked the hbc and the Church of England to supply it with accurate Indigenous population statistics since it effectively had no data of its own.42 As we will see, the company in particular remained central to treaty preparations and signature and, indeed, to Indigenous-state relations in western James Bay through the first half of the twentieth century. Symbolically, however, the hbc ceded its unofficial political authority in 1905. In that year, several Cree and Ojibwe communities in far northern Ontario signed Treaty 9 with the federal and provincial governments. In contrast to the “settlement treaties” (numbers 1 through 7) that Canada had signed with western First Nations between 1870 and 1877, thereby claiming title to a huge area stretching from northwestern Ontario through the southern half of what would become the three Prairie Provinces, Treaty 9 was what some historians have termed a “northern resource development” treaty.43 This terminology reflects the logic of federal and provincial authorities as they worked to secure the agreement rather than that of the Cree and Ojibwe, who seem to have been motivated by other factors. A 1901 petition purportedly from the Ojibwe trading at Osnaburgh (Mishkeegogamang), though written and signed only by an hbc clerk, asked that they receive annuities like those paid to neighbouring First Nations under the Robinson-Superior Treaty and Treaties 3 and 5. Though unable to confirm this conclusively from the documentary record, historian John Long finds it likely that a number of Ojibwe had been requesting material assistance from the hbc for some time, that they would have welcomed annuities, and that they ultimately came to interpret Treaty 9 as providing protection and precisely this sort of help. The 1901 petition, though, would seem to have been a product as much of the clerk’s interest both in selling goods as an

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employee of the hbc and in pursuing mining on his own account as of any desire on the part of the Ojibwe to enter treaty. Indeed, Long argues that the men whose names (without signatures) appear on the petition probably did not understand the legal effects that a title transfer through treaty would have.44 This lack of understanding would continue even as federal and provincial commisioners presented the treaty for signature. Though the historical record offers little indication of how these men explained the treaty’s terms, the diary of Samuel Stewart, one of the federal commissioners, clearly highlights the Indigenous confusion about the treaty’s effects. At Fort Hope (Eabametoong), Stewart wrote, “It required some time to convince them that there was not something behind the terms of the agreement set forth in the treaty, for as Moonias, one of the principal men of the band stated, they were not giving up very much for what they were to receive, and it had never been his experience to receive something for nothing.” While the Catholic missionary then “fully explained” to the Ojibwe “the nature of the treaty, and the reasons for asking them to surrender the title to their unused lands,” this explanation may have been anything but clear and precise.45 Indeed, as D.C. Scott, the other federal commissioner, would write of the First Nations signatories a year later, “What could they grasp of the pronouncement on the Indian tenure which has been delivered by the law lords of the Crown … ?” Scott’s response was brutally simple: “Nothing. So there was no basis for argument. The simpler facts had to be stated, and the parental idea developed that the King is the great father of the Indians, watchful over their interests, and ever compassionate.”46 Indigenous calls for assistance, then, were not front and centre in the minds of the treaty party. Instead, the commissioners were preoccupied with the material interest that both Ontario and Canada had in securing an agreement, including guaranteed access to natural resources and rights of way for the projected National Transcontinental Railway. From all appearances, those who only months before had brokered the federal-provincial deal that led to the treaty held similar priorities.47 Together, Ontario and Canada assembled a team of negotiators who boarded a train from Ottawa in late June 1905, embarking on a trip that would last two and a half months and see them sign Treaty 9 at seven locations in the province’s far north, providing direct monetary payments to 1,617 individual Cree and Ojibwe. In forming the treaty

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party, these men – one provincial and two federal commissioners – were joined by several Indigenous boatmen, two dominion police officers, a medical doctor, and the hbc’s chief trader. After signing the treaty with four Ojibwe and one Cree community along the English River, the party worked its way down the coast of James Bay before arriving at Moose Factory on 8 August. The next day, the group along with the Anglican bishop and the local hbc manager met Cree representatives to discuss and sign the treaty.48 On 10 August, the commissioners both began and “rapidly completed” the payment of a onetime eight-dollar gratuity, to be followed every year thereafter by a four-dollar annuity, to each “Indian” member of the community.49 Extending Euro-Canadian gender norms and notions of responsibility to the subarctic, commissioners paid gratuities or annuities to the male head of household whenever possible rather than to individual family members. Regardless of the money Revillon Frères and others exchanged for furs, these payments provided the first substantial and regular influx of Canadian cash into western James Bay. They immediately and definitively pushed the hbc to abandon its policy of refusing both to accept and to supply Canadian currency. Though impossible to trace in detail, it seems certain that the 337 Moose Factory Cree used the $2,696 they received from the commissioners on 10 August 1905 in a variety of ways.50 If they had spent all of this money at the hbc post, cash sales at Moose Factory in 1905–06 would have risen to approximately $3,500.51 This did not happen, as the post made cash sales that year of slightly less than $2,000. Assuming that non-Indigenous clients spent roughly the same amount in 1905–06 as in years past, this figure suggests that the Cree spent only between $1,100 and $1,200, or 40 per cent to 44 per cent of the total gratuity payment, at the hbc post.52 It seems probable that they spent a similar sum at the then fully stocked Revillon Frères post, leaving as much as $500 unspent. The Cree almost certainly donated a substantial portion of these funds to the church.53 Finally, though observers elsewhere, subscribing to the notion (by that time ubiquitous) of Indigenous improvidence, claimed that First Nations spent the entirety of treaty payments immediately, often on what Euro-Canadians considered luxury goods, the Cree must have saved a certain amount for future use, whether at Moose Factory or along the railway.54 If we assume that in the five years following treaty Euro-Canadians continued to spend at pre-1905 levels, the Cree would have used anywhere

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from 60 per cent to 180 per cent of their annuities at the post, suggesting they most likely saved a certain amount from year to year while also earning money from other sources.55 The importance of cash in James Bay was never purely economic, though. Treaty commissioners supplied money in 1905 alongside other material goods – suits of clothes for the chiefs, the Union Jack (to be displayed when hosting important outsiders) – that together marked far northern Ontario as belonging to Canada. Money circulated daily, spreading the iconographic, scriptural, and textual symbolism developed by banks and the state over the preceding century and providing perhaps the most banal means through which Canada laid claim to space. Scott, one of the 1905 treaty commissioners, informed readers of Scribner’s Magazine that the treaty party transported by canoe “the treasure-chest which was heavy with thirty thousand dollars in small notes.” The commissioners used this impressive amount of “new crisp notes” to pay gratuities in 1905.56 The emphasis Scott places on notes being new would be echoed in comments made by treaty commissioners working both at a later date and elsewhere in Canada, underscoring money’s symbolic importance.57 In 1936, for example, Indian Affairs reported, “On the Treaty Nine trip $17,000 in crisp new bills is provided by the Government. New bills are taken because they pack easier and also because they will constitute a large proportion of the money in circulation in the territory for the next year.”58 Treaty money also functioned to mark the Indigenous peoples who received it as innocent and in need of the state’s guidance. The 1905 commissioners claimed that many Indigenous peoples in far northern Ontario had no experience handling paper currency. In doing so, they underscored both Cree and Ojibwe marginality and what they saw as the important work the treaty party performed in introducing Indigenous peoples to self-evident southern norms. In his published account, Scott – almost certainly giving in to a penchant for dramatization – claimed that treaty payments represented the moment when “The majority of Indians had touched paper money for the first time ... They had been paid in Dominion notes of the value of one dollar and two dollars, and several times the paymasters had received deputations of honest Indians who thought they had received more in eight ones than some of their fellows had in four twos.”59 Though Scott seems to be referring to Osnaburgh (Mishkeegogamang), Ontario commissioner D.G. MacMartin recounts a remarkably similar occurrence at Fort Hope (Eabametoong): “one or two” Ojibwe,

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after studying the bills comprising their treaty payments, “returned the money thinking that they had not received their just due, not being able to distinguish between one and two dollar bills, but in every instance it was found to be correct and they turned away perfectly satisfied.”60 The commissioners’ account of these brief exchanges portrayed the gulf that supposedly separated northern First Nations from southern Euro-Canadians, adding force to the state’s claims to sovereignty in the subarctic. While these events may well have occurred, the very same documents suggest over and over again that the commissioners exaggerated and perhaps even fabricated Cree and Ojibwe ignorance of money. These documents relate the reactions of each First Nation to treaty payments. The official treaty report records that Missabay, later chosen by the Ojibwe at Osnaburgh as their first treaty chief, announced the community’s decision to sign the treaty, commenting that “the money they would receive would be of great benefit to them.”61 Samuel Stewart wrote a week later that several Ojibwe at Fort Hope “spoke expressing their pleasure that they were to receive annuity money.”62 At Marten Falls, Stewart noted the Ojibwe received treaty money “with gratitude”; at English River, he claimed payment “was done much to the gratification of the Ind[ian]s who were evidently in much need of the supplies which the money given them enabled them to purchase.”63 When recounting a meeting with Albany Cree on their way down the English River, Stewart claimed, “They were anxious to get the money.”64 Finally, according to the official treaty report, George Teppaise told the commissioners at Moose Factory that the Cree “were thankful that the King had remembered them, and that the Indians were to receive money, which was very much needed by many who were poor and sick.”65 If these statements suggest a general understanding of the benefits associated with money, they also belabour the welcome with which the Cree and Ojibwe greeted these payments, the men who made them, and the state they represented. In the years and decades that followed, one- and two-dollar bills and the annual ceremony at which officials distributed them continually circulated such claims in western James Bay even as the state and its institutions and programs remained distant from day-to-day life. Rather than remaking the region through imported institutions and new settlements, the state grafted its administrative and symbolic order onto the hbc’s preexisting commercial infrastructure, making it appear to the Cree that little had changed in their relations with the outside

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world. Since the late seventeenth century, fur traders in western James Bay had recognized a distinction between “Homeguard” and Inland Cree, initially based on the proximity to a given coastal trading post of each group’s home territory, a distinction that, by all accounts, the Cree recognized as well. The Homeguard spent most of the year close to the coast and, as the fur trade took root, performed increasing amounts of labour at and around posts while provisioning hbc personnel, missionaries, and others with the fish and game necessary for survival.66 Inlanders also visited hbc posts, though less frequently because their territory lay much farther away and they drew less of their sustenance from trade. Both groups met at the post at key moments in the year – on New Year’s Eve and, especially, for several weeks each summer – maintaining social bonds across a vast territory. Although many Cree continued to spend the majority of the year in the bush through the mid-twentieth century, treaty payments helped reinforce Moose Factory’s role as the centre of gravity around which the Cree’s annual cycle turned. Prior to Treaty 9, Indigenous peoples living in far northern Ontario had possessed greater control over their movements in that if their economic well-being favoured it, they could change the post at which they conducted their business, or they might remain in the bush for several years without returning to the post. Indeed, the state’s recognition from 1906 of Crees at Chapleau and Missanabie – both groups having moved to trade at the railway – makes this clear. It also underscores the importance of annuity payments in limiting Indigenous mobility. To receive payment, every beneficiary needed to return to the same post each year with his and his family’s identification in hand. Thus, treaty annuities tightened the relationship between individual Cree, their communities, and the trading post while also underwriting the hbc’s continued profitability in the region. The company played an active role in this process. As officials began preparing for treaty in 1904–05, hbc management organized much of the necessary logistical support for the commissioners’ travel. In doing so, the company reserved for itself the profits generated by supplying the treaty party while ensuring that “negotiations” and payments would take place immediately adjacent to its posts and under the watchful eye of its local managers.67 This assistance was designed to funnel an important portion of treaty money directly to hbc stores. Though the company forfeited some symbolic authority in 1905, it ultimately reinforced its power over the daily lives of the Cree in western James Bay through Treaty 9.

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This reinforced power is apparent in the relationship the Department of Indian Affairs had with First Nations. Though this relationship officially began with the signature of Treaty 9 in 1905, the department did not station its first agent in the region, Dr B.H. Hamilton, until August 1929.68 Over the intervening twenty-four years, an Indian Affairs employee was only present in western James Bay once a year at treaty time. At Moose Factory, this always occurred at the hbc post, the same location at which the Royal Canadian Mounted Police established a year-round presence in 1926.69 In the twenty years that followed treaty – and, indeed, through midcentury – the state ran the majority of its programs for the Cree through the hbc, though it also dealt to a lesser extent with Revillon Frères. These programs included welfare payments, veterans’ and dependants’ pensions, and family allowances. Certainly, hbc management favoured this approach because these programs’ funds reduced the company’s relief expenditure, strengthened its bottom line, and, according to the hbc’s fur trade commissioner, provided both the hbc and Revillon Frères with “a lever to obtain the goodwill of the Indians.”70 In the case of assistance, the hbc and the state agreed to disguise the origin of in-kind payments, making them appear to be relief as traditionally employed in the fur trade rather than welfare provided by the state.71 They did this because bureaucrats remained convinced that distribution of public funds could only encourage Indigenous improvidence. That Treaty 9 reinforced the hbc’s standing is also evident in the “creation” of the Indigenous population of far northern Ontario. Like the standardized census developed in the nineteenth century in southern Canada, annuities provided annually updated demographic data, fixing the Cree and Ojibwe to well-defined points in a vast territory of which bureaucrats and lawmakers knew very little. Both the census and treaty paylists regularly generated supposedly objective numerical data that the state could use to govern its territory more effectively.72 In 1946, the secretary of Indian Affairs, T.R.L. MacInnes, made this clear when testifying before a special joint committee of the Senate and the House of Commons. MacInnes claimed that annuities generated population data while also anchoring those who received this money in space in a particularly effective way: We know where they are, we know where our treaty Indians are, because they have treaty tickets. They have to have that ticket in order to get their payments, so they always keep it and never lose it.

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Also, the head of a family in a treaty has to report in to get his payments, for each member of his family, the deaths and births that have occurred in that family; so we know all about our treaty Indians, and we have a very accurate census and individual information about them, because people will give information for a consideration which they will not give otherwise; so, if for no other reason, I believe it to be worth while having that annual treaty payment to enable us to keep such good track of our Indians.73 In the case of Treaty 9, the state anchored all of this population data in the preexisting network of hbc posts. The treaty commissioners did this by determining the population’s most fundamental parameter (which individuals to count and which to exclude) in seemingly arbitrary ways. Prior to the signature of Treaty 9, the Cree, the Ojibwe, and the other inhabitants of western James Bay (primarily Scottish traders and their descendants of mixed ancestry) did not necessarily think in Euro-Canadian sociological terms. Although labour and ethnic divisions, one often serving as shorthand for the other, existed and were recognized within trading post communities, only in 1905 and 1906 did they become fixed through the commissioners’ insistence that all local residents be classified as “Indians” or not. Annuities visibly reinforced this distinction, remaking northern society to fit southern social and legal norms since “Indians” received payments while others did not. However, the commissioners did not adopt a single, coherent approach to deciding whether to include or exclude an individual from treaty. Although at some posts, such as Fort Albany, they admitted large numbers of “halfbreeds,” at Moose Factory they included only those recognized by local community members as “Indians.”74 From this moment, the Indian Act applied to this group, with the result that women who married “non-Indians,” regardless of their husband’s standing or his family’s history in the community, lost their right to annuities.75 Through money, then, the state marked James Bay’s “population,” assigning legal status to individuals while anchoring them and their communities to precise points in space. Through this double manoeuvre, the state integrated the Cree into its administrative framework and handed responsibility for this “new” population to the Department of Indian Affairs. Thus, the significance of treaty payments was anything but purely economic.

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The money did have material value, however, even if that value rapidly depreciated. Between 1906 – when every band member received $4 (instead of $8 as in 1905) – and 1932, the treaty commissioner paid an average of $1,395.54 in annuities and arrears at Moose Factory each year.76 If the state had begun making these payments five years earlier, this average would have represented roughly 35 per cent of the amount of credit the hbc extended at the post – a significant sum by any standard.77 By 1905, though, the company, now competing with Revillon Frères, had greatly increased the credit it provided. In that year, annuities alone equalled 11.6 per cent of hbc credit, a figure that overestimates the economic importance of annuities, since Revillon also extended credit.78 Competition in the fur trade remained critical to the Cree economy over the next several decades as credit rapidly grew to dwarf annuities. By 1927–28, annuities and arrears paid to Moose Factory band members equalled a mere 2.5 per cent of hbc credit, though this percentage had grown slightly from the year before.79 In other words, whereas a $4 annuity represented 8.4 per cent of the roughly $47.50 in credit per capita supplied by the hbc in 1905–06, it equalled only 2.4 per cent of the approximately $165.50 per capita it extended twenty-two years later. Though the Cree certainly still welcomed annuities, these payments played an increasingly minor economic role. The declining share of overall income from annuities resulted from a mixture of competition, a booming fur market, the general trend across the subarctic of growing Indigenous dependence on consumer goods, and what amounted to state subsidies for the major fur-trade corporations.80 At first the hbc, adopting a practice used in the relatively remote corners of Treaty 3 territory, accepted only limited cash payments in the lands under Treaty 9; however, the amount of currency it received grew steadily in the decades following 1905.81 Between 1905 and 1914, cash accounted for only 11 per cent of sales at Moose Factory, roughly twice that of “straight barter” (6 per cent) though far less than sales on credit (83 per cent). While World War I led cash sales as a percentage of post revenue to fall to a low of 5.5 per cent in 1915–16, they increased markedly after the war to a high of 22 per cent ($11,279) in 1920–21, nearly six times the amount the post earned following the first treaty payment (1905–06). Despite the decline in percentage, cash sales at the post surpassed those of 1905–06 in absolute terms in all but one year (1915–16) and, on average, by $600 per year, even in

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wartime. The growth in hbc cash sales is all the more remarkable because each Cree received twice as much in treaty payments in 1905 as in every year thereafter. At the same time, the company expanded the cash fur-buying program begun in James Bay in 1903, though its cash expenditure proved far more modest than its sales. Before bringing an end to the practice in 1914, at the start of the war, the hbc paid nearly $233 in cash each year at Moose Factory from 1905, or the equivalent of only 9 per cent of its annual cash revenue.82 Together, these numbers suggest an economy in which the Cree spent far more cash at Moose Factory than they received at the hbc post, whether in exchange for furs or in the form of annuities. In the decades following 1905, then, the Cree imported cash into western James Bay that the hbc later exported. This pattern indicates an important difference between western James Bay and Saguenay-LacSaint-Jean. If Euro-Canadian colonists flocked to the latter region, bringing their southern cash with them, they did not do so in the former. While the hbc found its monetary system replaced by that of the state in James Bay, its economic role remained more or less intact. If Revillon Frères challenged the hbc’s dominance, it did not remake James Bay’s economy, infrastructure, or population. This change would come, but not until public servants and a wider variety of external economic actors entered the region in the late 1920s and early 1930s, fundamentally altering the Cree’s economy and their relationship to both the state and the hbc. The expansion of Canadian monetary space into the eastern subarctic in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries did not follow a single trajectory. Though Indigenous, state, and corporate actors all shaped this process, the presence or absence of a large settler population largely determined the extent to which effective economic and political control shifted from fur-trade monopolies to the state. The wide-scale colonization of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean altered the monetary landscape by introducing new currencies and numerous trading partners, simultaneously pushing the hbc to retreat in the face of a booming settler population. As a result, the Innu integrated their economic activity into the networks imported and created by their new Euro-Canadian neighbours, in the process diminishing the economic and political power of the hbc. The Cree acted along similar lines to challenge the hbc’s authority in western James Bay, selling furs for cash to Revillon Frères and small buyers along the railway and sign-

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ing Treaty 9 with representatives of the federal and provincial governments. Neither annuities nor increasing revenues supplied by the monetized fur trade spelled the end of the hbc’s economic and political power. The Cree simply had no local alternative to trading with the English company and its French rival when in the vicinity of Moose Factory, a place to which generations had regularly returned to trade, socialize, and maintain bonds of community. At the same time, the state, while introducing its new symbolic order through treaty and the currency it circulated, propped up the day-to-day power of the fur-trade corporations. It did this, first, by making the posts the site of its limited activity and reinforcing its place in the Cree annual cycle and, second, by providing relief funds that the hbc and Revillon Frères used to effectively secure Indigenous credit. It would only be in the 1930s, when the railway reached Moosonee and the Great Depression undercut Indigenous commercial trapping across the subarctic, that the state definitively displaced the hbc as the primary external authority figure in western James Bay. Until this point, money served to remind all of Canada’s assertion of sovereignty over the region. If the Innu made use of money in the absence of treaty, calling into question colonial claims to SaguenayLac-Saint-Jean, the notion that acceptance of annuities starting in 1905 signifies Cree recognition of state sovereignty in western James Bay masks perhaps a much simpler process of disingenuous dispossession. As Moonias told Samuel Stewart at Fort Hope, the Ojibwe were puzzled at officials’ willingness to give them money for more or less nothing. Though we have virtually no record of how the commissioners explained Treaty 9 to Indigenous peoples as they travelled through far northern Ontario in 1905, Moonias’s confusion is revealing. Though certainly aware of changes to the land to the south caused by population pressures, he and other Ojibwe along with their Cree neighbours struggled to understand the raison d’être of annuities in the context of assurances by the commissioners that they could continue to hunt and trap as they had always done. For the state, though, treaty guaranteed access to “unused lands” and resources as evidenced by the images of lumbering, farming, and fishing featured on the notes circulated by the commissioners.83 Once again, then, we see how money marked the subarctic in political terms. From the early twentieth century, the Cree dealt with a state that was both more proactive and more distant than that which had arrived in SaguenayLac-Saint-Jean several decades before. They received cash payments

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from the public purse as part of the political theatre of Canadian sovereignty while having virtually no other direct contact with the state until the late 1920s. At the same time, money provided the Cree with increased economic resources and weight in their centuries-old relationship with the hbc. However, as we will see in chapter 6, currency never came without strings attached. In the 1920s, as the fur market crashed and the state inserted itself into daily life in western James Bay, money’s colonial nature and the power it gave officials to exert control eclipsed the earlier economic gains it had brought.

The Backstory

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5 Land, Natural Resources, and Fiscal Control in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Quebec

As earlier chapters have shown, money contributed to Canada’s (re)territorialization through its standardization, its circulation, and its depiction of space and nation. We now turn to the contribution that money’s ability to confer political authority and fiscal control made to this larger process. In parallel to the physical expansion of the territory to which Canada laid claim, the state’s account books grew to record debits and credits generated across growing colonial and, later, national space as well as by practices that had previously lay beyond its purview. In both Wendake and Mashteuiatsh, fiscal relations between the state and First Nations developed in important ways during the mid-nineteenth century. Though having perhaps more to do with symbolism than with material power at this early date, the changes begun during the period would have important consequences. Money received as revenue or managed in trust signals legitimacy. Money received or spent by one’s legal guardian, often in the absence of any consultation, communicates something else entirely. After having discursively remade First Nations as improvident in debates on commutation, officials took control of funds on their behalf. In doing so, they both provided the state with a means of reinforcing its tenuous position in Indigenous communities and undercut the authority of chiefs who lost their ability to collect and dispense money as they had done in the past. This move to assume control of finance, indicative of a shift in official perception of First Nations from autonomus communities to wards of the state, accompanied similar processes involving land and natural resources, processes in which money also played an important role.

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Historians have long considered land to be at the heart of Indigenous-settler relations in Canada and tend to view reserves as central to Indigenous policy as it developed from the nineteenth century. Colonial society dispossessed First Nations of their home territory, leaving them only tiny fragments on which to live, today totalling a mere 0.2 per cent of Canada’s landmass.1 This global analysis, though certainly correct, obscures important regional differences in the creation and makeup of reserves. Whereas policy in Upper Canada from the 1810s (and later on the Prairies) included the creation of reserves alongside annuities guaranteed by treaty, this was not the case in Atlantic Canada, British Columbia, or Quebec.2 In the 1760s, Britain inherited a system of land tenure in the St Lawrence Valley unlike that of any of its other colonies. The region’s Indigenous mission villages, constituted under the seigneurial regime, formally occupied land quite differently than the reserves created in Upper Canada from the late eighteenth century.3 This would begin to change in the 1850s as the Province of Canada moved to abolish seigneurial tenure and to apply the Upper Canadian model to lands reserved for First Nations in Lower Canada. A similar process of standardization took place with respect to the funds held in trust for Indigenous communities by the state. These changes occurred at more or less the same time that settler society began moving in earnest into the region north of the St Lawrence Valley. Though the historical relationship between Indigenous peoples living there and colonial society was effectively the same as among their counterparts in Upper Canada, the state dispossessed the Algonquin, Atikamekw, and Innu without recourse to treaties and the rights that such agreements recognized and conferred. Together, these changes marked the space that in 1867 would become the province of Quebec as distinct from large parts of the rest of British North America, while remaking the management of Indigenous lands and resources in the province along the lines first developed in Upper Canada. This chapter focuses on the role played in these shifts by money and related notions of indigeneity.

rejecting treaty and institutionalizing relief Beginning in the 1850s, the Province of Canada adopted several laws on Indigenous affairs that worked to standardize practice across Upper and Lower Canada. Prior to this point, and indeed through the

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1850s, the Indian Department effectively functioned as two more or less independent entities, each responsible for one-half of what became the Province of Canada in 1841, reflecting distinct histories of Indigenous-state relations in each. In Lower Canada, the state focused almost exclusively on the mission communities established prior to 1760 in the heart of the St Lawrence Valley. Here, French civil law and seigneurial tenure predominated, involving Indigenous mission villages in a complex set of relationships to land, resources, the state, religious bodies, and their neighbours.4 In Upper Canada, by contrast, authorities had long since generalized treaty making. This practice fuelled the Crown’s acquisition of title to Indigenous territory, providing authorities with lands from which to carve reserves. Following the advent of responsible government in 1849, legislators worked to apply Upper Canadian practice with respect to First Nations land tenure to Lower Canada. They first did this in 1851, not by remaking existing villages’ legal status but by developing a framework for the creation of new, unambiguously Crown-owned reserves based on the Upper Canadian model.5 The influence of land policy in the western half of the province, though, remained limited by the state’s interests in the east. Two laws relative to Indigenous lands adopted on the same day in 1850 make this abundantly clear. Whereas the first applied to Upper Canada and recognized “Indian lands not ceded to the Crown,” the second applied to Lower Canada and made no mention of unceded lands.6 This distinction arose from a conscious attempt on the part of authorities to avoid making treaties and paying annuities in Lower Canada. In response to Algonquin and Nipissing claims to the Ottawa River Valley, a committee of the Executive Council developed in the 1830s what Alain Beaulieu terms the “theory of just compensation” to settle land claims in Lower Canada. Compensation, which could be provided long after settlers had taken control of lands and could be imposed unilaterally, took the form of reserves and material support for the transition to an agricultural economy. From the colonial perspective, this policy eliminated the need to reach terms with First Nations in Lower Canada, thereby avoiding potentially difficult negotiations and costly treaties in the future. In its 1844 report, the Bagot Commission extended this theory to argue that seigneurial land grants made to mission communities prior to 1760 constituted compensation for the Indigenous lands New France had occupied. According to the commissioners, the Ottawa Valley – the precise location that gave

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rise to the theory of just compensation – provided the “one single place” in what had become Lower Canada where the French had failed to properly compensate First Nations for their lands.7 This official reimagining of the history of dispossession in Lower Canada justified the decision by authorities to provide only reserves and material assistance when First Nations called for treaty, reserves, and annuities. In 1839, following years of rapid Euro-Canadian population growth in the Ottawa Valley, Algonquin and Nipissing chiefs informed the Indian Department that they were effectively willing to accept this model by giving up claims to ownership in exchange for a reserve and “a reasonable annual remuneration, such as is given to Their Bretheren in Upper Canada in similar cases.”8 Within five years, the Innu of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and the North Shore of the St Lawrence began making similar requests. An 1844 petition requested “Assistance to enable them to settle on Land to be distributed to them annually.”9 A second petition, most likely sent in the months immediately following Governor Metcalfe’s departure from the colony in November 1845, asserted Innu rights more forcefully. In addition to requesting that “some fertile lands be surveyed and reserved for them on the banks of the major waterways in the posts of the country where they ordinarily assemble,” the petitioners requested that the governor “order that a part of the revenues generated by the lease of the King’s Posts and the sale of lands be reserved in order to give them support in their misery and to assist them in the efforts they must make to cultivate the soil.”10 Though not requesting a treaty per se, the Innu quite clearly sought a structure through which the state’s rental and sale of their traditional territory would benefit them financially. In 1848, three chiefs travelled to Montreal to present a petition to Governor Elgin, signed by 106 Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean Innu, asking that they be provided with the hbc’s lease payments as well as the land and resource revenue arising from their territory. Pointing out that “we can get nothing for our daily life without paying for it, with money, of which we have seen none,” they asked that they be given “the money paid by the fur trader and the money from our lands and our timber” along with annual presents, “like we hear you give to the other Indians.”11 The commissioner of Crown lands, Denis-Benjamin Papineau, agreed that First Nations had a right to a portion of the financial returns created by settlement. At roughly the same time the Innu composed their second petition, Papineau submitted a report that would enjoy wide circu-

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lation thanks to its publication the following year in the Journals of the Legislative Assembly, in which he effectively recommended a treaty for the King’s Posts. He argued that the Innu should be put on the same footing as the Indian Tribes of UpperCanada. The lands of these Tribes in Lower-Canada have been time after time taken from them, either by the Government who had them surveyed, granted, sold, or otherwise disposed of, without any indemnity, or by squatters; although they have often, but in vain, applied for compensation. As these lands have been and are to be disposed of for the advantage of the Province, it seems but just that the Province should, out of the Provincial funds, grant to those who are not provided for, an annuity equal to the average paid to the Upper-Canada Indians. Also a whole township should be reserved for each of these Tribes, as near as possible from the place of their present abode, where, under certain regulations, they might settle.12 In 1846, Marc-Pascal de Sales Laterrière, the member of the Legislative Assembly for Saguenay, submitted a report to the governor on the second, more assertive Innu petition. Laterrière directly referenced Papineau’s report, arguing that the Innu “should be treated by the Government like the tribes of Upper Canada are – that is, they should receive annuities along with township lands on which they can settle and pursue agriculture.”13 Laterrière widely publicized his support for the Innu requests through an article on the chiefs’ visit to Montreal published on 13 March 1848 in La Minerve, versions of which would also appear in L’Avenir, the Journal de Québec, and Le Canadien. He informed his readers that “the government has always collected a very considerable revenue from the lease of the King’s Posts for the right to exclusively trade with them [the Innu]; this revenue calculated to the present day would form the sum of one hundred thousand pounds, paid to the public chest of which they [the Innu] have never touched a shilling.” Laterrière used the sum he had calculated, whether accurate or not, to pose a question to which the answer was obvious: “Do they not have the right, in equity, to reclaim from the Crown a portion of the interest from this sum in the form of an annuity, or at least the six hundred pounds that the Hudson’s Bay Company today pays the government for this privilege?”14 To help them understand that the chiefs, “with

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Figure 5.1 Painting of three Innu chiefs and their translator, Peter McLeod, presenting a petition to the governor-general, Lord Elgin, in March 1848. The Innu sought hbc lease payments for monopoly rights in the fur trade as well as the revenues earned from the sale of lands and resources.

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human faces,” were his readers’ “brothers,” Laterrière invited those with the means to do so to visit Théophile Hamel’s studio to see a portrait the artist had painted of the three chiefs and their interpreter presenting the petition to the governor (figure 5.1).15 The painting depicts its subject through the visual language of mid-nineteenth-century Indigenous-state relations, foregrounding the petition (clearly composed in Innu) along with the chiefs, their dress, and their Queen Victoria medals. These men were dignified, associated themselves with a respectable member of Euro-Canadian society, and upheld the authority of the Crown and the political values it represented.16 Certainly, Hamel appears to suggest, the Innu and their petition deserved a fair hearing. The chiefs may very well have returned home believing that this is what they had received. Convinced “this time that the Montagnais will obtain the justice to which they are entitled,” Mélanges religieux, a newspaper printed twice weekly by the Catholic diocese of Montreal, reported that the governor had “promised these Indians to accord their request.”17 The actions of Canadian authorities, however, suggest they did not seriously consider Innu requests. Though the province established two reserves in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean in 1853 (exchanged for the single reserve at Mashteuiatsh in 1856), it did not hand over any funds, whether earned from leasing the King’s Posts or from renting or selling lands and resources.18 Instead of providing the Innu with “equitable compensation” so that they might reach “a State of Independence of further Aid,” the government institutionalized annual distributions of relief over the following decade.19 In doing so, authorities effectively applied the consensus emerging from the debates on commutation to the Innu, imagining them, like all other Indigenous peoples, to be inherently improvident. Provided in kind instead of in currency, and as a privilege rather than a right, this relief came in a form similar to the presents then distributed farther south in the hopes of encouraging “civilization,” while prefiguring the vouchers the department would provide in Wendake and elsewhere in the twentieth century (see chapter 6). Though a discursive figure, the “improvident Indian” exercised important real-world effects. In 1846, the governor accepted a recommendation by Papineau, who had perhaps been thinking of the Innu, that “a semi-annual sum of five hundred pounds currency” ($2,000) be provided “for the Indian Tribes of Lower Canada,” with this sum paid into what by 1854 would be known as the Lower Canada

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Indian Fund.20 Beginning in 1856 and continuing into the 1870s, the government made specific provision for the Innu, providing in-kind assistance from this fund each year.21 Of course, annually distributed relief did not carry the same meaning as either presents or treaty annuities. If presents and annuities could remind officials as well as First Nations of ongoing diplomatic relations and of historical ownership of territory, relief signalled Indigenous improvidence while obscuring these other meanings, at least in the eyes of authorities. Though legally the Indian Department could have made direct cash payments from the Lower Canada Indian Fund, it never did this.22 Rather, holding to liberal notions of charity, officials exercised the discretionary powers the law afforded them so as not to undermine Indigenous recipients’ self-reliance through supposedly excessive material aid. As a result, the department consistently spent far less money than it received each year. Limited departmental expenditure and the 5 per cent annual interest paid on any balance led the Lower Canada Indian Fund to grow from $2,500 in 1855 to $18,000 in 1860 and to $40,000 in 1865.23 Relief affirmed improvidence and precluded compensation, all the while justifying the Indian Department and providing it with significant financial resources for future use.

controlling funds, natural resources, and community members Though unsuccessful, Innu attempts to gain financial benefit from their lands and resources evoke contemporaneous strategies that proved effective at generating revenue in the St Lawrence Valley. Prior to its 1854 abolition, the seigneurial regime provided First Nations with means of exerting control over their natural and financial resources that far exceeded those available to either Indigenous peoples in the subarctic or reserve communities in Upper Canada. This resulted from both the long-standing ambiguous legal status of Indigenous “seigneuries” and the relative lack of formal powers the state held over mission villages. Members of several First Nations had established these villages with the assistance of Catholic missionaries in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in close proximity to French centres of population. If colonial officials viewed them as sites of religious and cultural conversion, those First Nations who lived there tended to consider them differently: as relative safe havens from war that offered material assistance in a rapidly changing world.

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Moreover, though some of these communities, such as the Innu at Sillery, found that adhering to Catholic religious demands was akin to “cultural suicide,” others – perhaps most famously Catherine Tekakwitha of Kahnawake – were able to merge aspects of Indigenous and Christian practice and belief.24 Regardless of the specific local context in each village, the missions did not succeed in merging Indigenous peoples into the surrounding population prior to the conquest. Indeed, in 1760, the residents of the eight mission villages of the St Lawrence Valley exhibited multiple social, political, and cultural traits that set them apart from the settler population, including the particular relationship to outside authority they enjoyed, in part a result of the title of the lands on which each village lay.25 Whereas most settlers in the St Lawrence Valley occupied a censive – a lot situated within a seigneurie on which the occupant (the censitaire) owed annual dues (cens et rentes) to the seigneur – mission villages occupied rent-free part or all of the seigneurial domain, that is, the land set aside for the sole use of the seigneur.26 Though the status of village land provided Indigenous residents with the comparative advantage of not needing to pay cens et rentes each year, it initially precluded the exercise of any power associated with ownership. Following the disappearance of the Jesuit Order from Canada in the late eighteenth century, though, several First Nations – most notably, as Isabelle Bouchard demonstrates, the Kahnawake Mohawk and the Abenaki of Odanak – took up many of the temporal powers previously exercised by the Jesuits in the St Lawrence mission villages. The state took its first steps toward standardizing the management of seigneurial lands in 1762 when Thomas Gage, the military governor of Montreal, decreed that while the Jesuits did not own the lands conceded to the Kahnawake Mohawk in the seigneurie of Sault-SaintLouis, neither did the Mohawk. Instead, according to Gage, ultimate title lay with the Crown, though the Mohawk had the right to use the seigneurie’s lands and the revenue they generated.27 The state, this time in the form of the Indian Department, waited until the mid1820s to begin applying this reasoning to Odanak. At the beginning of the decade, the Catholic Church had appointed a new missionary to the village who was convinced of his right to participate in the management of seigneurial lands, a position the Indian Department expressly rejected by referring to Gage’s 1762 decision.28 Despite occasional pretensions on the part of missionaries, chiefs in both Odanak and Kahnawake had made use of seigneurial revenue,

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especially in the form of dues paid by censitaires, to underwrite public works largely without outside interference from the eighteenth century into the 1820s. The Abenaki term for these funds – pitangan (the “treasury,” “vault,” or “public chest” as well as the bag in which the community stored important wampum belts) – highlights the connection between seigneurial revenue and public expense.29 Beginning in the 1820s, though, the colonial state tightened its grip on the title to lands in the seigneurie of Sault-Saint-Louis (Kahanawake) through the production of new titles for the seigneurie’s censitaires, despite repeated claims by the Mohawk that they and not the Crown were the rightful seigneurs.30 From the end of the 1830s, Indian Affairs, taking advantage of dissension within the community and the appointment of a new seigneurial agent, began requiring the chiefs to provide it and the community at large with accounts of the funds earned from the seigneurie.31 Officials also played on internal tensions in Odanak to ensure that, from the 1840s, the seigneurial agent (procureur), himself a community member, submitted formal accounts to the department annually.32 If, as Daniel Rück demonstrates, official reporting did not initially prevent chiefs in Kahnawake from controlling seigneurial revenues, it did contribute to recasting the management of mission village lands in Lower Canada while undermining chiefs’ ability to govern in the absence of departmental oversight.33 In Odanak, chiefs seem to have been less successful at maintaining financial independence. In 1842, the Catholic priest charged with ministering to the Abenaki claimed that “their Pitangan, or public chest, which I think ought to contain some little money, for the relief of the frequent wants of the Indian poor, and for other public necessities, is always empty.”34 A similar process played out even in those communities in Lower Canada that, like Wendake, did not benefit from seigneurial prerogatives to the same extent as Kahnawake and Odanak. Unlike those other communities, however, the Wendat never conceded seigneurial lands, despite repeatedly making claims in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries to a portion of the seigneurie of Sillery. Though the Jesuits had set aside Sillery as a mission for the benefit of Indigenous converts in the seventeenth century, authorities in both the colonies and the metropole consistently rejected Wendat claims to these lands.35 With the concession of seigneurial lands as a means of generating income blocked, Wendat public finance focused instead on

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short-term leasing in the village at Jeune-Lorette (Wendake) and the sale of timber. The latter activity centred on Quarante Arpents, a 1,600square-arpent (approximately 1,350-acre) tract reserved for their use by the Jesuits in 1742 on similar terms to Jeune-Lorette. Renewed in 1794, the title to the tract expressly states that Quarante Arpents would remain Jesuit property despite the orders’ imminent disappearance from Canada owing to the combined force of papal suppression and the British prohibition on the replenishment of Jesuit ranks, whether through local recruiment or immigration from France. The renewed title also stated that the Wendat “shall not be able in any manner to sell, exchange, alienate, bequeath, lease or bargain in any other manner whatsoever the said tract of land, holdings or piece of land ... Likewise they shall not be able in perpetuity to sell, give nor even to lend to any person whomsoever any of the timber on the said tract of land.”36 Despite this final clause, a restriction the Jesuits imposed on all their censitaires in the seigneurie of Saint-Gabriel regardless of ethnicity, Quarante Arpents provided an important source of revenue to the Wendat chiefs in the mid-nineteenth century through the sale of timber.37 It also served as a source of wood for heating homes in Wendake and a site for relatively small-scale farming.38 Though formally constituted under seigneurial tenure, Wendake and Quarante Arpents fit just as comfortably alongside the reserves British and Canadian officials created in Upper Canada from the late eighteenth century in a way that other St Lawrence Valley mission lands did not. The inability of the Wendat to concede lands themselves, coupled with the absence of seigneurial dues (cens et rentes) from Jeune-Lorette and Quarante Arpents, effectively made these two tracts reserves avant la lettre.39 However, unlike nearly all reserves in Upper Canada, where the state’s ultimate ownership of the land reinforced its authority, Indian Affairs held very little real power over Wendat lands. This changed in part in 1853, when the Province of Canada created the 9,600-acre Rocmont reserve in Portneuf County; however, this relatively distant and inaccessible reserve was of marginal importance to the Wendat who rarely visited it and, from the late nineteenth century, granted licences to outsiders to cut its timber. A more important shift occurred in the 1860s when colonial officials, perhaps as a result of Wendat requests, moved to protect timber on Quarante Arpents while taking an active role in managing leases in Wendake.40 As a result, Indian Affairs gained control over the revenue

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generated by these resources while the chiefs, no longer in direct control of these funds, found their ability to independently set their political agenda curtailed. Prior to these critical changes, the Wendat chiefs enjoyed much wider latitude in generating and spending revenue from lands and resources. Between 1840 and 1854, they operated a system through which they received direct monetary payments in exchange for timber and other natural resources taken from Quarante Arpents and, on occasion, for the use of public lands in Wendake.41 Under this system, the chiefs placed the proceeds of sales and rentals to both community members and non-Indigenous neighbours in a special fund on which they drew for a wide variety of public expenditure. The thirtyyear-old “war chief” and member of Wendake’s socioeconomic elite, François-Xavier Picard Tahourenché, was responsible for maintaining this fund and its records.42 Though the fund remained remarkably modest, with total revenue during its lifetime of only £119.6.9 cy ($477.35), it contributed materially to the chiefs’ ability to manage local affairs and to advocate on Wendake’s behalf before colonial authorities. Between 1840 and 1854, the sale of timber accounted for 60 per cent of its total revenue, the majority of these funds paid by non-Wendat.43 Euro-Canadians provided 91 per cent of the fund’s timber revenue in 1840, 89 per cent in 1846, and 76 per cent in 1853.44 Even in those years such as 1841 and 1848 when the Wendat supplied all or most of this revenue, they may have acted only as intermediaries, passing on revenue from sales they themselves conducted.45 Entries in 1850, for example, suggest this reading: Elie Sioui and Zacharie Vincent (both community members) provided money for wood sales (vente de bois), while Mr Couture (a non-Wendat) paid for wood (bois) alone.46 This commercial practice seems even more likely given complaints made at the end of the decade. In 1858, Elie Sioui, by then a member of the council of chiefs, charged Laurent Picard Atehratak, who had previously been a chief and who had paid for the vast majority of wood harvested from Quarante Arpents during the fund’s lifetime, with selling timber from the reserve despite repeated instructions to stop.47 Though requiring payment for resource-use could well amount to a conservationist measure, the accusations levelled by Sioui along with what appears to have been Sioui’s and others’ practice of handing over money paid by others suggest the possibility that personal profit may have played a role in the system as well as in its ultimate failure.

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In addition to timber sales, the account received payments from several other sources – most importantly, money generated by leasing communal lands. Between 1840 and 1853, the rental of the garden and enclosed yard adjoining Wendake’s presbytery amounted to £21.13.2 cy, or 18 per cent of the fund’s total revenue.48 The band account’s other major source of revenue was the one-time payment in February 1848 of £12.15.0 cy, or nearly 11 per cent of all monies received by the fund over its lifetime, made by the road inspector of the parish of St Ambroise for the right to open a road through Quarante Arpents.49 The remaining monies originated in payments by community members for the upkeep of the village cemetery and in exchange for goods held by the council such as powder and shot. Prominent Euro-Canadians also paid the chiefs for the privilege of receiving a Wendat name.50 If always modest – its balance at the end of the calendar year never exceeded £10 cy, and it even dipped below zero in four of the five years from 1843 through 1847 – the fund’s existence allowed the band council to exert influence when promoting its agenda in ways that might not have otherwise been possible. The chiefs employed these funds for various public purposes, including the management of communal lands, maintenance of public buildings (e.g., the presbytery), support for community events, and Wendake’s political activities with regard to the state and other First Nations. For example, in 1847, the community spent a total of £7.18.4 cy on expenses that included fence and road maintenance, trips made by the chiefs for political purposes to Quebec and Montreal, mass and religious art, and land surveying.51 During its lifetime, the account also served to pay community members’ legal expenses,52 to hire notaries to draw up petitions and “protests” on behalf of the council,53 to fund the transportation of mediators to negotiate internal disputes,54 to purchase provisions for community members presumably in need of assistance,55 and to finance multiple lobbying efforts on the part of the chiefs.56 The chiefs, then, had a vested interest in maintaining the productive capacity of Quarante Arpents’s forest. According to a former employee of the Indian Department, writing to explain the lack of wide-scale agricultural activity among the Wendat, the community took its responsibility for conservation very seriously: “As fire-wood is a primary consideration with the Indians, the Hurons wish to save the little they possess for their descendants, [and they] consequently do not clear much land.”57 However, even with careful management, the fund

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always operated under the shadow of illicit timber harvesting. In 1843, the chiefs wrote that Euro-Canadian men married to Wendat women claimed to have the right “to take, cut, and remove all the wood they need.” They asked the governor to deny the existence of any such right, revealing their own inability to control resource-use solely through locally levied and controlled fees. In making this argument, the chiefs cited the original Jesuit concession to Quarante Arpents, according to which the reserve’s timber could not be used by anyone outside the community.58 While this argument may appear incoherent in light of the chiefs’ financial practices, officials do not seem to have been aware of the management fund’s existence, underscoring Wendake’s maintenance of a substantial degree of political autonomy through midcentury. In this case, the Indian Department supported the chiefs’ authority and, thus, the village’s relative autonomy. However, officials only had a single, largely ineffective means of encouraging compliance: withholding presents from those who “persisted in their resistance to the acknowledged Chiefs of the Tribe.”59 Bringing greater pressure to bear would have required more personnel and greater legal authority. Immediately following the War of 1812 and through the late 1830s, Indian Affairs eliminated three out of every four employees from its payroll in Lower Canada, dropping its workforce there from a wartime high of forty to eleven in 1839.60 Though personnel numbers would rebound briefly the following decade, by the end of the 1850s the department had only one employee in all of Lower Canada, supplemented by three missionaries who acted in part as the state’s eyes and ears.61 However, the transition of Indian Affairs over this period – from an institution tasked with maintaining military alliances with functionally autonomous First Nations to one working to “civilize” Indigenous peoples increasingly seen as a minority group within colonial society – required it to undertake efforts to influence the internal workings of Indigenous communities. In this context, presents played a critical role in both disciplining and defining First Nations. They provided administrators with one of the few tools through which they could encourage compliance while also rendering state-defined status visible for the first time.62 From their first use after the War of 1812 in marking status, presents consistently served this role along highly gendered lines.63 In the early 1840s, Wendat chiefs recalled that the Indian superintendent at Quebec in the 1810s and 1820s had used the status of a woman’s hus-

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band to decide whether she should receive presents, a policy confirmed by his successor, in office until the middle of the following decade, as “the law.”64 Prefiguring post-Confederation Canadian law, the chiefs declared that non-Wendat women who married a Wendat man instantly earned membership in the community while they threatened to remove any Wendat woman who married a non-Wendat husband from the “circle of the village.”65 They were not alone in doing so. At more or less the same time, a group of Kahnawake Mohawk leaders also sought to redefine community membership along racialized and patriarchal lines.66 At a council held in Kahnawake in 1834, Thomas Awannaneio, a chief speaking on behalf of those looking to expel Euro-Canadians from the village, stated that “according to the Laws of our tribe all Children of such white men as take Indian women for their wives, are considered as whites. And vise versa. All white women, who marry Indians, are looked upon as Indians, as well as their Children.”67 The Wendat council, however, proved effectively unable to enforce these rules. Despite a 1777 government decree (reissued in 1839) banning all non-community members from residing in the village, legal action under the ban appears to have rarely been brought before the courts.68 Calling on the original Jesuit concession of 1742, along with its 1794 renewal, also failed to settle the issue in the chiefs’ favour. According to legal advice they had received, the final clause of the concession gave the elders and chiefs in council, in the presence and with the accord of the missionary, the authority to decide on all disagreements involving Wendake and Quarante Arpents.69 This interpretation supported the chiefs’ position with respect to both residency and the harvesting of natural resources, declaring that any Wendat who moved to Quarante Arpents would be expelled from the community and would thereby automatically forfeit the right “to cut wood on, or to occupy any portion of the Grant in St Gabriel.”70 The Indian Department formally endorsed part of this position, adopting a rule by 1847 preventing Wendat women’s Euro-Canadian husbands from harvesting timber on Quarante Arpents. According to the missionary, the chiefs sought to use this rule “to preserve themselves from the plundering of the village’s property.”71 The chiefs did just this when, a few weeks later, they served formal legal notice to one such couple that they were not to harvest or remove timber from Quarante Arpents.72 Despite these efforts, the chiefs consistently proved incapable of preventing woodcutting without permission. Although presents

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could be withheld from uncooperative community members, doing so had no effect when the transgressor did not recognize presents as being sufficiently valuable. This was the case with Marie Bastien, who did not receive presents between 1843 and 1846 as punishment for housing non-Wendat in the village. According to the chiefs, Bastien stated that “she will not turn down good money for a blanket and a scrap of sheet.”73 Moreover, this approach was obviously inapplicable to non-Wendat. The chiefs’ inability to force compliance, even when backed by the department, would appear to explain the disappearance of their fund in 1854. Though the chiefs spent a total of £6.11.4 cy that year, Tahourenché’s last entry in the account book notes that the fund had no revenue in 1854.74 By September, the previous year’s balance had been spent and all operations on the account ceased. Following the funds’ end, the chiefs continued working to protect their natural resources. With help from members of Lower Canada’s political elite, they applied pressure on the Indian Department to secure convictions against those who took wood from Quarante Arpents without permission.75 However, this does not appear to have been any more effective than earlier efforts. In 1858, the chiefs complained to the commissioner of Indian lands, Édouard Narcisse de Lorimier, that at least four individuals had removed wood without their consent from Quarante Arpents with no fear of reprisal. The chiefs asked de Lorimier to reopen legal proceedings against JeanBaptiste Bastien’s widow and her brother for harvesting timber without permission and to order former chief Laurent Picard Atehratak to stop cutting wood for sale.76 Along with simultaneous complaints by the Mohawk regarding illicit cutting of timber in Kahnawake, this case led de Lorimier to ask the superintendent general, “If there is no law for protecting their property rights, what will become of them”?77 Though the 1850 law that created the position of commissioner of Indian lands in Lower Canada theoretically provided de Lorimier with precisely this power, Wendat complaints continued.78 While the chiefs and their allies pressed for state support, officials in the Indian Department largely failed to provide it. This situation would continue even after 1864, when the Province of Canada adopted an act giving the chiefs, under departmental supervision, the right to regulate timber harvesting on Quarante Arpents through a system of licences. This law, adopted at the request of the chiefs, empowered justices of the peace to fine and jail both Wendat and Euro-Canadians who cut, sold, or bought unlicensed wood and also to compel those

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taking wood to forfeit its value.79 It stipulated that “the said fine and forfeiture shall belong one half to the informer and the other to the Indian Fund, such fund to be specially applied to the maintenance of the said tribe.”80 Though the chiefs adopted bylaws under the act in 1865, and though the superintendent general of Indian Affairs approved them in 1866, no money from seizures or fines from Quarante Arpents made it into the department’s books on behalf of the Wendat in the 1860s or 1870s.81 Between October 1870, when Indian Affairs first created a band fund for Wendake, and 1888–89, when Rocmont began earning revenue from timber licensing, the department never made a single deposit to the community’s credit related to wood. Instead, the fund’s sole sources of income over this period were the rental of water rights to the St Charles River, interest, and two small payments for a railway right-of-way through Quarante Arpents.82 If the lease of water rights, unlike Quarante Arpents, ultimately generated revenue under the management of Indian Affairs, it also points to the chiefs’ decreasing political autonomy. Adopting the opinion of the attorney general of Lower Canada that individual Wendat could not earn rent from outsiders, the deputy superintendent general decided in early 1864 that any rent paid for the water rights should “be set apart for the benefit of the Band.”83 The Wendat agreed to lease these rights to Frederica Maria Hoffman, the wife of the owner of the local paper mill (Peter Smith), for a period of seven years at $36 per year from 1 May 1864. The Indian Department accepted these terms and issued the lease in December 1864.84 Despite departmental involvement, Hoffman and Smith paid nothing to Indian Affairs until 1870, six years after they were to have begun making annual payments.85 Moreover, the department only became aware of the lessees’ failure to meet the terms of the agreement after the chiefs requested in 1868 that these funds be used for legal expenses related to their ongoing struggle against those cutting wood without permission on Quarante Arpents.86 The department’s response underlined the change that had occurred since the end of the locally held and managed fund in 1854. Prior to that point, the chiefs had made use of this money as they saw fit, paying, for example, courtroom and notarial expenses both for individual community members and on behalf of the village as a whole on several occasions. Now, though, the superintendent general informed them that such autonomy had come to an end. In rejecting the chiefs’ request, he stated that “the Department can in no case pay Law costs, unless the proceedings were instituted

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under Express authority of the Government which was not the case in this instance.”87 Despite the loss of control, Wendat funds grew relatively quickly under departmental management. When, in October 1870, Indian Affairs opened the account, it deposited the $266.25 paid in arrears on the Hoffman lease. By July 1890, the fund’s capital had grown nearly fifteenfold, to $3,899.05. The department made interest on this capital available for the council’s use, amounting to nearly $170 over the 1890–91 fiscal year. The chiefs spent the vast majority of this money on routine work (for example, repairs to the schoolhouse), medical attendance, and in-kind relief.88 Limited funds seem to have contributed to the council’s adoption of a series of strict regulations in 1891 on disorderly conduct on the reserve. These rules drew on the Indian Act’s provision of power to band councils for enacting rules to repress “intemperance and profligacy.”89 The council required any intoxicated individual (whether Wendat or not) blaspheming, swearing, brawling, or causing any other public disorder to be brought before a justice of the peace for summary judgment. The regulations also required community members to maintain clean yards, banned the keeping of pigs in the village, and prescribed a fixed fine and jail sentence, each of which increased in cases of a second or third offence.90 While the Indian agent claimed that the regulations achieved their primary objective of repressing disorder in the village, they also successfully generated modest funds for the council, if only intermittently.91 While the Wendat were able to generate revenue by adopting regulations that corresponded to the minimal, largely punitive powers accorded band councils under the Indian Act, chiefs in Mashteuiatsh looked to broaden their fiscal powers. The resolution they adopted in the summer of 1895 unwittingly sought powers of taxation that resembled those laid out in the Indian Advancement Act of 1884.92 Legislators had designed this act to provide training to bands selected by Indian Affairs in order to facilitate their transition to municipalstyle government. The “advanced” council’s power to tax the real property of band members constituted one of the key provisions of the act, theoretically providing an important boost in public funds. The law also provided the superintendent general and Indian agents with far greater powers to intervene in internal political affairs, including the power to depose elected officials and to call and supervise band meetings and elections. Through amendments to the Indian Act in the

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1880s and 1890s, the department ultimately secured the greater powers originally provided by the 1884 legislation without extending the authority of band councils.93 The Mashteuiatsh council’s 1895 resolution would have imposed a tax on carters and pedlars as well as reserve residents, generating revenue to develop and administer policy.94 The department, however, refused to sanction the resolution on the grounds that the Indian Advancement Act had not been applied to Mashteuiatsh.95 The Innu, though, were willing to accept the law, “as long as it provides them with extended powers giving them the means of generating revenue to meet expenses because without this, their Council will be of little use and will thus paralyze the efforts they are making to enter into a civilized and orderly life.”96 Despite the agent’s support, the department, in keeping with its move away from expanding band councils’ powers in the 1890s, never implemented the act at Mashteuiatsh.97 In failing to gain access to added funds, the Innu resembled many First Nations across the country in that their council functioned in an essentially advisory role in the management of reserve affairs while exercising only the most limited of fiscal powers. Scholars routinely remark on the absence of treaties in Quebec prior to the signature of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement by the Cree, the Inuit, and the federal and provincial governments in the mid-1970s. Until recently, though, historians have failed to offer an explanation for this phenomenon, especially in the context of the expansion of treaty making in Ontario and the Prairie Provinces in the nineteenth century.98 In his work on Indigenous-state relations in Lower Canada, Alain Beaulieu finds that this absence grew from colonial desire to normalize preexisting relations to the land and with First Nations at the lowest possible price. This desire led officials to develop the notion of “equitable compensation,” by which the colony paid First Nations for their lands while at the same time effectively denying them title. By the end of the century, officials had added the argument that the French Crown had secured title to the whole of modern Quebec (though not, apparently, anywhere else), further justifying the status quo with respect to land policy in the province.99 This represented a rereading of Indigenous land rights analogous to and every bit as radical as that made by US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall in a series of decisions in the 1820s and 1830s. According to Marshall, First Nations were occupants rather than owners of their lands as title resided from the moment of “discovery” with

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European Crowns and their American heirs. Ignoring the long history of land deals in what had become the United States, Marshall declared that Indigenous peoples could not sell their lands; they could only cede them to the state.100 Officials in Lower Canada and, later, in Quebec broadly concurred, though in their case they claimed that First Nations had already ceded their lands, making treaties unnecessary and, indeed, nonsensical. The Innu case broadly confirms this outline while also underlining the remove from public opinion at which the Indian Department functioned. Despite multiple public calls by the Innu themselves, as well as by politicians and civil servants, the department never seems to have considered entering into treaty in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean in the nineteenth century. Instead of providing the community with a portion of the revenue generated through centuries of leases or recognizing Innu land rights by purchasing title, the department provided reserves owned entirely by the Crown and annual in-kind distributions framed explicitly as relief. If presents recognized ongoing diplomatic relations, and annuities highlighted traditional ownership, relief meant something else entirely. By the late 1840s, departmental officials viewed monetary payments as unacceptable, recasting the Innu – a group that had not received annual presents – as improvident and in need of the state’s close guidance. While fitting perfectly with both ideas developed over the previous decades in debates on commutation and the legislative apparatus of assimilation that would be erected from the 1850s, the department’s handling of Innu requests struck a discordant note in the context of negotiations leading to the Robinson Treaties, covering lands bordering Lakes Superior and Huron in Upper Canada. Indeed, the Euro-Canadian push into both regions happened more or less simultaneously, though SaguenayLac-Saint-Jean initially received many more settlers. This timing and similarity suggests that departmental officials viewed Upper and Lower Canada as distinct spaces and considered compensation in the form of reserves and material assistance sufficient in the eastern half of the province. Whereas the Innu failed to gain access to funds generated by their lands and resources, the Wendat initially managed to generate modest revenue in Wendake and Quarante Arpents without interference by Indian Affairs. They could do so because the department, although officially holding jurisdiction, most often declined to intervene in issues involving land and resource-use in the St Lawrence Valley’s mis-

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sion villages.101 Though legislators augmented the state’s ability to intervene from 1850, the Indian Department did not always make use of this power. As a result, Wendat chiefs found themselves unable to end depredations on Quarante Arpents, leading to the dissolution of their privately held community fund and repeated requests on the part of the chiefs that the Indian Department help combat the illicit timber harvest. These requests appear to have been wholly ineffective, even after the adoption of the 1864 law providing a mechanism for the protection of resources. Change did occur, though certainly not the change for which the chiefs had hoped. As a result of its growing legal prerogatives at midcentury, the department took charge of funds generated by Wendat and Innu lands and resources. In Wendake, this introduced new controls on the expenditure of public moneys, controls that ended the chiefs’ earlier financial autonomy. In Mashteuiatsh, growing state control prevented the chiefs from implementing a system of taxation that may well have achieved a form of fiscal independence. In all of these processes, money continued to play a critical political role. Between the 1820s and the middle of the nineteenth century, money served as the support on which the colonial imagination intertwined notions of indigeneity and improvidence. The period also witnessed the rapid expansion of Canadian currency and the population of European descent in the eastern subarctic. Money and the Indigenous peoples who made use of it pushed this expansion further, remaking previously marginal space into an integral part of colonial territory. From the middle of the century, these symbolic and spatial changes contributed to restructuring First Nations’ relations to their lands as well as their natural and financial resources. The paternalistic legal order that the Province of Canada began erecting once granted responsible government proved critical here. Rooted in the conviction that Indigenous peoples needed firm guidance rather than free rein, and given material form in the reserve as pioneered in early nineteenth-century Upper Canada, this developing legal framework remade First Nations as minors in the care of the Department of Indian Affairs. This move further isolated from colonial society already marginalized communities. In the case of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, this isolation assisted the state in supplying reserves and relief instead of recognizing Innu land ownership. In Wendake, it allowed the department to take control of conservation and finance while largely ignoring the former and placing tight controls on local decisions

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about the latter. These patterns would continue into the twentieth century, though their scale would change as a result of the nationstate’s geographic growth and the massive increases in Indian Affairs funds and bureaucracy. If earlier changes provided the conceptual framework within which the state could make the case that its control of First Nations land and natural and financial resources was legitimate, the mid-to-late nineteenth century witnessed the first time authorities were able to mobilize this framework on a large scale. This process would only gain strength in the twentieth century.

6 Relief, Rights, and Resources: State Control of Money in the Twentieth Century

In the first half of the twentieth century, and in particular during the Great Depression, relief and money came together in new ways. While earlier assumptions of Indigenous improvidence remained central to policy and practice, Indian Affairs found new sources of funds, new ways of controlling relief money, and new methods of assisting First Nations. All of these novel approaches, however, required greater effort on the part of the department. Though expanding programs fuelled the institution’s continued growth that had begun in the 1870s and 1880s, while simultaneously contributing to its bureaucratization, the increase in numbers and industriousness of personnel did not permit Indian Affairs to meet its stated policy goals any more effectively than in the past. Building on the preceding chapters’ analysis of the ways in which money functions to support imagined geographies, to lay claim to sovereignty, to create and surveil population, and to assert Indigenous improvidence, this chapter explores some of the influence these factors had on policy and practice from the very end of the nineteenth through the middle of the twentieth century. In particular, the chapter focuses on the ties that bound social assistance and the state in First Nations communities.1 It highlights the ways in which Indian Affairs sought control over local programs and actors while selectively exercising the powers of supervision provided under the Indian Act. Whereas earlier chapters have focused on a single episode in the monetization of Indigenous-state relations, this chapter proposes three more or less distinct case studies. These cases, each of which is related to social assistance, highlight the ways in which money and

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the notions of improvidence, population, and territoriality it mobilized continued to direct policy well after the use of state currency became generalized among First Nations throughout Canadian national space. While evoking Mashteuiatsh, I concentrate here on Wendake and Moose Factory. The chapter begins by exploring ties between the retail sector, statefunded relief, and the office of the Indian agent in Wendake. Between the 1890s and 1930s, two agents personally profited by directing relief expenditure on the reserve to the stores they owned and operated. Even as the means of distributing assistance changed – from the purchase of basic provisions as dictated by the agent to the issue of nontransferable vouchers for use in a single store that provided Indian Affairs headquarters with greater supervisory powers – the Indian Act continued to explicitly ban trade between First Nations and departmental employees. Still, the Indian agent in Wendake managed to trade with Wendat, often benefiting personally from relief funds. The second section turns to the control of money due to veterans and their dependents by the federal government. Indian Affairs profited from these funds, cutting its relief expenditure while transforming a portion of what every other Canadian beneficiary received in cash – that due to women, children, and indigent “low pensioners” – into in-kind assistance. Finally, the chapter considers the extension of fur conservation to western James Bay by Indian Affairs in the 1940s. This form of resource management led the institution to displace the hbc in part from its central role in the fur trade in and around Moose Factory. Together, these episodes underline the state’s abiding paternalism and the corresponding drive to “protect” the most vulnerable of its wards from the corrosive effects of money. They also remind us that treaty payments did not signal the end of the colonial relationship in which the state instead of Indigenous peoples determines the allocation and use of monetary value.

the politics of on-reserve retail in wendake Practised by nearly everyone, consumption speaks directly to money use. This is apparent in the case of Wendake from the 1890s through the 1930s, which brings two key issues to the fore. First, it highlights the major normative bias in the historiography – that is, the assumption made by many studies of Indigenous-state relations that the law

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functioned as written. Second, it underlines the ways in which the state’s aversion to monetary relief both constrained recipients’ purchasing power and provided one elite family with an effective means of reinforcing its economic power. This section examines two particular cases involving retail trade conducted by an Indian agent, one in the 1890s and the other in the 1930s. In both cases, the agent was not only Wendat but also belonged to the Bastien family (whose members, as noted in chapter 5, were deeply involved in mid-nineteenthcentury disputes over timber). The ties binding political and economic power in Wendake during the period passed not only through consumption but also through this family and a handful of its patriarchs. Antoine-Oscar Bastien Wawadorolien was the first family member to benefit financially from his position as Indian agent. Appointed in early 1885, Bastien began drawing a salary in 1886 after his return from militia service during the North-West Resistance.2 By 1894, Bastien, “being married and with family,” found his $200 salary insufficient and opened a grocery store to make ends meet, selling goods for both cash and credit to reserve residents. The agent later claimed that concern for his fellow Wendat had led him to open the store, since they “often were in distress being without work and could not hunt on account of the prohibitive law of the Province of Quebec.”3 The province had severely curtailed Wendat access to lands through grants of exclusive hunting and fishing rights to game clubs while creating the Parc des Laurentides; however, Bastien’s store clearly violated the law.4 From 1890, the Indian Act forbade any “official or employee connected with the inside or outside service of the Department of Indian Affairs” from trading “with any Indian.”5 Though Bastien himself provided the department with regular evidence of his commercial activities, submitting receipts for relief supplied from his store, his superiors appear to have become aware of the agent’s operations only in 1900.6 At this point, Bastien, looking to reimburse his own creditors, sought to collect some of the nearly $1,500 in debt owed him by bringing suit in the Circuit Court of Quebec against Abraham Sioui and Felix Gros-Louis, two of his principal debtors.7 Lawyers defending Sioui and Gros-Louis noted that in the absence of a permit, the Indian Act banned trade between First Nations and departmental employees. Since Indian Affairs had not issued a permit, Sioui and Gros-Louis argued they were not required to reimburse their debt. Given this state of affairs, Indian Affairs secretary and

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principal day-to-day administrator J.D. McLean ordered the store closed, informing Bastien that it violated the Indian Act.8 This case is special in a number of respects, perhaps most importantly in that it involves Wendake, a reserve where from the late nineteenth century the Indian agent was always also a band member. However, Bastien’s Indian status alone fails to explain his apparent belief that he had a right to trade with reserve residents. Indeed, L.E. Otis, the non-Innu Indian agent at Mashteuiatsh from 1872 to 1896, also ran a general store in a town directly adjacent to the reserve where he almost certainly sold goods to band members.9 Bastien’s case much more importantly suggests systemic ignorance within Indian Affairs itself. First, it demonstrates the basic lack of understanding, wilful or otherwise, of the Indian Act by front-line officials. Second, it highlights the failure of headquarters staff to know what its field personnel actually did. When ordered to close the store, Bastien responded by arguing that he should instead “receive the assistance of the Department,” presumably in both continuing his business and prosecuting his lawsuit against Sioui and Gros-Louis. Bastien even argued that he had “never traded with any Indian in the sense” banned by the Indian Act – that is, for “any goods or supplies, cattle or other animals.”10 Indeed, he wrote, “If these men are indebted to me, it is as I said at first, solely for groceries.” Bastien’s key claim, though, involved the Indian Act in a much more fundamental way. He wrote to McLean, “I was altogether ignorant of this law, which was never sent to me, and it was only on receipt of your letter that I became aware of it with my lawyers in the defence that these persons have made against my suit.”11 Bastien had been on the job for fourteen years and claimed to have never received a copy of the Indian Act. At the same time, no one in Wendake (nor in Mashteuiatsh, it seems) appears to have been aware that the law had explicitly barred trade between departmental employees and their wards since 1890. From all accounts, Indian Affairs staff did not find this particularly surprising. Indeed, McLean wrote,“It is probable that neither the Agent nor the Indians were aware that the store was on the Reserve in contravention of the law until this fact was pointed out by the lawyers when Mr. Bastien endeavoured to collect the money due him through the courts.”12 If both agents (the day-to-day intermediary between First Nations and the state) and Indigenous peoples themselves could remain ignorant of the law, it seems unlikely that daily life in Indigenous communities corresponded closely to

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the framework set out in the Indian Act. Moreover, this would not be the final case of an agent in Wendake trading with the Wendat, though this section of the Indian Act remained in force through at least the 1970 revision of the law.13 If political authority and consumption were clearly intertwined in Wendake in the 1890s, the bond grew stronger in the 1930s thanks to two key developments in the department’s provision of relief in the intervening years. First, relief grew substantially in scale, and second, from World War I it came in the form of nontransferable vouchers. In 1935, the height of relief expenditure in Wendake, Indian Affairs spent 74 times as much on the reserve as it had in 1900.14 A similar if less marked phenomenon is observable on a shorter time scale and across a larger number of communities. An analysis of the assistance provided by Indian Affairs in eight of the nineteen agencies in Quebec, representing both southern, “settled” First Nations and northern, “hunting and trapping Indians,” reveals that total relief expenditure in 1933 was 8.5 times greater than it had been in 1929. Although relief outlay declined somewhat thereafter, it remained well above its preDepression level at least through 1938.15 Of these eight First Nations, Odanak, Listuguj, Kanesatake, and Wendake, each located in proximity to Euro-Canadian population centres, received amounts of per capita aid during the period that dwarfed those provided to more remote agencies such as Pessamit, Mashteuiatsh, and Temiskaming.16 In 1931, the department reported that “in the long settled parts of the country, such as the Maritime Provinces and older Ontario and Quebec, the Indians on the reserves are in close contact with the community at large, many of them earning their living as mechanics, labourers, industrial employees, and so on. Lack of employment has affected this class of Indian severely, and the department is obliged to provide for many of them by direct relief.”17 Of course, as John Lutz has demonstrated in British Columbia, such marked disparity in the provision of assistance was also due to the assumption by Indian Affairs that subsistence hunting, fishing, and gathering would meet the nutritional needs of most remote First Nations, thereby sanctioning the distribution of meagre relief rations in these communities.18 The department also applied this system elsewhere, providing relief to “the hunting and fishing Indians dwelling in more remote districts, particularly in northern Ontario and northern Quebec ... This ration is given to the Indians with the understanding that they must go back into the bush and hunt and not loiter about the posts and railway

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lines looking for charity.”19 Whatever the real needs of these different First Nations, the department’s response to their difficulties consisted of a mixture of straight relief and work-for-welfare programs by which residents carried out “road repairs, ditch digging, building operations and other necessary activities on reserves.”20 Indian Affairs provided this assistance not in cash but in the form of nontransferable vouchers. This was common practice among institututions providing relief to non-Indigenous recipients in the early years of the Depression, even if by the mid-1930s many Euro-Canadians accessed assistance in cash.21 A similar transition did not occur in the case of First Nations. In earlier decades, Indian Affairs had provided relief on a case-by-case basis that involved staff and chiefs more directly. In 1890s Wendake, for example, relief required the band council to pass a resolution including the dollar amount of relief, the name of the recipient, and the reason for which relief was requested. Before Indian Affairs would grant assistance, the agent needed to recommend the resolution and headquarters staff had to accept it.22 Though not clearly stated in every instance, relief was to be provided in kind, not in cash. In 1895, the deputy superintendent general, evoking the unstated assumption of Indigenous improvidence, informed the Indian agent in Wendake that he should not provide beneficiaries with cash, “which I may state here is a method of furnishing relief not approved by the Department, for obvious reasons.”23 The possibility that cash might somehow make it into recipients’ hands, combined with the important investment of agent time in gathering and submitting detailed accounts, may have inspired the department’s top officials to rework the mechanics of relief provision during World War I, when they introduced vouchers. Issued by Indian agents and redeemable by recipients for approved goods at local stores, vouchers kept money out of Indigenous hands while transferring detailed accounting responsibilities to the stores that received them. This system formalized and streamlined earlier practice, allowing staff at Indian Affairs headquarters to supervise the whole process, from application for relief through the issue of supplies to the repayment of merchants, and individualizing each recipient as a separate case that required specific attention.24 In this sense, relief vouchers bore more than a passing resemblance to the abstract form of fur-trade money: instead of being generally acceptable while representing value independent of their holder’s identity, vouchers were personalized and only good at a single loca-

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tion. However, in contrast to beaver currency, vouchers allowed their holders access to only an extremely limited range of goods. According to Harry Kurtness, an Innu from Mashteuiatsh, “Our old folks only had six or seven bucks a month. They called it a loan. At a certain point, they called it pitons. But it was only given to old folks. They couldn’t buy just anything with pitons. It was lard, flour, tea. They had no right to luxury, no tobacco, nothing else.”25 In order to change the store for which the department had issued a voucher, its recipient needed to convince the Indian agent that such a change was warranted. Certain agents, such as Antoine-Oscar Bastien in Wendake, appear to have considered it their duty to decide whether such requests were justified. Thus, in 1917, Bastien refused to transfer a six-dollar monthly voucher from Albert Rochette’s store to that of Pierre Pageau.26 Other agents, such as Maurice E. Bastien, also of Wendake, claimed to have left the decision entirely to relief recipients, even if in this case, as we will see, the claim was overly simplistic.27 Regardless of how Indian agents accorded vouchers, Ottawa sought to hold their value to a strict minimum while also decreeing that “only the aged and destitute or those utterly unable to provide for themselves should receive assistance.”28 In this way, the department limited relief to a level far below that granted to non-Indigenous Canadians during most of the Depression.29 While vouchers kept cash out of beneficiaries’ hands, they did provide significant amounts of money to the merchants who accepted them.30 Despite the department’s parsimonious approach to relief provision, two Wendat merchants, Gustave Gros-Louis and Paul Sioui, claimed in 1933 that vouchers at Wendake formed “nearly all the grocery purchasing power of the entire reserve.”31 The control of these vouchers and the money they guaranteed the stores that received them in payment constituted a major political issue among the Wendat, setting the less well-heeled members of the band against its political and economic elites. In an open letter published in Le Soleil, Quebec City’s widely read daily newspaper, Gros-Louis and Sioui accused Ludger Bastien and Maurice E. Bastien – the owners of the third on-reserve store (“Au Bon Marché”) and nephews of Antoine-Oscar Bastien – of using their political influence to conspire with the Conservative mp for Quebec-Montmorency, CharlesNapoléon Dorion, to gain control of the vast majority of vouchers. Sioui and Gros-Louis claimed that together they only received $108 per month in relief vouchers, or roughly 11.5 per cent of the total value distributed in Wendake, with the remainder being spent at the

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Bastiens’ store.32 Renewed in a second letter published six weeks later, their accusations are plausible if impossible to verify.33 In addition to having been the Conservative member of the Legislative Assembly for Quebec County between 1924 and 1927, Ludger Bastien was the grand chief of the Wendat from 1929 to 1935, while his brother Maurice E. Bastien served as Indian agent from 1931 through the late 1940s. Moreover, the brothers had inherited their father’s and grandfather’s industrial and financial fortune and continued to operate several businesses in Wendake, notably those tied to the manufacture and sale of snowshoes and moccasins and the provision of loans to reserve residents.34 As a result, the Bastiens employed a large percentage of the village’s population in the decades preceding the Depression. While Maurice E. Bastien addressed the accusations in two successive letters published in Le Soleil, the department apparently never entered the struggle.35 As a result, the situation did not change and Au Bon Marché continued to dominate the provision of relief through at least the late 1930s.36 Although this episode did not lead to the change for which GrosLouis and Sioui had hoped, it does underline the centrality of vouchers to both Indian Affairs welfare policy and the economic fortunes of local merchants. Indeed, in that they provided at least some individuals with one of their primary sources of revenue during the Depression, these highly controlled purchasing instruments contributed to both the survival of those in need and the well-being of local socioeconomic elites. While it seems inappropriate to imagine that this system benefited the Bastiens and other Wendat to the same extent, departmental assistance did, at least in this specific instance, provide succour to the economically disadvantaged as well as currency to the well-off. Vouchers’ ability to supply Indian Affairs with a significant amount of information concerning the consumption habits of relief recipients, while shaping those habits through Indian agents’ supervision of the goods for which vouchers were exchanged, was also central to their development and continued use.37 The Wendat received far higher levels of per capita assistance during the 1930s than they had previously. However, the form in which Indian Affairs supplied this relief – along with a retailing environment that featured only limited competition – provided residents of Wendake with little room to manoeuvre. By the 1930s, the Wendat could choose between Euro-Canadian-owned stores neighbouring the reserve and three establishments in Wendake itself. Gros-Louis,

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Sioui, and Maurice E. and Ludger Bastien owned the stores in Wendake, while Albert Rochette owned a competing establishment just off the reserve in Loretteville. Through early 1930, Indian Affairs had provided relief vouchers to destitute Wendat through Rochette’s store.38 However, shortly thereafter, the state began issuing vouchers only for Wendat-owned stores (primarily Au Bon Marché, run by the Bastiens), in the process turning these instruments into a major subject of political debate. Maurice E. Bastien explained that the dominance of state-funded relief enjoyed by his store provided a simple demonstration of the law of supply and demand, given that Wendat beneficiaries were free to choose the establishment for which their vouchers were issued. He argued that “most chose ‘Bon Marché’ because it had the largest assortment of goods at the best price, this grocery store being affiliated with the ‘Epiciers Unis’ of Quebec City.”39 However, an analysis of the prices charged by the three stores for common consumer goods calls Bastien’s claim into question. On 15 September 1929, Pierre-Albert Picard compiled a comparative price list for the three on-reserve stores. This document, which lists ten different products, allows for two observations: first, the Bastiens carried the widest array of merchandise, and second, the prices charged by Sioui and Gros-Louis for the goods they sold were always lower than those of Au Bon Marché.40 In this case, the Indian Affairs policy of issuing a single voucher for a single store to all households that received relief appears to have forced beneficiaries to choose between better selection and lower prices. The vast majority of Wendat chose the former, in the process providing the Bastien brothers with control of much of the community’s purchasing power.41 Of course, given that the Bastiens controlled the majority of the limited number of on-reserve jobs, unemployed Wendat may also have chosen to use their vouchers at Au Bon Marché in the hopes of earning much-needed monetary income, whether immediately or at some point in the future. Over the 1930s, Indian Affairs provided approximately $100,000 in relief vouchers in Wendake – an amount over fifteen times as much as it spent over the preceding two decades combined.42 Whatever their exact value, the receipt of vouchers could allow an otherwise unprofitable store to remain in business.43 Even if we assume that the share of vouchers destined for Sioui and Gros-Louis grew dramatically after their complaints became public, the Bastien family almost certainly earned the majority of these funds. Moreover, whatever the exact

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amount, it dwarfed the income of almost every other reserve resident during the period, whether they received state assistance or not. In a decade in which per capita relief expenditure stood somewhere between $15 and $20 per year and in which “a girl working periodically in a slippers factory” could expect to earn “just a few dollars a week” and to be “without work at frequent intervals,” the Bastiens’ voucher-based income easily exceeded that of their neighbours by an order of magnitude, to say nothing of the family’s manufacturing and cash retail revenue.44 If the department had provided cash instead of vouchers, the Wendat recipients would have most likely spent it quite differently, dividing the amount received between local stores and those in Quebec City. Of course, this did not happen and Maurice E. Bastien’s success largely surpassed that of his uncle, who had also benefited from his position of authority to earn income in the retail sector. Indeed, the younger Bastien steered the massively increased federal relief funds of the 1930s toward his and his brother’s store, where they charged higher prices for the same goods their competitors sold. As a result, the family maintained its socioeconomic status despite the Indian Act’s continued ban on trade between First Nations and departmental employees.

saving indians: departmental control of outside funds If Indian Affairs largely failed to supervise its agents’ commercial activities in Wendake, especially in connection with departmental relief expenditure, it proved far more interested in controlling the use of funds originating in programs run by other state agencies. Inherent Indigenous improvidence, an article of faith among departmental staff visible in their use of vouchers, played a critical role here, too. Although rhetorical in nature, this assumed improvidence served to justify the state’s practice of withholding cash payments despite growing acceptance among Canadians in the 1930s that relief recipients deserved monetary benefits.45 At the height of the Depression, Indian Affairs employees collaborated with their counterparts in the Department of Pensions and National Health (dpnh) to extend to First Nations a program from which they had previously been excluded (i.e., the supplementary payments made by the latter department to veterans whom it characterized as “low pensioners”) before ultimately converting the program’s benefits to in-kind relief. This nationwide

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policy change was prefigured by more tentative efforts on the part of Indian Affairs to replace monetary pensions with in-kind payments to at least some veterans’ dependents who received monthly payments from the Board of Pension Commissioners for Canada (bpc) and its institutional successor, the Canadian Pension Commission (cpc). In pursuing these changes, Indian Affairs officials claimed their goal was twofold. First, they sought to ensure that First Nations continued to benefit from the disinterested and benevolent guidance of the department (which in 1936 became a branch of the Department of Mines and Resources). Second, they argued that only Indian Affairs’ long experience could guarantee that its wards did not succumb to the temptation promised by more cash than was strictly necessary for survival. This process transformed payments that were universally considered a right in light of their recipients’ wartime service into a privilege akin to charity. However, this substitution also served to continue both the branch’s predilection for reducing its expenditure (wherever possible, it used pension payments as a means of offsetting its own spending on relief) and its unstated drive to found “its rightness in reason and in nature.”46 Indeed, since the early 1860s, Indian Affairs had exercised a virtual monopoly among state actors over its clientele.47 During the interwar period, however, a series of novel programs and state agencies offering services to the entire population, First Nations included, appeared to threaten the branch’s role as the federal state’s sole interlocutor with Indigenous peoples. In this way, efforts by Indian Affairs to lay claim to the new administrative ground created by veterans’ and dependents’ pensions allowed it to reaffirm its raison d’être at the expense of both its stated objective of assimilation and the relative autonomy afforded Indigenous veterans and their dependents by monthly pension cheques. Following the Pension Act of 1919, the bpc awarded benefits to those members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force whose disabilities arose from or were aggravated by military service. Because, in the words of one legal historian, this act created the bpc as “an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal,” Indian Affairs held no direct authority over the application of its programs to Indigenous veterans and their dependents.48 For much of the interwar period, the process by which individuals applied for and ultimately received veterans’ benefits was daunting in its complexity while the bpc frequently proved reluctant to award meaningful benefits – when it chose to award any at all.49 To northern Indigenous peoples unaccustomed to the logic and

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workings of a centralized bureaucracy, these challenges may very well have seemed insurmountable. However, given their “privileged” relationship with the state, First Nations veterans and their dependents were often able to draw on the bureaucratic expertise of Indian Affairs and its agents in obtaining and defending their military pensions.50 In the case of Moose Factory, this expertise permitted Indian Affairs to “recover” its wards from a rival institution. Indian Affairs pursued disability pensions for the dependents of at least three Cree veterans residing at Moose Factory, ultimately securing them in two cases. The first of these, that of James Quachegan’s dependents, arose following the veteran’s death on 24 October 1927.51 The next day, the manager of the hbc post at Moose Factory wrote to the department on behalf of his widow, Rachel Chum, to determine whether she and her children might continue to receive a pension from the bpc.52 Although the process required nearly a year to complete, the department’s intervention on her behalf led to the bpc awarding Chum and her three children a pension of $97 per month.53 This was by any measure a massive amount, roughly equivalent to the annual per capita credit that the hbc extended at Moose Factory that year, or over fifteen times the amount of “sick and destitute supplies” it provided.54 Moreover, Chum must have been particularly pleased to receive this money given the collapse in revenue from all sources experienced by First Nations in far northern Ontario in the late 1920s and 1930s.55 Dinah Tapas, the daughter of Cree veteran Obeiah Tapas, also received a pension through the efforts of Indian Affairs.56 Unlike in the case of Chum, Indian Affairs initially failed to act in order to secure benefits for Tapas’s widow, Emily, and daughter, Dinah, following his death on 10 June 1929. The cpc claimed that bpc officers had attempted to contact both the James Bay Indian agent and the hbc’s manager at Moose Factory in 1929 and 1930 without ever having received a reply.57 On 24 September 1936, Tapas’s widow, who had since married Andrew Cheena, revived the case by visiting the Indian agent at Moose Factory in order to determine whether her fourteen year-old daughter, Dinah, was eligible for pension benefits.58 Following Mrs Cheena’s visit, Indian Affairs worked rapidly, making a written application for pension to the cpc on 3 October. By February 1937, the commission had ruled in favour of granting a pension to Dinah Tapas “at ordinary rates [$15 per month], with effect from the date of application, namely October 3rd, 1936.”59 If much less than the pension Chum and her two children received, $15 a month was a sub-

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stantial sum in the late 1930s, as the value of the dollar remained low and as fur-bearing animals suffered from overtrapping by out-of-work Euro-Canadians. Although Indian Affairs attempted to secure pension benefits for the dependents of a third Moose Factory Cree, Oliver Mark, it ultimately failed in doing so because the bpc and, later, the pension tribunal held that Mark had contracted tuberculosis – the disease that ended his life – prior to his enlistment.60 In aiding potential recipients with the pension application process, Indian Affairs sought to secure control over the resulting funds. A.F. MacKenzie, secretary of Indian Affairs, wrote of Rachel Chum in the letter that accompanied her application to the bpc that she “appears to be an Indian woman above the average type, and yet, notwithstanding this, I would ask that, if any pension be granted to her, and I trust it will, the same be forwarded to this Department to be placed to her credit in a Savings Account. The Department will then authorize the Hudson’s Bay Company at Moose Factory to supply her with provisions and clothing to a reasonable amount each month.”61 In Dinah Tapas’s case, the cpc did not wait until Indian Affairs had made a similar request, instead suggesting that the branch administer the funds itself. In a letter addressed to the Indian Affairs secretary, a cpc employee wrote, “When returning the application form will you kindly forward a recommendation as to what disposal should be made of payments if an award is authorized. Presumably your Department would desire to act as administrator.”62 The Indian Affairs Branch agreed and it began receiving monthly payments following the cpc’s decision to award the pension.63 In these two cases, then, Indian Affairs proved able to return to the clientele relationship that had characterized its interactions with First Nations since the 1860s based on the shared understanding among bureaucrats that Indigenous peoples required paternalistic guidance. However, this renewed control over the lives of some and the justification that it provided formed only one aspect of the utility of pensions from the institution’s point of view. These payments also permitted Indian Affairs to cut the cost of the relief it supplied. In some cases, this method of reducing departmental outlay seems to have motivated Indian Affairs to pursue dependents’ pensions in the first place. In 1930, when first writing to the department on behalf of Kathleen Mark, Indian agent B.H. Hamilton clearly stated the benefits to Indian Affairs of veterans’ pensions. Indeed, Hamilton wrote, pensions might assist the destitute while simultaneously shifting the

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financial burden of their relief – what he terms “requisitioning” – from Indian Affairs to the Department of Soldiers’ Civil Re-establishment: “This woman at the present time has absolutely nothing, in fact she has been requisitioned by the Department for years. All things considered I feel that she has possibly some claims to a pension. In writing for her, I feel that the responsibility for her maintenance should be placed where it properly belongs.”64 A year later, in renewing his push for a pension on Mark’s behalf, Hamilton again noted her destitution while subtly suggesting that a successful application would eliminate at least a portion of Indian Affairs’ financial responsibilities toward Mark and her family.65 In this case, Hamilton’s actions corresponded perfectly with the Moose Cree term for his office: šôliyânikimâw, or “a person in charge of money.”66 A less ambiguous linguistic connection between the state and money would be difficult to imagine. Potential reduction of relief expenditure partially motivated the attempts by Indian Affairs to secure pensions – a fact, it seems, that was not lost on the Cree. Once bpc/cpc funds had been secured, Indian Affairs issued vouchers for a monetary value lower than the pension payments themselves, investing the remainder in order to stretch the funds’ lifetime. Beginning in July 1928, for example, the bpc paid $97 per month to the department on behalf of Rachel Chum and her children.67 Indian Affairs issued Chum credit at the hbc’s Moose Factory post for the purchase of “provisions and clothing to the approximate amount of $60.00 per month.” In other words, Indian Affairs deprived the widow of nearly 40 per cent of her monthly revenue from this source while theoretically generating 7.4 extra months of payment per year.68 Similarly, in February 1937, the Indian Affairs Ottawa office requested that its agent at Moose Factory, W.L. Tyrer, propose a scheme for managing Tapas’s pension payments in the absence of any information regarding the amount that she was to receive from the cpc.69 Tyrer responded, “I think if we allowed her to get $5.00 per month in supplies at the H.B.C. here and $10. both in spring and fall for clothing, the rest could be put to her credit at the Department and only be used in case of need.”70 The branch’s central office accepted this plan, effectively removing from Tapas’s control over 55 per cent of her annual pension income.71 Once the bpc/cpc had awarded a pension, Indian Affairs and its staff considered the resulting money as funding for relief. Tyrer made this clear when informing his superiors in Ottawa in January

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1940 that his records indicated depletion of the trust fund held by Indian Affairs for Allan Quachegan: “If there is still a small balance please inform me and I will issue relief to that amount so that the account may be closed.”72 Indian Affairs applied this vision in which pension funds provided a means of cutting welfare expenditure in more extraordinary circumstances as well. For instance, when James Quachegan’s and Rachel Chum’s son Peter fell ill while in the bush in March 1936, the department charged the expenses incurred in transporting him to Moose Factory for medical attention to his pension account.73 At the same time, dependents of Cree veterans did not experience this reestablishment of Indian Affairs control over their lives in entirely negative terms. For instance, the simple fact that the department maintained a permanent address facilitated access to pension funds by families who spent much of their time in the bush.74 Moreover, although Indian Affairs imposed a limit on the credit that beneficiaries could receive at the hbc each month that was inferior to their bpc/cpc pension rate, it placed this money in an interest-bearing account, thus allowing the pension funds to grow and, in the case of the Quachegans, ultimately reach three generations.75 Prior to completion of the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railway (t&no) to James Bay in 1932, neither Moose Factory nor Moosonee (nor any other town within the immediate vicinity) could boast the presence of a bank. Thus, Rachel Chum, like every other Cree inhabitant of the region, would have been unable on her own to open and maintain such an account. In other words, through its penny-pinching policy of substituting veterans’ benefits for relief, Indian Affairs’ institutional interests effectively led it to increase the lifespan of pension payments. Of course, none of this means that Cree recipients appreciated departmental management of their funds. This analysis only pertains to a portion of Indigenous beneficiaries of military pensions. Because of the pension system’s structure, Indian Affairs could intercede only on a change in status – for example, when the death of the veteran receiving a pension made a dependent eligible for benefits instead. Thus, just as James Quachegan drew a pension from discharge until death without departmental supervision, those veterans who had been awarded benefits by military authorities at the end of their service remained beyond the reach of Indian Affairs. Furthermore, certain First Nations veterans and their dependents proved capable of negotiating the application or

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modification process without Ottawa’s help. In the three communities under consideration, several veterans and dependents managed to draw pensions in this way. For example, Albert and Caroline Gustin began receiving pension payments because of their son Joseph’s wartime service in 1937. Unlike in other cases at Moose Factory, Indian Affairs appears to have become involved only the following year, when pension authorities sought its aid in having the couple’s endorsement of their benefit checks witnessed because neither could write.76 The Indian agent for James Bay arranged for the hbc’s post manager to witness the Gustins’ signatures, thereby ending Indian Affairs’ involvement in the case.77 William Frenchman, a Cree veteran from Moose Factory, also drew a military pension without interference by Indian Affairs. By 1922, if not before, Frenchman was receiving monthly cheques for $7.50.78 Two years later, a bpc employee informed Indian Affairs that “Mr. Frenchman requested [his] pension to be paid semi-annually on March 31st and 30th September of each year.”79 Frenchman continued to manage his pension without state supervision through the mid-1940s, at which point the Reverend Gilbert Thompson of Moose Factory administered Frenchman’s benefits on his behalf. When Thompson informed the cpc that he was leaving the area, the Indian agent attempted to gain control of the pension because its James Bay agent considered Frenchman “quite incapable of handling his own affairs.”80 However, it is unclear from the documentary record if Indian Affairs succeeded in doing so. In contrast to the Moose Factory Cree, every resident of Wendake and Mashteuiatsh who drew a pension appears to have done so without Indian Affairs interference. Wendat Captain Louis-PhilippeOrmond Picard, for example, received a small pension of $5.42 per month, paid by cheque by the bpc, until his death in 1930.81 Joseph Kurtness, an Innu from Mashteuiatsh, also received a small monthly payment ($7.25) from the bpc following his discharge.82 Indian Affairs only became involved in Kurtness’s case when, after a relatively long exchange of letters, pension authorities realized that the veteran held Indian status. They then turned to the department, requesting that it act as intermediary between Kurtness and the bpc.83 However, since the bpc did not grant Kurtness’s requests for increased benefits, Indian Affairs had no means of receiving payment on his behalf. All of these cases, whether involving Cree, Inuu, or Wendat veterans or dependents, demonstrate that Indian Affairs relied on pension authorities at the time of changes in pension status when work-

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ing to claim control over such funds. In the absence of such changes, Indian Affairs possessed no way of interposing itself between the bpc/cpc and Indigenous veterans or their dependents. Moreover, this means of gaining access to funds proved extremely burdensome, as authorities could not intercede en masse but had to do so on a caseby-case basis. Of course, gender and age played a critical role in the ability of Indian Affairs to capture pension funds.84 Indeed, in each of the three cases at Moose Factory in which the department aggressively intervened, the male head of household had died leaving a widow and a minor child or children. In contrast, the cases in which Indian Affairs did not play any role in administering the pension, whether in Moose Factory, Mashteuiatsh, or Wendake, involved either the living soldier himself or a surviving adult male identified as a dependent (e.g., the soldier’s father). This admittedly small sample suggests that Indian Affairs only sought and received control over funds from the bpc/cpc destined for those understood as being entirely incapable of managing their own financial affairs – that is, women and children. This continued the basic policy Indian Affairs had begun during World War I of holding military service payments in trust for dependents. According to a postwar departmental report, “Early in the war the department undertook to administer the estates of Indians who enlisted for active service overseas and to take charge of pensions, assigned pay and separation allowance, when called upon to do so. At one time the department had over 400 active accounts, but this number has gradually decreased as the soldiers returned from overseas and took up their civil occupations.” By 1921, $43,209, or slightly less than half of the total amount of such funds held by the department, was destined for minors who “received pensions, owing to the death of the bread-winner.” Indian Affairs planned to make use of this money “to start the children in life when their education has been completed.”85 In other words, it was the institution rather than the children or their families that decided when and how to use this money. The case of veterans’ and dependents’ pensions, then, marked something of a departure from earlier understandings of Indigenous responsibility. If officials continued to view Indigenous adult women and children as being in need of paternal guidance, Indigenous adult men seem to have been immune from earlier assumptions of improvidence. However, this exemption applied only to the particular case of veterans’ and dependents’ pensions, since Indian Affairs maintained its in-kind

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relief policy throughout the period, as seen in its discovery at the height of the Depression of a far more administratively effective means of using veterans’ benefits to reduce its own relief expenditure. In 1936, the Department of Pensions and National Health decided to extend veterans’ benefits to “low pensioners” residing on-reserve – that is,“to Indian Returned Soldiers who are receiving a military pension ... too small to enable them to provide for themselves and families.”86 Although the dpnh already provided such assistance to status Indians living off-reserve, it had refrained from applying the program to the whole of the First Nations population because its staff believed that Indian Affairs “would not wish to have on the Reserves any inequality of treatment.” However, correspondence in April of that year convinced them that Indian Affairs had “no objection to this inequality.” The deputy minister therefore proposed to his counterpart in Indian Affairs that they “decide upon how much additional unemployment assistance will be required to be granted to the Indians on your Reserves over and above that afforded by your Department, in order to bring the total monthly amount of assistance up to that granted to Indians living just outside of the same Reserves.”87 Although the method of payment that the two agencies decided to adopt did not initially provide Indian Affairs with absolute control of the funds (as in the case of some dependents’ pensions), it did allow the Indian agent to exercise a significant degree of supervision. In late spring 1936, the dpnh and Indian Affairs held a conference to work out the details of the plan and decided that the former would issue cheques, sending them “to the Indians through the office of the Indian Agent in order that he may see that the money is properly used.”88 However, in December of the same year, the director of Indian Affairs, Harold W. McGill, attempted to change this system. Branch officials now claimed that cheques issued directly by the cpc could cause “difficulty.” McGill informed the deputy minister of Pensions and National Health that “the Indians might object to the allowance being small compared with white pensioners in the neighbourhood. Complaints would, in all probability, be made to your Committee who would not be in a position to deal satisfactorily with the objections raised.” McGill proposed that a “better plan of handling the allowances would be for Indian Affairs Branch to advise the various Indian Agents of the monthly relief grant to each low pensioner in his Agency. Payment would be made by this Branch and each month an itemized statement would be forwarded to you and you could reim-

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burse us for the month’s outlay on behalf of Indian low pensioners.”89 The deputy minister promptly accepted McGill’s proposal.90 When forwarding the details of the new system to Indian agents across Canada, McGill pointed out that the relief was not to be issued by cheque, as per the initial plan, but in kind, instructing the agents “to furnish supplies to the amount of the monthly grant.”91 Thus, branch officials gained access to relief funds and the ability to align their expenditure with the Indian Affairs general relief policy. Yet again, it removed cash from the hands of some individuals who, according to established military pension practice, were entitled to it. In order to forego the possibility of injudicious expenditure of unrestricted funds, the agent was to supervise pension monies in the same way that he oversaw the use of relief vouchers, permitting veterans and their dependents to purchase approved goods alone. Moreover, Indian Affairs used these additional funds not to improve the living conditions of veterans and their dependents but to reduce its own expenditure. MacKenzie, the branch secretary, made this clear when describing to his counterpart in the dpnh the rate of payment that he felt on-reserve low pensioners should receive: “In arriving at what is considered a reasonable allowance, an endeavour is made to put the total monthly receipts of a pensioner on a par or it may be slightly higher than that enjoyed by the other members of the Indian tribe.”92 In other words, Indian Affairs would substitute low pensioner payments for those who qualified for the branch’s existing outlay on social assistance. Pension officials made no objection to MacKenzie’s proposal, thereby effectively condoning it. This scheme affected Indian Affairs’ relief policy in the three communities under consideration, although only to a limited degree. Achille de la Boissière, the Indian agent at Mashteuiatsh, informed his superiors in Ottawa that Joseph Kurtness, the Innu veteran living onreserve, received a monthly pension of $40 for his wartime service in addition to $40 per month in branch-supplied relief. Furthermore, this money provided Kurtness, his wife, and their fourteen-year-old son with their sole income.93 Similarly, Euséric Picard, a resident of Wendake, subsisted solely on the $40 monthly pension that she received for the service of her son Joseph, who was killed in action. Picard received no relief from Indian Affairs and the Indian agent did not recommend providing her with any additional funds.94 Thus, Picard did not benefit from any additional outlay for low pensioners, because the agent at Wendake felt that $40 provided sufficient income

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to guarantee her survival. Likewise, although the burden of providing relief to Kurtness appears to have passed from Indian Affairs to Pensions and National Health, his income did not increase. In fact, of all the members of the three First Nations under consideration, only Thomas Nicoshee of Moose Factory received assistance in addition to that provided by the combination of his original pension and Indian Affairs relief.95 From January through May 1937, at which point he disappears from the relief rolls, Nicoshee received (in addition to his monthly cpc cheque for $3.75) $10 in supplies each month from Indian Affairs – an apparent increase over the “very little” that the James Bay Indian agent reported having previously supplied him.96 The department, then, repaid the wartime efforts of First Nations veterans and their dependents not by recognizing their sacrifices but by seeking control over their pension accounts in a bid to decrease relief expenditure and to assert its institutional raison d’être in the face of “competing” state agencies. In contrast to the sense of entitlement that fuelled political action by Euro-Canadian Great War veterans, which ultimately contributed to the expansion of the Canadian welfare state and to changing perspectives on relief among the population in general, Indian Affairs officials do not appear to have viewed First Nations military pensions as imbuing veterans or their dependents with any special rights.97 Rather, throughout the period, the branch only deigned to admit Indigenous veterans’ contribution to the war effort when the agency perceived this recognition as advantageous (either in fiscal terms or as a means of justifying its own existence).98 By controlling pensions, Indian Affairs sought to reinforce its position as the federal “guardian” of Indigenous peoples. This policy had the side effect of promoting the department’s continued institutional existence. Within the particular context of disability pensions, the department actively negated its loudly proclaimed goal of assimilating Canada’s Indigenous population. If Indian Affairs had aimed at the assimilation of its wards above all, every Indigenous beneficiary would have collected her pension directly from the bpc/cpc as a veteran or dependent, rather than as an Indian.99 However, pension funds presented Indian Affairs with more than a means of reaffirming its institutional legitimacy. These monies simultaneously enabled the agency to fund the provision of relief – provided as vouchers, not cash – to a certain segment of the Indigenous population without incurring any expenditure whatsoever. Moreover, when pension beneficiaries and relief recipients overlapped, the administration of pension

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funds allowed Indian Affairs to reduce its outlay on welfare. Through the control of disability pensions arising from military service, then, Indian Affairs consolidated its standing while simultaneously curtailing its expenditure, combining several of its institutional goals into a single, neatly packaged manoeuvre.

parsimony, paternalism, and preservation: the state in the fur trade, 1930s–1940s At the same time Indian Affairs worked to replace a portion of its relief budget with external sources of funding during the Depression, it also participated in a series of local projects aimed at replenishing the population of fur-bearing species in the subarctic. Justified as an effective means of supporting Indigenous self-sufficiency through the market, these conservation programs also brought the state into more sustained contact with subarctic First Nations than ever before. In the specific context of Moose Factory, this proved effective in reintroducing large numbers of beaver available for trapping by the Cree. However, the meeting of bureaucratic and resource colonialism that characterized this specific project brought the worst of both worlds to bear as Indian Affairs proved to be an even less congenial trading partner than the hbc had been. This section considers the creation and operation of the Kesagami Beaver Sanctuary in the territory of the Moose Factory Cree. Though important for returning the region’s beaver population to sustainable levels, thereby making commercial trapping possible once more, the project ultimately failed to achieve its stated goal of ensuring Cree material well-being. Drawing on notions of inherent improvidence as it had in numerous other contexts, the state severely limited First Nations’ economic independence and access to cash through the beaver preserve and through extensive legal powers that dwarfed those held by any fur-trade company. At the same time, the beaver sanctuary provided southern officials with indepth information on the Cree, their territory, and their natural resources, giving the state new means of taking ownership of western James Bay. Following a prosperous period in the first half of the 1920s, fur prices on the world market declined dramatically from the second half of the decade. While the hbc and Revillon Frères slashed the amounts they paid for furs, they simultaneously cut the quantity of goods they sold trappers on credit. In the specific context of Moose

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Factory, this locked the Cree into ever-increasing indebtedness. At the same time, the population of animals on which they had previously relied for food fell precipitously, rendering impossible any attempt to leave the fur trade by “taking up their traps” and turning to subsistence hunting, as the Cree had done when the international fur market effectively closed at the beginning of World War I. This was partly due to the substantial number of Euro-Canadians who, in response to the loss of employment in the south, moved north in search of revenue from the fur trade. Many of these men, concerned only with short-term profits, travelled across the subarctic,“trapping out” a given area before moving on to the next, leaving great swaths essentially empty of fur-bearing animals and thus decimating both First Nations’ short-term income and their territory’s long-term productivity.100 In sum, the late 1920s and the 1930s were years of considerable hardship in James Bay, causing a dive in earning power and leading to the death by starvation of numerous Cree.101 Indian Affairs initially failed to respond. Instead, the department imagined that the imminent arrival of the t&no Railway at Moosonee would improve matters on its own by providing “opportunities, to such of the Indians as are willing and industrious, of earning their livelihood and of gaining an independence.” In 1930, Indian Affairs confidently predicted that “by becoming virtually an inland seaport Moose Factory, with its prospective tourist and summer trade and the contemplated extensive construction work covered by the expanding program of the Ontario Government, will afford openings for the dexterous canoe man, the ready guide and the tourist’s handy man.”102 This did not occur and, indeed, the 1930s proved a particularly difficult decade in far northern Ontario. In 1940, Indian Affairs reported that while only 25 per cent of the Indigenous population in the province lived in the Sioux Lookout and James Bay agencies, together these two received “approximately fifty per cent of the total relief expenditures in the province of Ontario.” In this context, the Indian Affairs superintendent of welfare and training felt that “about the only way to reduce relief costs and establish the Indian population on a self-supporting basis would be to replenish the region with meatproducing and fur-producing animals.”103 During the twentieth century, the provinces of Quebec and Ontario involved themselves in the regulation of Indigenous peoples’ resource harvesting to a much greater extent than previously.104 They generally did so through a system by which provincial game wardens stamped

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furs that were taken legally and seized those that had been trapped illicitly, sometimes bringing charges against individual trappers. Initially, such regulation disadvantaged First Nations, who, in accordance with established practice, preferred to steward the fauna on their lands so as to ensure themselves a long-term source of food and furs. By the end of the 1930s, however, increasing pressure from EuroCanadians who “trapped out” a territory before moving on to the next (earning revenue while depleting whole areas of fur-bearing animals) forced an official response. In formulating policy, Indian Affairs anticipated a broader official turn in Canada toward the application of research in the natural and social sciences to “development,” whether in the domestic north or through foreign aid to the Global South, that David Meren dates to the post–World War II period.105 It also looked to the conservation program the hbc had launched in eastern James Bay in 1929, a program that appealed directly to Cree interests to attain self-sustainability in the fur trade.106 In 1941, Indian Affairs, the Province of Ontario, and the Cree established the Kesagami Beaver Sanctuary in the hopes of accomplishing economic revitalization. The preserve, which covered over eighteen thousand square kilometres between Moose Factory and the Quebec border, contained roughly twenty-seven sections, each providing up to eleven heads of household (although this number was generally between one and three) with trapping grounds that the Cree and state authorities restocked with live beaver.107 From 1946, the point at which Kesagami entered into “production,” through midcentury, it revived Cree fortunes in the fur trade, furnishing them with a critical source of income in the process. However, this revenue did not arrive without strings attached. Because of the slumping fur market, the inexorable state drive for reduced expenditure, and efforts by Indian Affairs to control its wards’ lives, the Cree who trapped on the Kesagami at midcentury found that the project fell short of its original promise. Indian Affairs ran the preserve’s day-to-day operations. Its staff managed planning and finances, and the Cree did almost all of the on-the-ground work, relocating live-trapped beaver to the sanctuary and tracking population numbers thereafter. In 1942, Indian Affairs hired twenty-nine Cree tallymen (a number that would grow to thirty-nine by 1946), paying each $50 per year plus rations.108 Though not enormous, this salary was not inconsequential, either, amounting to nearly 5 per cent of the amount anthropologist R.W. Dunning claimed a First Nations family in far northern Ontario required for

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basic necessities in the early 1950s.109 Between 1943 and 1946, Indian Affairs also hired several Cree to make annual live trapping trips to Algonquin Park, initially paying each $88 plus food and provisions, though it cut this amount to $68.75 in 1944.110 The branch viewed the wages it paid these men as a “small annual stipend,” designed “to help them conserve their beaver by the purchase of supplies and to compensate them in part for the decrease in revenue due to the closing of the season.”111 Once brought into production during the 1946–47 season, the Kesagami beaver preserve followed established practice in other sanctuaries in Quebec and Ontario by placing strict limits on trapping. Authorities assigned each head of household an annual quota of beaver generally depending on family size. In the first two years of production (1946–48), Indian Affairs and the Ontario Department of Game and Fisheries kept quotas low, permitting most Cree to trap from ten to twenty beaver.112 By the 1948–49 season, many received larger quotas, most often between fifteen and thirty beaver per family, though four families were allowed to trap a maximum of thirtyfive.113 When Kesagami first entered production, provincial legislators had yet to pass legislation officially opening it to trapping. As a result, federal and provincial officials required the Cree to surrender their furs in the 1946–47 season to “either the Police Constable, or Indian Agent acting in his capacity as Deputy Game Overseer.” Indian Affairs and the Fish and Wildlife Division of Ontario’s Department of Lands and Forests had initially planned to ship the furs to Toronto for sale “along with other furs illegally taken and seized by the provincial authorities.” However, they ultimately decided to recognize hbc support for Kesagami by holding auctions at Moose Factory instead, where the company could bid alongside other local fur buyers.114 From this moment until the end of the formal Kesagami sanctuary four years later, Indian Affairs shifted its focus from conservation to commerce. If the establishment of fur preserves allowed the Cree, on whose expertise and active collaboration they depended, to shape official policy in line with their culture and values, as Hans Carlson argues, the commercialization of the state’s role in Kesagami also altered relations with the Cree by providing the state with massively increased control over their day-to-day material lives.115 Though not identical, the Cree experience resembles that of other First Nations trapping on fur preserves in the late 1940s. Within a few years of

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Kesagami’s opening, a similar situation would develop on the Péribonka Beaver Sanctuary in Quebec, where sloppy management and slow payment by Indian Affairs caused economic hardship for trappers while seeming to confirm the wisdom of those Innu who had already abandoned the fur trade as a means of earning a living. Commercial relations in the two cases differed significantly, though; in Kesagami, Indian Affairs conducted fur sales, and in Péribonka, the province did.116 As such, the agent was placed at the centre of the immediate postwar fur trade at Moose Factory, where he exerted considerable influence on Cree trapping and economic fortunes. In the winter of 1946–47, the agent was to hold auctions at Moose Factory every Thursday, grouping together the furs of each individual male head of household for sale by sealed tender to the highest bidder. However, he held auctions far less frequently (roughly once every two months), most likely owing to slow fur returns. Once the agent had accepted a bid for a given lot, he would credit that trapper’s account minus the advances paid on the surrender of furs and a $4 “impost” to fund future tallymen’s wages.117 Credit was not cash, though, and Indian Affairs decided that it would not pay all proceeds from each sale at once.118 Instead, the male head of household received the full sale price “in three instalments, the first of which would be paid in a lump sum to enable the Indian to pay off his indebtedness with the merchants, the second part to be divided into three equal instalments in June, July and August, and the balance paid in a lump sum in September to outfit him for the fall.” The branch did not adopt this policy because it rejected centuries of practice in the fur trade according to which hunter-trappers would be credited the value of their entire hunt minus advances when returning to the post in the summer. Rather, it did so because the policy required that the sale price be paid in cash. Channelling authorities who had argued in the 1820s that presents were given in kind rather than cash “to avoid temptation,” the Indian Affairs fur supervisor for Kesagami claimed that the installment plan had been adopted primarily to prevent trappers from giving in to their natural improvidence. To his mind, providing a single, cash payment for furs would only encourage the Cree to go on “a little spree in Cochrane,” the closest town to Moose Factory.119 Indian Affairs control over payments continued to characterize Kesagami throughout its existence. As a 1949 newspaper article reported, “Authorities feel the Indian is ‘not to be trusted’ with sizable sums. All returns are kept in the safekeeping

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of the Indian agent ... And when an Indian needs money to buy clothing, provisions or equipment for his boat or trap line, he is given the requested amount.”120 Though preoccupied with what the Cree might do with too much cash, the Indian agent was forced to admit that “the local fine fur catch” in Kesagami’s first season (1946–47) was “a total failure.”121 Indeed, the first two auctions resulted in an average sale price of only $25.40 per fur, well below both what Indian Affairs had hoped to earn and what it earned elsewhere.122 Sales would only decline over the rest of the season, with all 772 beaver trapped in Kesagami earning only $24.13 per pelt.123 The hbc purchased none of these furs, deciding that the winter’s catch was not worth procuring. Indeed, its headquarters instructed the Moose Factory post manager not to bid in the second auction. Following this second disappointing auction, the branch’s fur supervisor based at Moose Factory changed course somewhat, making sales contingent on bids being no more than “twenty to twenty-five percent below going market levels in Montreal.” If local fur buyers did not meet this threshold, Indian Affairs would ship the furs to the city for auction.124 Sales improved markedly the next season, with seventy-three heads of household harvesting 1,336 beaver worth an average of $32.91 each. However, this increase proved temporary, especially with resepect to those furs shipped to Montreal for sale. In 1948–49, they earned on an average $21.51 per pelt, a remarkably low price that fell further to $17.56 in 1949–50.125 During the 1948–49 season, Kesagami ceased to exist as a separate entity. Ontario’s Department of Lands and Forests effectively merged the sanctuary with its registered trapline program in the fall of 1948 when it began requiring all Cree to acquire standard provincial township trapping licences. Since Indian Affairs paid the fees during the transitional year, Kesagami’s changed status only directly affected the Cree from the summer of 1949, when they first had to purchase licences.126 This shift once again altered the dynamic of trapping in the region in several ways. First, and most obviously, the Cree were required to pay new fees to continue trapping. Second, by transferring the sanctuary to the registered trapline program, the province eliminated the tallymen positions and their non-negligible $50 salary. Third, with the exception of those who had received advances from the branch, the Cree were no longer under any obligation to sell their catch to the Indian agent.127 As we will see, though, Indian Affairs continued to control most if not all furs from Kesagami to 1950.

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While selling furs from the sanctuary in its first season of operation, Indian Affairs also involved itself in one of the pillars of the fur trade: credit. It initially did this by guaranteeing, with the permission of individual trappers, Cree purchases from the hbc against anticipated trapping income.128 This practice continued through the 1948–49 season. By this point, the branch directed its guarantees toward those Cree trapping in Kesagami whom the hbc and other local merchants had refused to outfit on unsecured credit.129 The following year, Indian Affairs replaced its guarantees with credit provided directly from its own funds. Combined with the requirement that all furs trapped in the sanctuary in its first year of operation be surrendered to officials – something that was maintained in practice in 1947–48, even though the Cree were no longer legally obliged to do so – credit from 1948 through 1950 effectively allowed the branch to monopolize sales of Kesagami fur. To receive advances from 1948, each Cree head of household had to sign a marketing agreement that required the surrender for sale to the Indian agent of all furs caught in the preserve. Private fur purchases, including by the hbc, effectively confirmed this. While generally not buying furs from Kesagami, the company also either entirely refused credit to the Cree who trapped there or reduced the amount supplied to correspond to the value of only those furs they caught elsewhere. This ultimately reinforced the branch’s influence over the fur trade and control over Cree material conditions and helps explain why the Indian agent referred to the funds he extended not as “credit” but rather as “assistance” – even if he, like his superiors in Ottawa, fully expected reimbursement from the Cree.130 In the context of plummeting fur prices, the branch’s insistence that those who owed it money surrender their catch created tension at Moose Factory. In late winter 1949, the hbc’s post manager reported to the Indian agent that several Cree had attempted to sell their catch from Kesagami to the company. Reacting simultaneously as a fur trader and a cost-conscious bureaucrat, the agent informed Ottawa that “the Kesagami Indians have had considerable amounts advanced to them for the purpose of trapping this beaver and if the selling of their catches should be thrown open you may be prepared to accept a considerable loss.”131 This response had everything to do with currency and control. Like the hbc of decades earlier, the Indian agent resisted the monetization of his dealings in the fur trade, convinced that the Cree would fail to reimburse the branch with cash earned elsewhere. From the perspective of the Cree who sought to sell to the

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hbc, however, the main motivating factor was price, not any attempt to avoid paying their debt.132 Selling to other buyers would have helped the Cree avoid the overhead imposed by the sale of furs at auction in Montreal. By 1949, Indian Affairs was paying a 5 per cent auction fee on all sales while also levying a 10 per cent impost and a $2 per fur Ontario royalty, all as prices slumped. Under the branch’s marketing system, then, a fur that sold for $32.91 in Montreal (the average Montreal price in 1947–48) would be worth only $26.13 to the Cree who had trapped it.133 Many Cree felt they could do better by selling the furs directly to a local merchant. Moreover, because the Canadian Fur Auction only held sales regularly during the winter and spring, and because Indian Affairs only credited individual accounts after receiving payment from Montreal, the Cree potentially had to wait months before receiving any benefit from their catch.134 Selling furs locally would have given them immediate access to cash. Though providing an important response to the collapse of the beaver population in western James Bay, the state’s involvement in the fur trade was far from entirely positive. Indian Affairs monetary controls, whether in the form of installment payments from the proceeds of its statutory monopoly or the contractual and coercive relations it created with its indebted trading partners, restricted the ability of the Moose Factory Cree to manage their production and revenue as they saw fit. Of course, the fur trade had never been free in any sense of the word; however, the state’s attempts to enforce compliance through contract and monopoly went far beyond the practice of the period’s fur-trade companies. For example, although many companies would cease to extend credit to trappers who had proven incapable of repaying their debt over a series of years, by the middle of the twentieth century they had universally come to accept payment of debt in cash earned from the sale of furs to other traders who offered better prices. Indian Affairs refused to accept such conditions, thereby creating resentment among the Cree who found their purchasing power diminished because officials declared illicit an otherwise acceptable form of exchange. Furthermore, as the market deteriorated, the branch’s insistence that the Cree bear both the wait for payment and the required fees involved in the sale of their furs led to resentment and diminishing returns for both the trappers and the branch (by the end of the 1940s, its entire fur-trading budget was provided by the 10 per cent fees it imposed on fur sales). This counterproductive behaviour suggests the point to which the “improvident Indian” had

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become engrained in Indian Affairs’ institutional imagination. That some Cree had come to view the hbc as a preferable trading partner to Indian Affairs by 1950, despite both the state’s driving role in the Kesagami Beaver Sanctuary and the company’s refusal to extend credit to them, demonstrates the extent to which the state agency had antagonized the Cree. From the late nineteenth through the middle of the twentieth century, money and its control formed a critical, if often unremarked dimension to state presence in First Nations communities. High-ranking officials drew on long-established consensus when reminding their subordinates in the field that cash relief and, indeed, even one-time monetary payments for furs were unacceptable. Along with the politicians responsible for amending the Indian Act, these men assumed that Indigenous peoples required strict supervision if they were to succeed in Canadian society. In practice, though, such supervision had more to do with control than it did with inculcating liberal values.135 Moreover, though legislation empowered the state to exercise control over its employees as well as First Nations, the latter provided a far more enticing target. Here we see the limits of the Indian Act – and historical analysis that assumes the efficacy of legislation or policy – as well as the biases inherent to Indian Affairs. Trade between Indian agents and First Nations, then, was acceptable (though illegal) as long as it failed to spark any meaningful controversy. Indeed, this would seem to explain the difference between Wendake in the 1890s and in the 1930s. If the department ordered Antoine-Oscar Bastien to cease his commercial operations, it did so only once the legal system had become involved. The fight in the 1930s, waged in the pages of a newspaper (though certainly not welcome), did not pose the same type of challenge to the state. Justification in this game of control proved critical, too. Coming out of World War I, mainstream Canadian society had largely accepted that those who had served in the military and their dependents deserved a degree of respect and freedom from state surveillance, a status associated with female suffrage and, indeed, cash benefits. Yet this recognition was extended only partially to Indigenous peoples. If veterans themselves and their adult male dependents might be recognized as having a right to monetary payments, their widows and minor children were an entirely different matter. In the case of Moose Factory, Indian Affairs seized on this distinction to transform higher-

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value monthly cash payments made directly to the beneficiary by another federal agency into lower-value provisions provided through the hbc. It extended the same logic to capture additional payments to “low pensioners.” In both cases, the department effectively lowered its relief budget while refusing to provide the specific benefits to which veterans and dependents had a right: a specified monthly amount, paid in cash, independent of Indian Affairs oversight. Less disingenuously aimed at assisting Indigenous peoples, the Kesagami Beaver Sanctuary still demonstrates the state’s tendency toward control. Given the hardships caused by population collapse among fur-bearing animals across the subarctic, Indian Affairs in concert with provincial governments developed conservation programs that transplanted beaver and other species from parks in the south. Once animal numbers had increased sufficiently, First Nations could begin trapping operations again. Though this program worked to recreate a viable economy for the Cree and others, providing wages from work on the land in the period before preserves came on line, it also opened space in which the state became the marketer of furs, interposing itself between Indigenous trappers/consumers and Euro-Canadian fur buyers/retailers. Once ensconced in this position, Indian Affairs proved itself a remarkably bad trading partner for the Cree, generating less revenue and imposing greater constraints than had existed in earlier periods. At the same time, the work of Cree tallymen and Euro-Canadian fur supervisors generated detailed and regularly updated information on the land and its human and nonhuman residents. Both the provincial and federal states made extensive use of this information to enforce hunting and trapping regulations and to plan and implement future conservation efforts. Here we see unfolding in western James Bay during the 1940s the same process that took place a decade earlier on the eastern side of the Bay. Just as in Quebec, Cree in Ontario, faced with profound challenges to their material well-being, chose to work with state officials on this project. However, in doing so, they effectively provided these officials with the material to reterritorialize Cree lands as Canadian, adding layers of detailed local knowledge to earlier assertions of sovereignty over largely undifferentiated space.136 Together, these three cases demonstrate money’s influence both on some of the most basic services Indian Affairs provided First Nations and on the way in which Indigenous policy developed alongside the larger world of Canadian politics. As the Canadian state grew, gener-

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ating new institutions that increasingly subscribed to technocratic ideals, Indian Affairs sought to apply scientific and bureaucratic models to its operations, simultaneously working for its own institutional self-preservation.137 Joint programs established with provincial governments and other federal agencies in the 1930s and 1940s, whether pension transfers or fur preserves, prefigured a trend that would only intensify in the postwar period, notably in sectors like education, health, and welfare. All of this was predicated on the status of First Nations as wards of the state – necessarily improvident wards, in the eyes of federal officials, wards who could not be trusted to manage their own affairs. Officials in the mid-twentieth century understood money, in much the same way as their nineteenth-century forebears, as inherently dangerous, as corrosive to the liberal values whose development they claimed to be hard at work fostering. By keeping money out of Indigenous hands, civil servants of whatever period gained a modicum of control. Though the fur-trade monopolies accepted cash by the early twentieth century, and though the state itself paid substantial amounts each year at treaty time, First Nations, much like Euro-Canadians drawing on public assistance or private charity, never gained access to a regime in which all transfers of value from the state came in unrestricted monetary form. Indeed, restrictions such as these remain a major point of contention among Indigenous activists and politicians today. As a result, the promise of freedom that Canada made and makes, whether in its classical liberal or modified welfarestate variety, continues to go unfulfilled. Money is political and the forced inability of Indigenous peoples to generate and use value as they see fit is nothing if not a manifestation of colonialism.

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Conclusion

In November 2011, the Action démocratique du Québec (adq) announced that the roughly $2.5 million Hydro-Québec had paid the Innu of Ekuanitshit (Mingan) as part of an agreement on the construction of the Romaine hydroelectric complex had been divided and distributed by cheque to every member of the community two years earlier. Commenting on these previously undisclosed payments, the party’s finance critic, François Bonnardel, gave vent to his disgust and disdain: “If we give them money, they’ll do what they want with it. That’s fine, it’s their right, but beyond that, we have a social responsibility to them, we have to help these people ... An 18 or 19-year-old youth spends however he likes, but if in the end Quebeckers have to pay a second time to get him back on track, we’ll pay a second time.”1 Bonnardel slammed Hydro-Québec, claiming that rather than “accompanying” the Innu in their management of such considerable funds, the public utility had “washed its hands” of its social and economic responsibilities in a community were he claimed “35 per cent to 40 per cent” of people struggled with problems of substance abuse. “We should develop projects, with them, and instead we abandoned them.”2 He warned Quebecers that other Indigenous communities were also demanding individualized payment by cheque. Quebec’s minister of Aboriginal Affairs, joined by other provincial politicians and First Nations leaders, criticized Bonnardel for perpetuating colonial notions of money and of Indigenous peoples, noting his apparent assumption that “if ever cash is paid to to the community, they [Indigenous peoples] will hurry to go drink or buy drugs. No, but, isn’t it 2011?”3 In response, the adq mna insisted he was not racist. To

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prove his point, he shared with the media a letter signed by several Innu of Unamen Shipu (La Romaine) blaming the construction of the hydroelectric complex for aggravating social problems such as drug abuse in the region and thanking Bonnardel for taking a stand against a policy that only made these problems worse. Voices from the past rang throughout this debate. In his comments, Bonnardel resurrected elected and appointed officials from the early nineteenth through the mid-twentieth century. Indeed, authorities in the colonies said something very similar in the 1820s and 1830s when arguing against London’s plan to monetize presents and for a program of “civilization” jointly run by the churches and the state. In the letter from Unamen Shipu, we hear echoes of Indigenous voices, too, raising concerns once more about the ravages of substance abuse. These voices also ring in the simple statement of the vice-chief of Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam (Sept-Îles), who, supporting Hydro-Québec’s payments, noted that “this is not a present we have been given.”4 This episode, occurring nearly two hundred years after debates over commutation cemented the connection between indigeneity and improvidence in the minds of many in the colonies and the metropole, demonstrates that some, at least, continue to detect menace where money is concerned. The attention this recent dispute garnered reminds us of the passion and contention money can inspire in discussions of Indigenous policy, where it has been a recurrent theme since the early nineteenth century. From the 1820s through the midtwentieth century, colonial discourse held that money, especially in its material form, was dangerous, threatening Indigenous peoples, especially men, with perdition. As citizens increasingly became taxpayers in broader political discourse from the second half of the twentieth century, the danger shifted. “Freedom to,” portrayed in debates of the nineteenth century as both a problem for marginalized populations and a promise from which individual citizens might come together to build liberal society, became “freedom from,” as proponents of neoliberalism worked to free the market and the individual liberty they argued it guarantees from the dictates of a domineering state.5 Now (it was claimed) money, no longer a menace to the colonized, threatened national well-being in that federal and provincial governments provided dangerous levels of funding to First Nations, characterized as nothing more than “North America’s first settlers.” Those making this argument claimed that attempts to overcome earlier inequities in fact led to role reversal: that the descendants of those who had once

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dispossessed First Nations of their land and resources had now been dispossessed themselves by an unholy alliance of, on the one hand, their own duplicitous governments and, on the other, spoiled and cynical Indigenous leaders and activists.6 According to this reading, Canada ought to raze the whole system of Indigenous governance so that the market and universal rather than specific political rights might encourage prosperity for all.7 In 2013, for example, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (ctf), after publishing a list of what in its estimation were absurdly high salaries earned by chiefs across the country, proposed doing away with the Indian Act, privatizing real estate on reserves, and supporting recruitment and job training programs as means of improving First Nations living conditions. Couching the project in paternal language strongly reminiscent of the nineteenth century, the group’s director for the Prairie Provinces claimed that these steps should be taken “for the sake of kids living in poverty on too many reserves.”8 If the adq claimed that the Innu needed to be sheltered from the excessive freedom offered by money, the ctf argued that Indigenous peoples ought to have total control over their own individual corners of the reserve, which they could convert into money to help them realize the full promise of freedom through the market. These positions were not contradictory. Indeed, at their base, both attacked the legitimacy of First Nations governments to make decisions on behalf of their members, the ctf by explicitly calling the Indian Act into question and the adq by objecting to the council’s decision to divide the funds received from Hydro-Québec among all band members. They also both contested large monetary transfers to individuals, whether in the form of salaries or payments arising from agreements on land use. In each case, it was claimed, the value of the money, resources, and people involved were incommensurate and the proposed course of action – transferring reserves and resources to the open market, according to the ctf; having Hydro-Québec and the provincial government “accompanying” the Innu as they managed their funds, for the adq – would bring them back into balance. All of this reflects broader currents in neoliberal thought on Indigenous policy. Money is critical here, as those who propose such solutions to the contemporary “Indian problem” first emphasize the opening of reserve lands and resources to the free market and then demand that First Nations be made accountable to the Canadian public for their fiscal management (based in large part on an assumption of

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mismanagement).9 Moreover, just like their nineteenth-century predecessors, they tend to do so with only selective regard for what Indigenous peoples themselves see as having the potential to ensure quality of life in their communities. While political discourse has shifted between the mid-twentieth century and the present, though perhaps not as much as one might expect, money appeared to many to have lost some of its materiality. Developments during this period – perhaps most notably the embrace across North America of mass consumer credit, as exemplified by credit cards, along with the more recent turns toward debit cards, online banking, new payment technologies, and cryptocurrency – shifted use away from hard currency and toward abstract money.10 If this move away from cash is real, two factors to which this book has returned multiple times indicate that it is not equivalent to some sort of loss of materiality on the part of money. First, prior to the monetary developments of the mid-to-late nineteenth century – and long after that in some cases – abstract credit and debt provided the form in which much if not most money circulated. Second, even when used predominantly in abstract form, money is invariably material, as the network of fur-trading posts and merchant ledgers of the nineteenth century demonstrate just as clearly as today’s massive digital banking systems and the server farms, natural resources, and human labour required to make them function.11 These developments have also challenged money’s territoriality and its connection to older forms of political community, though, again, perhaps to a lesser degree than one might assume. Most obviously, the circulation of cash that explicitly invokes the nation through its use of iconography and text has decreased dramatically worldwide, with this sort of currency making up less than 10 per cent of the total money used today.12 This loss of use, and the consequential loss of visibility for this form of national claim to space, points to the broad process of reterritorialization through which money currently seems to be passing. Two distinct projects effectively illustrate this process: first, the European Union’s pursuit of territorial money explicitly based in (supranational) political community, and second, the push by cryptocurrency advocates to return money to what they see as its origins in “natural” forms of value that supposedly lie beyond human control (explicitly shaped to resemble precious metals). Of course, much like the euro, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have had the unintended consequence of creating and sustaining transnational community

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around their use.13 Both of these movements underline the historically contingent nature of national money and its contributions to the creation and maintenance of political space. Scholars have explored these issues through historical parallels regarding both the euro and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, seeing silver mining in the Americas and the rise to global predominance of the Spanish dollar as something of a precursor to cryptocurrency (which is also “mined”) and nineteenthand early twentieth-century European monetary unions as pointing the way to the euro.14 Others have underlined the exaggerated claims about the novelty of these monetary forms, which some commentators made in their rush to proclaim our move away from state-based territorial currency, as generative of greater freedom. In Nigel Dodd’s words, money’s increasing heterogeneity in the present “is in one sense merely money’s return to its pre-nineteenth century state of multiplicity,” a multiplicity that included but did not depend on the state and “which was much longer lasting” than what many, raised in the twentieth century, have assumed to be its natural form.15 Commentators have engaged with such monetary developments to suggest ways forward, whether nostalgically looking to the past or imagining a brave new world. Calls to return to precious-metalbased national monetary systems offer perhaps the most obvious example of the former. Those who make such calls claim that only precious metals can truly produce sound monetary value.16 Cryptocurrency advocates also conceive of their project along freemarket lines and similarly emphasize “natural” value as the basis for sound money, though they do so within a forward- rather than backward-looking utopian frame.17 In at least one case, this sort of thinking has found its way into discussions of the relationship between First Nations and the Canadian political order. Through a rather awkward synthesis of enthusiastic futurism, a shallow reading of the literature on Indigenous resurgence, and an implicit commitment to neoliberalism (not to mention metallism), a recent article goes so far as to argue that cryptocurrency holds the potential to decolonize Canada, liberating First Nations in the face of an indifferent, if not openly hostile, state.18 Though Indigenous thinkers certainly argue for increased economic and political autonomy, the general tone and emphasis of much of their work differs substantially, concentrating on the group rather than the individual while rejecting utopian, market-based projects of uplift because of their tendency to promote further dispossession.19

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Colonialism’s Currency broadly supports this reading, in historical if not necessarily contemporary terms. Indeed, it focuses on the centuries-long development of a number of ideas and practices that justified Indigenous dispossession, most often in the name of uplift. Many of these, along with the voices of past officials and Indigenous leaders, find echo in the present day. The book’s key themes include the development of ideas of inherent Indigenous improvidence in the context of increasingly imperious political and economic liberalism; shifting monetary space and its contribution to imagined geographies and claims to sovereignty; and state “creation,” surveillance, and control of Indigenous populations. It has explored these themes as so many aspects of colonialism, a phenomenon that, in the Canadian context at least, appears more complex than suggested by recent scholarship on settler colonialism. Indeed, though settlers have dispossessed First Nations of land across Canada, the history of relations in the subarctic, for example, is primarily one in which the fur trade and other natural resources have taken precedence over land in the actions of Euro-Canadians and where erasure has arguably been less central. In many ways, then, these relations have been simply colonial (as the term is used in postcolonial studies), with Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, and other distant economic and political centres supplanting extractive and controlling European metropoles. If settlers’ imaginative geographies, as communicated by money among other things, positioned them as “here to stay,” then certainly the same can be said of past imperial claims to space. Like other colonial powers, then, Canada asserted (and continues to assert) its sovereignty over vast territories in which it had little if any real presence. As in the larger British Empire, money provided an effective way of doing this.20 If such representations circulated widely, communicating Canadian sovereignty to those living both within and without the territory it claimed, the controls that the state, corporations, and others placed on money use also materially influenced First Nations’ attempts to master their own economic and political destiny. As we have seen, officials and merchants justified these controls with claims of inherent improvidence and a general lack of trustworthiness. If colonial and later federal authorities argued that First Nations could not responsibly handle money, hbc managers repeatedly claimed that their Cree and Innu trading partners would fail to reimburse unsecured credit, despite solid evidence to the contrary in both cases. Initially, monetary control meant that fur traders could overvalue beaver money when

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buying from First Nations and undervalue it when selling to them. It also meant that so long as the companies that employed these men enjoyed an effective monopoly on the sale of consumer goods in a region, they could refuse to accept money earned elsewhere. In the case of the state, control more often took the form of an effective ban on monetary payments and a drive to oversee all funds associated with lands and resources that might otherwise belong entirely to the chiefs. If treaty money provides an important exception with respect to the blanket restriction on monetary payments, it also served to promote state control. Indeed, these payments provided both a form of inexpensive surveillance and a means of making state power manifest. They marked recipients as “Indians,” attached them to specific points on a map and to the official system of band governance, imposed settler notions of family and gender through their provision to male heads of household alone, and annually reminded First Nations of the state’s existence in relatively remote regions like far northern Ontario where it had virtually no day-to-day presence. Together, these developments provided the foundations from which the still-distant state later expanded its activities to include involvement in veterans’ and dependents’ pensions as well as fur conservation. Yet expanding control and surveillance covers only part of the story. Pensions, much like trade between First Nations and the Indian agent, make it clear that the state’s claims often far exceeded its capacity to act and even to know. If money provided officials with power, it was a slippery sort of power that could and did escape the state’s grasp. At the same time, studying the everyday mechanics of Indian Affairs bureaucracy underlines the limits of normative historical analysis, which often leaves as much hidden as it brings into the light. Historians have long taken for granted the uniform imposition of the Indian Act and yet, as we see in the case of consumer trade over two generations in Wendake, the law’s articles did not necessarily shape conditions on the ground. Thus, scholars of Indigenous policy and colonialism must question some of our key assumptions. Indeed, that an Indian agent could claim ignorance of the content of the Indian Act after having been in office for fifteen years suggests that others, with perhaps less personally at stake, may have been unaware of the law’s general thrust, to say nothing of the specifics contained in its hundred-plus sections. This suggestion should push us to step beyond the normative, even as we continue to practise discursive analysis dedicated to understanding the material world that discourse functioned

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to explain, reorder, and paper over.21 This sort of approach, adopted throughout the book, reminds us of the active work involved in both the state’s and the fur-trade corporations’ will to control and the representations of space and Indigenous improvidence these institutions made both on and through money. In the history we have covered, fiction remade reality through money, a medium that has exerted incredible and often unintuitive material influence. If historians of colonialism have thought long and hard about land, labour, and capital, using money when quantifying each, we have spent far less energy considering money itself as a constituent element of the colonial project. Even those historians who contest the claims of neoclassical economics or neoliberal politics tend to tacitly accept the model of money as a “neutral veil,” an efficient means of communicating notions of value that itself exerts no force. Yet money, whether as the language through which we measure and communicate value, the practice of entering and maintaining relations with neighbours, a symbol of social and cultural values, a means of asserting claims to space, or the process of remembering debt through time, has had a meaningful influence on Canadian society. Indeed, Canada has long used this medium to depict the lands and resources of which it has dispossessed Indigenous peoples while laying claim to the same. It has also, of course, bought and sold these lands and resources, using money to assign and negotiate their value. Finally, Canada has used money to discursively infantilize First Nations, describing them as occupying an early stage of human development and, therefore, in need of settlers’ altruistic guidance. The resulting claims that Indigenous peoples could not responsibly handle money or that they lacked creditworthiness contributed to further dispossession and continue to circulate in the present, as politicians, like generations of their forebears, formulate theoretical solutions to the material challenges facing Indigenous communities. That these solutions have yet to demonstrate any sort of efficacy underscores the extent to which the history of the ties that bind money, First Nations, and the colonial project is anything but academic. If recent discussions of reconciliation have brought with them increased attention to historical wrongs, they have seemingly forced a fundamental shift in neither the connections Canadians make between indigeneity and money nor the colonial relations these connections encourage. In Canada, colonialism is current and currency is, and has long been, colonial.

Notes

introduction 1 Scott, “Last of the Indian Treaties,” 574. Also in Long, Treaty No. 9, 290. 2 None of the 1905 treaty signatories actually signed the document, instead applying their mark. Canada, James Bay Treaty. A copy of the original treaty, including the commissioners’ signatures and the marks of Cree and Ojibwe leaders, is available online; see “The James Bay Treaty – Treaty No. 9,” Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, accessed 19 March 2019, http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/explore/online/james_bay _treaty/treaty.aspx. The description of the “treasure-chest” is from Scott, “Last of the Indian Treaties,” 574. Also available in Long, Treaty No. 9, 290. 3 John Long demonstrates that the commissioners, while failing to clearly communicate both the meaning of the treaty’s written surrender clause and its potential effects on hunting and fishing, “actually negotiated an oral treaty of peace and friendship.” Long, “Treaty No. 9,” 190. 4 These are the contemporary terms. I have found no archival or published material from 1905 that uses these or other related Cree terms. Dictionary of Moose Cree, s.vv. “masinahekinwân,” “masinahikanekinwân,” and “masinahikew.” 5 Canada, James Bay Treaty. 6 Scott, “Last of the Indian Treaties,” 577–9. 7 Treaty 9 was not, as it turned out, “the last of the Indian treaties.” However, Scott refused to change the title when republishing the piece in 1947 because of the references it made to the closing of the frontier. Dragland, Floating Voice, 47. 8 John Francis Ariza, “Anglicizing Canada’s Indians: H.N. Awrey Has Worked with Them for Twenty Years Now,” Baltimore Sun, 12 August 1928, M13.

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Notes to pages 5–9

9 On ahtay, see Long, Treaty No. 9, 347. See also Dictionary of Moose Cree, s.vv. “ahtay,” “šôliyânikimâw”; and Moose and Swampy Cree Dictionary Online, s.v. “šôliyânikimâw,” accessed 1 August 2019, https://www.spokencree.org /Glossary/. 10 Borron, Basin of Moose River, 86; “Wilds of Northern Ontario Offer Adventure to Tourists in Canada,” Christian Science Monitor, 19 May 1941, 10. 11 For examples of fur traders and missionaries recognizing money use among the Cree, see Long, Treaty No. 9, 255; Batty, Forty-Two Years, 40; and Newnham, Life at Moose Fort, 22. 12 Of course, focusing on process or change rather than thing is as old as European thought, tracing its lineage to Heraclitus, though the Kantian/Marxian dialectical tradition is certainly more widely known today. Graeber, Anthropological Theory of Value, 49–54. 13 Simmel, Philosophy of Money. For a pithy synopsis of Simmel, see Dodd, Social Life of Money, 48. 14 Hart, “Heads or Tails?,” 651. 15 Graeber, Debt, 73–5. 16 Hart, Money in an Unequal World. 17 Keynes, General Theory, 262. 18 Guyer, Marginal Gains; Guyer, “Soft Currencies.” 19 Hart and Ortiz, “Anthropology of Money and Finance,” 474. 20 Fontaine, Le marché, 169–70. 21 Muldrew focuses on credit rather than money per se, making the latter synonymous with specie (precious metals in coin form). Muldrew, Economy of Obligation, 2, 98–9. See also Muldrew, “‘Hard Food for Midas.’” Chapter 1 further explores the relationship between money and credit. 22 Zelizer, Social Meaning of Money. 23 In this view, money is a store of value, a unit of account, and a means of exchange (sometimes distinguished from its function as a means of payment or settlement of debt). Ingham, Nature of Money, 3. 24 Mill, Principles of Political Economy, 488. 25 On the distinction between orthodox and heterodox approaches to money, see Wray, “State Money,” 23–40. For a distinctly heterodox approach, see Ingham, Nature of Money. 26 This is the well-known argument of Thomas, Entangled Objects. 27 Flannery, “Position of Woman,” 82. Julius Lips reports a similar phenomenon among the Innu in the context of money earned by women either trapping or manufacturing and selling moccasins. Lips, “Naskapi Trade,” 132, 190. 28 Flannery, “Gossip as a Clue,” 11.

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29 Lips, “Naskapi Trade,” 190–1. 30 “L’argent n’a pas de valeur en soi et, comme les autres biens matériels, on ne l’accumule pas. Plutôt, on le partage ou on le dépense, puisqu’il existe pour être utilisé. On peut presque dire que, contrairement aux personnes humaines ou aux animaux et aux plantes, l’argent ne vit pas, donc on ne le respecte pas.” Lacasse, Les Innus et le territoire, 65. Unless otherwise noted, all translations are the author’s. 31 Anonymous Innu woman quoted in Conseil des Atikamekw et des Montagnais, Montagnaises de parole, 71. For more probing analyses of the importance of other-than-human persons to Indigenous lifeways in the subarctic, see Nadasdy, “Gift in the Animal”; and Miller and Davidson-Hunt, “Agency and Resilience.” 32 This view was not universal. Among Ojibwa and Dakota of the western Great Lakes and Upper Mississippi, Indigenous reactions to other European technologies suggest that money did not need to be understood as inanimate. White, “Encounters with Spirits.” Indigenous peoples in other parts of the Americas understand money to be ambivalent, intimately connected – in parts of Bolivia, for example – to both saints and devils. Harris, “The Earth and the State.” I thank one of the anonymous reviewers for pointing this out. 33 Nadasdy, Hunters and Bureaucrats, 254–6. 34 Flannery, Ellen Smallboy, 4. 35 Quoted in Long, Treaty No. 9, 215. 36 On the history of the more capacious category of wealth, see Harmon, Rich Indians. 37 “Il y a actuellement certains individus de la tribu, qui sont des fouteurs de discordes, qui poussent les membres à toutes sortes d’actes déraisonnables ... pour eux l’argent est tout; ils peuvent faire quoi que ce soit et toutes les choses les plus basses et les plus viles quand il s’agit de recueillir un peu d’argent: ils saluent jusqu’à terre le ‘signe de piastre’ et rampent comme des serpents à travers honnêtes gens ... Ces individus iront chez le diable à la fin de leur jour, car le tort commis par eux est incommensurable et ne peut être réparé à temps. Quelle triste mentalité!” Pierre-Albert Picard, Journal personnel, 1916–1920, 29 June 1917 entry, pp. 53–4, F-1-79, acnhw (emphasis in original). 38 On nineteenth-century state-issued “territorial currency,” see Helleiner, Making of National Money. 39 Flanagan, First Nations? Second Thoughts; Flanagan, Alcantara, and Le Dressay, Beyond the Indian Act; Manuel, Unsettling Canada; Pasternak, “How Capitalism Will Save Colonialism”; Pasternak and Dafnos, “Circuitry of Capital.”

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40 The canonical study of state-imposed market restrictions is Carter, Lost Harvests. 41 On its use as legal tender, see Ceci, “First Fiscal Crisis”; and Schmidt, “Entangled Economies.” Jonathan Lainey questions whether northeastern First Nations conceived of wampum in monetary terms. Lainey, La “Monnaie des Sauvages,” 20–4. 42 On the Haudenosaunee case in the 1760s and 1770s, see MacLeitch, Imperial Entanglements, 195–202. 43 Colonial silversmiths played an important role in this altered use of money. Based primarily in Quebec and Philadelphia, these men, in a twist on classical political economy, used Spanish silver dollars and other European coins as the raw material to produce brooches, pins, and other forms of adornment for the fur trade, sometimes failing to efface the marks on the coin they had used. Fredrickson and Gibb, Covenant Chain, 33, 38, 109. On the earlier use of beads, see Turgeon, “Material Culture.” 44 Greer and Radforth, eds., Colonial Leviathan; McKay, “Liberal Order Framework”; Heaman, Short History. 45 Scholars have recently labeled this the “myth of barter.” Servet, “La fable du troc.” See also Servet, “Le troc primitive”; Graeber, Debt, 21–41; and Dodd, Social Life of Money, 17–23. 46 On liberalism in general, see Hall, “Variants of Liberalism.” On “subject peoples” and the development of liberal philosophy, see Mehta, Liberalism and Empire. The shortcomings of formal equality are also visible in the market. Fontaine, Le marché, esp. 143–92. 47 Greer, Property and Dispossession. 48 Cattelino, “From Locke to Slots,” 274–5. 49 Buchan, “Traffick of Empire,” 389. Of course, Locke was engaged in promoting the colonization of Carolina, so his interest in the question was anything but purely academic. 50 Anderson, Imagined Communities; Curtis, “Moral Thermometer”; Stoler, Along the Archival Grain. 51 Rowlinson, “‘The Scotch Hate Gold’”; McNamara, Politics of Everyday Europe. 52 On settler claims to indigeneity in North America, see Deloria, Playing Indian; and Gaudry and Leroux, “White Settler Revisionism.” On settler colonialism more generally, see Veracini, Settler Colonialism. 53 Freeman, “‘Toronto Has No History!’”; Ishiguro, “Northwestern North America”; Reid and Peace, “Colonies of Settlement.” 54 Some scholars claim, however, that lack of permanent settlement may in some cases actually encourage the application of settler colonial imagination to space. Howkins, “Appropriating Space.”

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55 Morantz, White Man’s Gonna Getcha, 7–9. 56 In a recent reflection on colonialism in Canada, settler and otherwise, Allan Greer makes a call for nuance that similarly pays close attention to market actors. Instead of settler colonialism everywhere and always, Greer sees the fur trade expanding through networks and nodes as a form of “imperial or commercial penetration.” Likewise, he adapts “extractivism” from scholarship on Latin America to describe multinational exploitation of natural resources, most often in the North in the present and the recent past, with little or no long-term interest in the land. Greer, “Beyond Settler Colonialism.” I thank Allan Greer for generously sharing this text. See also Greer, “Settler Colonialism and Empire.” For an important study of colonialism in the fur trade, see Tough, “Natural Resources.” On what might be termed “resource colonialism” more broadly, see Piper, Industrial Transformation. 57 Comaroff and Comaroff, Of Revelation and Revolution. For a recent reflection on the several variants of colonialism in the Canadian context, see Sangster, Iconic North, 11–15. 58 In what follows, “Indian Affairs” refers to this institution, which has changed names on multiple occasions across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Colonialism’s Currency does, however, loosely follow these shifting names, generally referring to the “Indian Department” prior to Confederation, the “Department of Indian Affairs” from 1867 through the mid-1930s, and the “Indian Affairs Branch” thereafter. 59 Hodgetts, Pioneer Public Service; Douglas, How Institutions Think; Greer and Radforth, Colonial Leviathan; Scott, Seeing Like a State; Curtis, Politics of Population; Fecteau, “Écrire l’histoire de l’État?” 60 Influential works written by Indian Affairs officials include Scott, “Indian Affairs, 1763–1841”; Scott, “Indian Affairs, 1840–1867”; Scott, “Indian Affairs, 1867–1912”; MacInnes, “History of Indian Administration”; Leslie, “Commissions of Inquiry”; and Leslie, “Assimilation, Integration or Termination?” Examples of influential studies that adopt a similar approach include Upton, “Origins of Canadian Indian Policy”; Leighton, “Development of Federal Indian Policy”; Tobias, “Protection, Civilization, Assimilation”; Milloy, “Era of Civilization”; and Titley, Narrow Vision. 61 Ponting, “Bands and the Department”; Carter, Lost Harvests; Miller, “Owen Glendower”; Waisberg and Holzkamm, “‘A Tendency to Discourage’”; Brownlie, Fatherly Eye; Nadasdy, Hunters and Bureaucrats; Shewell, “Enough to Keep Them Alive”; Smith, Liberalism, Surveillance, and Resistance; Walls, No Need of a Chief. 62 Harris, “How Did Colonialism Dispossess?,” 166. 63 Perry, On the Edge of Empire, 7.

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Notes to pages 16–20

Bourdieu, “Rethinking the State,” 2. Curtis, Politics of Population. Bourdieu, “Rethinking the State,” 2–3. This looks to the social theory of Niklas Luhmann that emphasizes communication and recursion in the creation of an emergent reality. Kim, “The Social and the Political,” 358–9. A similar observation could be made of money’s market value. State approval of a particular form of money, whether issued by itself or by some other actor, combines with money’s market-based self-referential value to make it valuable. In other words, others, both individuals and institutions, behave as if money were valuable, thereby making it so. André Orléan, drawing on René Girard’s mimetic hypothesis, proposes reestablishing the discipline of economics with value reconceptualized along these lines at its heart. Orléan, Empire of Value. For a comparison of recent work in Indigenous and settler history in Quebec, on the one hand, and broader trends in the history of colonialism elsewhere in Canada and North America, on the other hand, see Gettler, “Les Autochtones.” Peace, “Two Conquests,” 242–3. For the early figure (179), see Louis Juchereau Duchesnay, “Statistical Account of the Indian Villages in the District of Quebec & dependencies for the Year 1828,” 15 October 1828, vol. 21, pp. 14953–4, reel C-11005, rg10, lac. For the population in 1939, the year the text was originally written, see Falardeau, “Les Hurons de Lorette,” 73. By 1939, the Wendat community living in the village had grown to 485. These numbers reflect what we now term “status Indian” population alone. Indeed, throughout its history, an important portion of the village’s population did not hold Indian status. Morissonneau, “Développement et population,” 86. Delâge, “La tradition de commerce”; Beaulieu, Béreau, and Tanguay, Les Wendats du Québec; Gettler, “Economic Activity and Class Formation”; Stecher, “Wendat Arts of Diplomacy.” Peace, “Two Conquests,” 244–8. Gettler, “Economic Activity and Class Formation,” 162–6. Carter, Lost Harvests. “Indian Population of the King’s Posts & Mille Vaches Seigniory, 1831,” 1 August 1831, E.20/1, reel 4M127, f. 83, hbca; and diaar 1934, 48. Beaulieu and Béreau, “‘Voir par eux-mêmes.’” For a similar observation among the neighbouring Algonquin, see Inksetter, Initiatives et adaptations algonquines, 338. On the band council system and the tensions it caused and

Notes to pages 21–3

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79 80 81 82 83 84 85

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87

88 89

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opportunities it offered elsewhere, see Walls, No Need of a Chief; and Hill, The Clay We Are Made Of. On the Hudson’s Bay Company’s strategy for maximizing its profits among the Innu and Naskapi in the nineteenth century, see Frenette, “‘Une honorable compagnie’”; and Tremblay, “La subsistance des Naskapis.” If focused on the company, these studies do an excellent job of analyzing actual Indigenous economic activity instead of relying almost entirely on superficial European representations. A study that does the latter, generating a predictable image of the Innu as outside the market and wholly dependent on Europeans, is Gardette, Les Innus et les Euro-Canadiens, 203–15. Gettler, “Innu Participation,” 138. Ibid., 139–42. Dictionary of Moose Cree, s.v. “Môsonîw-ililiwak”; Long et al., “Sharing the Land”; Carlos and Lewis, Commerce by a Frozen Sea. Brown, “Rupert’s Land,” 30. Lytwyn, Muskekowuck Athinuwick, 7–8, 15–17. Carlson, Home Is the Hunter. Focused on the mid-eighteenth century, John S. Long, Richard Preston, Katrina Srigley, and Lorraine Sutherland make this point forcefully. Long et al., “Sharing the Land.” Wînipekw is the Cree word for James Bay. Dictionary of Moose Cree, s.v. “Wînipekw.” According to longtime hbc employee J.W. Anderson, “To handle the cargoes, Indian stevedores would be hired at Moose Factory and brought out to Charlton Island for the transportation season. These men would be trappers during the winter and casual labourers during the summer.” Anderson, Fur Trader’s Story, 12. Anderson, Fur Trader’s Story, 17; Thierry Mallet, “Mr. Mallet’s Diary, James Bay and Hudson’s Bay Trip – Summer 1920,” 65, reel F-1615, mg28-III97, lac; Edward Alexander McGregor, “Journal of E.A. McGregor, 1922–1927,” 17 July 1926 entry, n.p., mg30-A125, lac. Cree stopped carrying the mail following the completion of the railway in 1932. Anderson, Fur Trader’s Story, 20. R.J. Fraser, “The Vanishing Last Frontier: Moose Factory, Now a Center of Importance, Is Assuming the Characteristics of the Ordinary Village,” Forest and Stream, September 1916, 1142. In World War I, for example, the 228th Battalion included forty-three Moose Factory Cree. “Northern Battalion in Need of Socks,” The Globe, 9 February 1917, 8. “Cree and Eskimos Respond to Appeal to Buy Victory Bonds,” Toronto Daily

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Notes to pages 24–33

Star, 9 November 1944, 17. In 1943, the director of the Indian Affairs Branch estimated that First Nations had contributed $400,000 to the war effort. Toomey, “Canadian Indians,” 66. On the (often involuntary) financial contributions made by First Nations to the war effort, see Arrowsmith, “Fair Enough?,” 289–335. Massey, Space, Place, and Gender, 5. Adrian Howkins claims that “it was space, not people, that was the centre of the settler colonial project.” Howkins, “Appropriating Emptiness,” 32. See also Edmonds and Banivanua-Mar, “Introduction”; and Veracini, “Imagined Geographies.” diaar 1934, 43, 46, 48. Cree speakers distinguish between inclusive and exclusive “we” and “our” terms. Thus, among Cree community members from Cumberland House, Saskatchewan, kituskeenuw – “our land,” in reference to “the lands and waters that people know and use, radiating out from their core settlements and camping spots,” rather than to “outright ownership in European terms” – becomes nituskeenan when addressed to outsiders. Brown, “Rupert’s Land,” 25. For a good example of distortion introduced by reliance on certain communities (in this instance, with respect to the introduction of elected band councils), see Beaulieu and Béreau, “‘Voir par eux-mêmes.’”

chapter one 1 Anthropologist Jessica Cattelino claims that “money’s modern conceptualization has been predicated on – and has been reproduced as an agent of – the exclusion of indigenous peoples. New World colonialism and the money form are inseparable.” Cattelino, “From Locke to Slots,” 276. 2 Quoted in White, “Freedom’s First Con,” 389. 3 This was particularly true during the early nineteenth century. Redish, “Why Was Specie Scarce.” As late as the 1880s, small notes in Canada, particularly two-dollar bills, continued to be “extensively counterfeited.” Graham, ed., Charlton Standard Catalogue, 132. 4 Though price controls, rationing, and restrictions on currency export and import greatly concerned Canadians during World War II, the nature of the dollar itself was not seriously questioned. On war-era monetary policy, see Powell, History of the Canadian Dollar, 53–60. 5 Robert Chalmers discusses at length the development and evolution, from the seventeenth through the end of the nineteenth century, of currency ratings of locally circulating coins of various origins that effectively created

Notes to pages 34–6

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distinct pound-based monetary systems in each colony. Chalmers, History of Currency, 4–37. Paquet and Wallot, Un Québec moderne, 207. The English system also lacked a one-pound coin during the period. Like the pound sterling and currency (including both the Halifax and York pounds), which shares a common Carolingian (if not Roman) origin, one livre was divided into twenty sous or sols, each of which could be further divided into twelve deniers. McCullough, Money and Exchange, 29–30. In some times and places during this period, cash circulated widely and accounted for a major portion of sales at rural general stores. See, notably, McCalla, Consumers in the Bush. On credit in Europe, see Muldrew, Economy of Obligation. On the United States, see Baxter, “Observations on Money”; Bloom and Solotko, “Barter Accounting in the US”; and Hollister and Schultz, “Elting and Hasbrouck Store Accounts.” On Australia, see Carnegie, Pastoral Accounting; Carnegie, “Determinants of Barter Accounting”; and Decker, “Bills, Notes and Money.” A number of scholars have analyzed such merchant-based exchange in Canada from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries. Dechêne, Habitants et marchands, 185–90, 195–6; Shortt, Adam Shortt’s History, 110; Michel, “Un marchand rural”; Michel, “Le livre de compte”; Greer, Peasant, Lord, and Merchant, esp. 140–76; St-Georges, “Commerce, crédit et transactions foncières”; Dépatie, “Commerce et crédit à l’île Jésus”; Craig, Backwoods Consumers; McCalla, Consumers in the Bush. Greer, Peasant, Lord, and Merchant, 160, 207–8; Craig, Backwoods Consumers, 17. Neufeld, Financial System of Canada, 36, 38, 71–2. Craig, Backwoods Consumers, 114. On the Australian case, where book credits and debits remained central throughout the pre-Federation (1901) period, see Carnegie, Pastoral Accounting. On credit in the fur trade, which will be discussed at greater length in the following chapters, see Morantz, “‘So Evil a Practice.’” McCullough, Money and Exchange, 71. Baskerville, ed., Bank of Upper Canada, xx, xlv–xlvii; Breckenridge, History of Banking in Canada, 18–19. Sweeny, Choose to Industrialize, 62, 64. Recent changes in British monetary policy had made domestic coin the nearly exclusive means of payment in Great Britain. As a result of demand in Britain itself, this coinage very rarely circulated in the colonies. Denison, Canada’s First Bank, 1:257–8. Redish, “Why Was Specie Scarce.” This support, however, was not universal,

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33 34

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as demonstrated by the republican commitment in both Upper and Lower Canada to “hard money policy” in the years immediately preceding the Rebellions. Mauduit, “L’économie politique des patriotes.” McCullough, Money and Exchange, 71–2, 101–2. Low-value copper circulated in British North America since the Conquest. Akin, Bard, and Akin, Numismatic Archaeology, 171. On bank-issued copper tokens, see Akin, Bard, and Akin, 173. McCullough, Money and Exchange, 35–40, 44–52. Ibid., 76–8. On army bills, see ibid., 83–5. Kobrak and Martin, From Wall Street, 82. On banks during the period, see ibid., 82–8; and McCullough, Money and Exchange, 85–8. Considerations on the Uses of Paper Money, 37, quoted in Goodwin, Canadian Economic Thought, 74. McCullough, Money and Exchange, 88, 98–9. Neufeld, Financial System of Canada, 88. Breckenridge, History of Banking in Canada, 15. On “monetary space,” see Chapters 3 and 4 as well as Helleiner, Making of National Money; and Dodd, Social Life of Money, 211–68. Gilbert, “‘Ornamenting the Facade of Hell,’” 64. On the influence of banking in the United States and England, see Baskerville, Bank of Upper Canada, xvii–xviii. Before this, discounting had, of course, been motivated by other factors as well, most notably confidence in the bank of issue. From the 1840s, varying degrees of confidence primarily explain continued discounting. Sweeny, Choose to Industrialize, 61. On the branches established by the Bank of Montreal in the 1840s, see Denison, Canada’s First Bank, 1:4–17. Branch banking remained limited through Confederation, though; Canada’s thirty-five chartered banks operated only 127 branches in 1867, illustrating the slow growth of branch banking. Bliss, Northern Enterprise, 258. For descriptions of all known Bank of Montreal note issues between the 1820s and 1942, see Cuhaj, ed., Standard Catalog, 189–95. Paper currency, whether issued by banks or by merchants, comprised most of the colonies’ money supply from the 1830s. Gilbert, “Forging a National Currency,” 29. In Montreal in 1840, £5 cy. would have purchased roughly 120 dozen (1,440) eggs or 96 lbs of butter. Fernand Ouellet (Histoire économique et sociale, 606) provides prices in sols, 20 of which equaled a livre, of which 24

Notes to pages 38–41

36 37

38 39

40 41 42

43 44 45 46

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were required to make £1 cy. McCullough, Money and Exchange, 292. In rural Upper Canada in 1842, £5 cy. would have purchased roughly 145 lbs of butter. This is based on a simple average of the low and high price at a store in Frontenac County reported by McCalla, Consumers in the Bush, 194. Breckenridge, History of Banking in Canada, 32. These figures are based on the official numbers reported to colonial legislative assemblies. Small private banks did not always provide this information. Together with circulating notes from banks in the United States, this means that currency from the Bank of Montreal almost certainly accounted for a smaller, though still major, portion of the total paper currency in use. McCullough, Money and Exchange, 98, 115–17. Graham, ed., Charlton Standard Catalogue, 97. These numbers are from 1850. Ouellet, Histoire économique et sociale, 606. As a point of comparison, residents of rural Upper Canada could have purchased roughly 80 lbs of butter for the same amount in 1851. McCalla, Consumers in the Bush, 194. In 1850, the value of banknotes in circulation may have been on the order of £1,310,000 cy. McCullough, Money and Exchange, 117. Ibid., 107. Most banks displayed a marked preference for the decimal dollar notation over the more complicated pound system. For example, though the Bank of Montreal often issued currency that displayed pound notation, dollar values always formed the primary point of reference, being inscribed in Arabic numerals within the coin-shaped discs that bore each note’s denomination. Pound values, on the other hand, tended to be spelled out in the body of the text found on each note, resulting in a far less prominent display. On the collapse of the Spanish dollar, see Irigoin, “Gresham on Horseback.” On the circulation of US coins in Canada and Canadian banknotes in the United States, see Breckenridge, History of Banking in Canada, 52. Curtis, “Moral Thermometer,” 553. Chalmers, History of Currency, 27–9, 34–5. Breckenridge, History of Banking in Canada, 52. Though the 1857 act allowed for accounts to contain an additional column in which amounts could be reported in sterling notation, it did not require that this column be completed. The act provided no space for noting amounts in Halifax currency. McCullough, Money and Exchange, 106–10; Powell, History of the Canadian Dollar, 23. McCullough, Money and Exchange, 110; Piva, Borrowing Process, 129; Powell, History of the Canadian Dollar, 24.

208

Notes to pages 41–6

48 Élie, Le régime monétaire canadien, 146; Powell, History of the Canadian Dollar, 25–6. 49 Powell, History of the Canadian Dollar, 27. 50 Ibid., 28–31. 51 Helleiner, Making of National Money, 32, 39, 116. A variety of foreign copper coins of small denomination circulated well into the twentieth century. 52 For a more detailed analysis of the banking laws in the years immediately preceding Confederation through the early twentieth century, see Kobrak and Martin, From Wall Street, 77–80, 88–91, 96–108. 53 Curtis, “Moral Thermometer,” 554. 54 Bank of Montreal, 4 dollars, 6 February 1871, object id: 1970.0111.00028.000, ncc; Dominion of Canada, 4 dollars, 1 May 1882, object id: 1964.0088.00839.000; Dominion of Canada, 2 dollars, 2 July 1887, object id: 1971.0115.00001.000, ncc; Dominion of Canada, 1 dollar, 31 March 1898, object id: 1963.0014.00119.000, ncc. 55 Élie, Le régime monétaire canadien, 146. 56 Sandwell, Canada’s Rural Majority, 92. 57 Bordo and Redish, “Bank of Canada”; Powell, History of the Canadian Dollar, 44–51, 54. 58 Canada, Bank of Canada, Art and Design, 16. 59 White, “Freedom’s First Con,” 390; Muldrew, “‘Hard Food for Midas.’” 60 Chamberlin, If This Is Your Land. 61 For a demonstration of the influence of currency’s materiality on the decision of societies to adopt or reject it, see Spang, Stuff and Money. 62 The frequency with which these images appeared on other circulating media, particularly stamps, contributed to making them recognizable bearers of shared meaning and value. Gilbert, “‘Ornamenting the Facade of Hell,’” 65–6. 63 Shell, Wampum, 24. 64 Marichal, “La piastre ou le real de huit,” 119. 65 Silver écu, Rennes (France), 1725, object id: 1962.57.12; silver 8 real, Mexico City (Mexico), 1813, object id: 1952.32.43; silver dollar, Philadelphia (usa), 1801, object id: 1908.218.3; silver Crown, Great Britain, 1817, object id: 1905.57.432, all at American Numismatic Society. 66 For examples of late eighteenth-century bons and bills of exchange along with an army bill, see McCullough, Money and Exchange, 57–8, 62. For an example of a similar bon from a later period, see Canada, W. Gittinear, 3 pence, 1814, object id: 1964.0088.00283.000, ncc. 67 Canada, Montreal Bank, 1 dollar, March 1819, object id: 1974.0235.00027.000, ncc.

Notes to pages 46–9

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68 Canada, Jean-Baptiste Clément Sr, 1 écu, 26 August 1837, object id: 1963.0051.00081.000; and 15 sous, 26 August 1837, object id: 1963.0051.00078.000, both ncc; Z. Cloutier & J.B. Leblanc, 6 sous, 5 September 1837, object id: 1963.0051.00082.000, ncc; Wfd. Nelson & Co., 1 écu, 9 October 1837, object id: 1960.0002.00019.000, ncc; W. & J. Bell, 12 pence, 1839, object id: 1963.0051.00075.000, ncc. 69 Lauer, “Money as Mass Communication.” 70 Penrose and Cumming, “Money Talks,” 835. 71 See, for example, Canada, Bank of Montreal, ½ penny, 1837, object id: 1964.0043.00031.000; 1 penny, 1842, object id: 1968.0001.00048.000; and 1 dollar, 1 January 1849, object id: 1970.0114.00003.000, all ncc. Along with three other Lower Canadian banks, the Bank of Montreal received “90 tons of penny and halfpenny tokens” from Boulton, Watt & Company between 1838 and 1845. Doty, “Boulton, Watt,” 42. 72 The bank sometimes localized notes to an even greater extent. For example, its 1859 issue included a note circulated from its branch in Lindsay, Upper Canada. Given its status as something of a boomtown, resulting from the railway’s arrival only two years earlier, this branch did not have the capacity to redeem notes in specie. Instead, the bank would do this at its closest major branch office (Cobourg), also stamped on the note. Finally, the note also indicated the county in which Lindsay was situated (Peterboro), perhaps to make the branch’s location clear to outsiders. Canada, Bank of Montreal, 1 dollar, 3 January 1859, object id: 1963.0019.00020.000, ncc. See also Esler, “So-Called English Issues.” 73 See, for example, Canada, Bank of Montreal, 1 dollar, 3 January 1852, object id: 1976.0155.00011.000; and 2 dollars, 1 July, 1851, object id: 1976.0158.00001.000, both ncc. 74 Within five years of issuing currency with the new, embellished seal, the bank’s note designers had replaced the First Nations woman with a second Indigenous man, arriving at the coat of arms that would remain on its currency through its final issues in the 1940s and that can still be found on many of its former and current branch offices. Canada, Bank of Montreal, 1 dollar, 1 August 1856, object id: 1984.0005.00001.000; 5 dollars, 7 December 1942, object id: 1992.0038.00063.000, both ncc. 75 Though the legacy of bills of exchange lasted much longer, arguably continuing to the present, their influence waned, too, as moneymakers progressively shortened the text placed on notes and replaced the actual signatures of the receiver or deputy receiver general or bank presidents, secretaries, or cashiers with mechanically reproduced facsimiles. 76 Gilbert, “‘Ornamenting the Facade of Hell,’” 67.

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Notes to pages 49–51

77 Canada, Bank of Montreal, 5 dollars, 2 May 1821, object id: 1964.0108.00004.000; 1 dollar, 7 July 1821, object id: 1992.0038.00058.000; 1 dollar, 1 March 1825, object id: 1990.0025.00001.000; 5 dollars, c. 1830–35, object id: 1991.0039.00001.000; ½ penny, 1843, object id: 1965.0136.05047.000, catalogue numbers: Br 527, Bo 910; 4 dollars, 1 January 1849, object id: 1994.0054.00003.000; 1 dollar, 3 January 1859, object id: 1975.0114.00001 .000; 5 dollars, 2 January 1888, object id: 1967.0128.00016.000, all ncc. 78 In referencing empire, the Bank of Montreal clearly followed the Bank of England and country banks throughout the United Kingdom. Hewitt, “A Distant View,” 99–100. Canada, Bank of Montreal, 1 dollar, 7 July 1821, object id: 1992.0038.00058.000; 1 dollar, 1 March 1825, object id: 1990.0025.00001.000, both ncc. 79 Canada, Bank of Montreal, 1 dollar, 1 March 1825, object id: 1990.0025.00001.000; 2 dollars, 1 January 1849, object id: 1970.0111.00027 .000; 4 dollars, 1 July 1851, object id: 1976.0158.00002.000; 1 dollar, 2 January 1857, object id: 1963.0019.00019.000, all ncc. 80 Canada, Cuvillier & Sons, 7½ pence, 10 July 1837, object id: 1966.0141.00010.000, ncc; Champlain & St Lawrence Railroad Company, 15 sous, 1 August 1837, object id: 1964.0088.00514.000, ncc; Thomas & William Molson, 15 sous, 1 September 1837, object id: 1970.0121.00008 .000, ncc; W. & J. Bell, 12 pence, 1839, object id: 1963.0051.00075.000, ncc; Watkins & Harris, 15 pence, 1839, object id: 1964.0065.00027.000, ncc; 7½ pence, 1840, object id: 2222.2007.00015.000, ncc. Artists employed by merchants and banks, in British North America and elsewhere, commonly celebrated the riches created by global trade and industrialization while refusing to depict the physical work that created such prosperity. Sweeny, Choose to Industrialize, 207. 81 On the role of culture – specifically popular culture – in asserting and broadcasting settler indigenization, see Deloria, Playing Indian. 82 Redmond, “Images of Indians,” 4–5. 83 Ibid., 5. For a description of the notes themselves, see Cuhaj, ed., Standard Catalog, 189–91. 84 For examples on low-denomination notes, see Canada, Bank of Montreal, 1 dollar, 1 July 1831, object id: 1965.0136.06744.000; 2 dollars, 5 June 1837, object id: 1999.0015.00001.000; and 5 dollars, 3 April 1852, object id: 1963.0019.00021.000, all ncc.

Notes to pages 51–7

85 86 87 88

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91 92 93

94 95 96 97 98

99 100 101

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Redmond, “Images of Indians.” Gilbert, “‘Ornamenting the Facade of Hell,’” 72–4. Gilbert, “Forging a National Currency,” 34–5. McCullough, Money and Exchange, 110. For the coins, see Canada, Victoria, 1 cent, 1858, object id: 1973.0117.00003.000; 5 cents, 1858, object id: 1974.0192.00001.000; 10 cents, 1858, object id: 1974.0192.00002.000; and 20 cents, 1858, object id: 1974.0192.00003.000, all ncc. Province of Canada, 1 dollar, 1 October 1866, object id: 1963.0014.00010 .000; 2 dollars, 1 October 1866, object id: 1968.0170.00001.000; 5 dollars, 1 October 1866, object id: 1976.0015.00001.000, all ncc. Gilbert, “Forging a National Currency,” 35–6. On imagining national community in the nineteenth century, see Anderson, Imagined Communities. On spatial imaginaries, see Gregory, “Imaginative Geographies.” Lauer, “Money as Mass Communication,” 115. Graham, ed., Charlton Standard Catalogue, 112–19. For a similar reading of currency’s role in explicitly celebrating heroic expansion as a key element of national identity, thereby avoiding the uncomfortable truths of dispossession, see Gilbert, “Forging a National Currency,” 36–7. Allan, “Origin of Banknote Vignettes VIII”; Redmond, “Images of Indians,” 16. Redmond, “Images of Indians,” 17. For reproductions of these vignettes, see ibid., 15. Scott, “Last of the Indian Treaties,” 574, quoted in Long, “How the Commissioners Explained,” 7. Dominion of Canada, 2 dollars, 2 July 1897, object id: 1963.0014.00116.000; 1 dollar, 31 March 1898, object id: 1963.0014.00119.000, both ncc. Cuhaj, ed., Standard Catalog, 186–9. Gilbert, “Forging a National Currency,” 39; Canada, Bank of Canada, Art and Design, 52. According to one former fur trader, this phrase remained in use at Moose Factory until the 1910s, disappearing thereafter. Anderson, Fur Trader’s Story, 18. Used as payment for lands through treaty, money also helped external authority redefine Indigenous lands. On this process of redefinition, though without reference to money, see Carlson, Home Is the Hunter.

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Notes to pages 59–62

chapter two 1 On presents, see Ray and Freeman, “Give Us Good Measure,” 55–7; Jaenen, “Role of Presents”; Desbarats, “Early Canada’s Native Alliances”; Havard, Empire et métissages; and Sims, “Algonkian-British Relations.” 2 A list of goods supplied as presents or annuities in Upper and Lower Canada in 1830 is included in the “Presents” section of Canada, “Report on the Affairs of the Indians in Canada,” n.p. 3 On the New Poor Law and debate surrounding its adoption, see Himmelfarb, Idea of Poverty, 147–76. 4 “No. 32: Copy of a Despatch from Sir F.B. Head, K.C.H., to Lord Glenelg,” 20 November 1836, in Great Britain, Colonial Office, Copies or Extracts of Correspondence, 129. 5 O’Connell, “Building Their Readiness”; O’Connell, “Pauper, Slave, and Aboriginal Subject.” 6 Jackman, Galloping Head, 61–2; Harling, “Power of Persuasion.” 7 Head, A Narrative, 23–5; Binnema and Hutchings, “The Emigrant and the Noble Savage.” 8 In early 1762, Amherst wrote to William Johnson, superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Northern Department, that dependency on presents “can only Serve to render the Indians Slothfull and Indolent.” Quoted in MacLeitch, Imperial Entanglements, 189. John Sutton Lutz helps contextualize Amherst’s remarks in his analysis of “the lazy Indian.” Lutz, Makúk, 31–47. 9 On Amherst and Pontiac’s War, see Dowd, War under Heaven, 70–5; and White, Middle Ground, 257–8, 286–9, 310. On later pushes to reduce presents, see Taylor, Divided Ground, 102–5; and Sims, “Algonkian-British Relations.” 10 In 1829, for example, Anishinabe chief Shingwaukonse made it clear to British negotiators that a commitment to presents would be necessary for his people to consider moving from territory adjacent to Sault Ste. Marie claimed by the United States to that claimed by Britain: “if the British proved faithful to their Native allies and continued to supply presents, he and his band would consider moving permanently to the Canadian shore.” Chute, Legacy of Shingwaukonse, 39. A hypothetical family of five receiving presents in Upper Canada in the early 1840s obtained roughly 7 per cent of the value in goods of what a typical farm in the colony sold annually as produce during the 1830s and 1840s. Appendix No. 59 in Canada, “Report on the Affairs of the Indians in Canada,” n.p.; McCalla, Planting the Province, 84, 271; Gettler, “En espèce ou en nature?,” 416.

Notes to pages 62–4

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11 Delâge, Le pays renversé, 64–5. As we will see below, First Nations in the St Lawrence Valley described diplomatic presents in the nineteenth century in terms that strongly resembled the seventeenth-century notions of gift-giving among the Wendat described by Delâge. 12 “No. 1: Copy of a Despatch from Lord Glenelg to the Earl of Gosford,” 14 January 1836, in Great Britain, Colonial Office, Copies or Extracts of Correspondence, 1. 13 The importance of the written record is suggested by work done on the origins of presents in the commissariat with which Glenelg had familiarized himself. In 1833, the deputy commissary general, C.J. Forbes, reported that he “presumed that the British inherited from the French Government the present System of issuing Presents,” though he thought it “useless at this remote period of its existence to attempt to trace the motives that originally gave rise to the practice.” Forbes, “Queries regarding the Indians, Made by Commissary General Routh,” n.d. [16 October 1833], vol. 218, pp. 193–211, reel C-11952, mg11-co42q, lac. 14 Neu, “‘Presents’ for the ‘Indians,’” 173–4. 15 On the shift to annuities, see Miller, Compact, Contract, Covenant, 97–100. 16 Milloy, “Era of Civilization,” 47–8. From 1816 to 1829, annual expenditure on presents dropped from £117,000 to £19,000. Aborigines’ Protection Society, Report, 26; “A General Return of Indians who have received presents in Upper and Lower Canada for the Year 1828,” 22 July 1828, vol. 792, pp. 7403–5, reel C-13499, rg10, lac. 17 For an excellent early example of external humanitarian input into imperial Indigenous policy in North America by the recently appointed attorney general of New South Wales, who would later play a central role in the Aborigines’ Protection Society, see Saxe Bannister to Robert Wilmot Horton, 21 August 1823, vol. 197, pp. 263–8, reel B-151, mg11-CO42, lac. For a brief discussion of Bannister’s vision of Indigenous peoples throughout the empire, see Elbourne, “Sin of the Settler.” On improvement more generally in the colonies, see Samson, Spirit of Industry and Improvement. 18 “Copy of a Despatch from Lord Goderich to Earl Dalhousie,” 14 July 1827, in Great Britain, Colonial Office, Aboriginal Tribes, 5 19 “Extract of a Despatch from Lord Dalhousie to Mr. Secretary Huskisson,” 22 November 1827, in Great Britain, Colonial Office, Aboriginal Tribes, 6. 20 “Instructions to Major-General Darling ...,” in “No. 5: Copy Despatch and Enclosures from Lord Dalhousie to Sir George Murray,” 27 October 1828, in Great Britain, Colonial Office, Aboriginal Tribes, 31. 21 Darling’s proposed use of revenue from the sale of land to fund the purchase of goods may explain why he neglected addressing the issue in the

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27

28 29 30 31 32 33

34

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Notes to pages 64–7

Lower Canadian context since the British had concluded no land cession treaties with the colony’s First Nations. On land cession treaties in Upper Canada, see Miller, Compact, Contract, Covenant, 66–122. “Enclosure No. 1,” in “No. 5: Lord Dalhousie to Sir George Murray,” 29. For more on Darling’s report, see Leslie, “Commissions of Inquiry,” 20–3. In doing so, Magrath was one of many nineteenth-century commentators who looked to the community as a model for how colonial society might “raise up” First Nations. Leslie, “Commissions of Inquiry,” 12–17. James Magrath, “Report of the State of the Indians on the River Credit...,” in “Enclosure No. 1,” in “No. 8: Copy of a Despatch from Sir J. Kempt to Sir George Murray,” 16 May 1829, in Great Britain, Colonial Office, Aboriginal Tribes, 43. “Copy of a Letter from Mr. Peter Jones to Viscount Goderich,” 26 July 1831, in Great Britain, Colonial Office, Aboriginal Tribes, 135–6. This fits with Assance’s ongoing work to ensure his peoples’ control of their natural resources. Indeed, he made repeated claims to payment for resources used by settlers from the 1810s through the 1830s. Sims, “Exploring Ojibwa History.” In early 1828, the under secretary of state for war and the colonies argued that “no additional portion of the Indian presents should be made in money. A late letter from Lord Dalhousie to Ld. Goderich (if I remember right) is quite conclusive on this point.” E.G. Stanley to R.W. Hay, 18 April 1828, vol. 350, pt. 2, pp. 401–2, reel C-10769, mg11-co42q, lac. “No. 8: Sir J. Kempt to Sir George Murray,” 39. James Kempt to George Murray, 22 June 1829, vol. 189, pt. 1, pp. 110–13, reel C-11939, mg11-co42q, lac. “No. 8: Sir J. Kempt to Sir George Murray,” 39 (emphasis in original). Kempt to Murray, 22 June 1829, pp. 110–13. R.I. Routh to James Stewart, 7 March 1834, vol. 218, pp. 168–83, reel C11952, mg11-co42q, lac. C.J. Forbes, “Queries regarding the Indians, Made by Commissary General Routh,” n.d. [16 October 1833], vol. 218, pp. 193–211, reel C-11952, mg11co42q, lac. Indeed, the deputy commissary general explicitly denied concerns about alcohol abuse: “Individual instances to the contrary may exist with other Tribes, but it is not from thence to be inferred that they are by any means intemperately inclined.” Ibid. An official at the Treasury had forwarded Routh’s 1834 letter along with Forbes’s 1833 responses to the colonial under secretary in the summer of 1834 requesting that then colonial secretary Thomas Spring Rice provide

Notes to pages 67–70

36 37 38 39

40

41 42 43 44

45 46

47 48

49

50

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“any observations which may occur to him thereon.” J. Stewart to R.W. Hay, 7 June 1834, vol. 218, p. 167, reel C-11952, mg11-co42q, lac. Though Spring Rice did not respond, his successor did. Glenelg referred to Routh and his plan in his 1836 instructions to the governors in Upper and Lower Canada. [James Stephen] to J. Stewart, 29 October 1835, vol. 224, pt. 1, pp. 217–28, reel C-11953, mg11-co42q, lac. E.G. Stanley to James Stephen, 23 December 1835, vol. 224, pt. 1, pp. 318–20, reel C-11953, mg11-co42q, lac. Quoted in “No. 1: Lord Glenelg to the Earl of Gosford,” 1. “I feel bound, after much Consideration, to express my Opinion that the Time is not yet arrived at which it would be possible, consistently with good Faith, altogether to discontinue the annual Presents to the Indians.” Ibid. “It is sufficient to observe, that the custom has now existed during a long Series of Years; that even in the Absence of any original Obligation a prescriptive Title has thus been created; and that this Title has been practically admitted by all who have been officially cognizant of the Matter, and that all agree in stating that its sudden Abrogation would lead to great Discontent among the Indians, and perhaps to Consequences of a very serious Nature.” Ibid. Ibid., 2–3. Porter, “Trusteeship, Anti-Slavery, and Humanitarianism.” Burroughs, “Imperial Institutions.” “No. 31: Copy of a Despatch from Sir F.B. Head, K.C.H., to Lord Glenelg,” 20 August 1836, in Great Britain, Colonial Office, Copies or Extracts of Correspondence, 122. “No. 32: Sir F.B. Head, K.C.H., to Lord Glenelg,” 129. R.I. Routh to Sir F.B. Head, 4 June 1836, vol. 394, pt. 1, pp. 81–5, reel C12622, mg11-co42q, lac; R.I. Routh to Sir F.B. Head, 16 July 1836, vol. 92, pp. 37344–50, reel C-11468, rg10, lac; R.I. Routh to A.Y. Spearman, 28 July 1836, vol. 230, pt. 2, pp. 252–4, reel C-11956, mg11-co42q, lac. Routh to Head, 4 June 1836, p. 85, lac. “No. 34: Copy of a Despatch from Sir F.B. Head, K.C.H., to Lord Glenelg,” 4 April 1837, in Great Britain, Colonial Office, Copies or Extracts of Correspondence, 136–7. Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online, “Head, Sir Francis Bond,” by S.F. Wise, accessed 31 May 2018, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/head_francis_bond_10E.html. Head, “Report of Sir Francis Bond Head,” 166–7.

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51 On Head and the English workhouse in the colony, see Baehre, “Paupers and Poor Relief”; and Schrauwers, “Union Is Strength,” esp. 35–65. 52 The information submitted by Juchereau Duchesnay is markedly less detailed than that given by Hughes. Whereas Hughes’s reports averaged between one and two pages for each band interviewed, Duchesnay’s report covers four bands in under half a page. For Hughes’s reports, see enclosures 7–10 in “No. 11: Copy of a Despatch from the Earl of Gosford to Lord Glenelg,” 13 July 1837, in Great Britain, Colonial Office, Copies or Extracts of Correspondence, 41–6. For Duchesnay’s report, see “Enclosure 11 in No. 11,” 22 August 1836, in Great Britain, Colonial Office, Copies or Extracts of Correspondence, 46. 53 “Enclosure 9 in No. 11,” in Great Britain, Colonial Office, Copies or Extracts of Correspondence, 44. 54 “Enclosure 10 in No. 11,” in Great Britain, Colonial Office, Copies or Extracts of Correspondence, 45. “Brothers” appears in the original document. I have chosen not to use sic here or elsewhere, to avoid making quotes unnecessarily cumbersome. All quotations have been verified and are reproduced correctly. 55 On monetary annuities in the United States in the 1780s and 1790s, as well as criticism of these, see Taylor, Divided Ground, 184–5. 56 Cook, “Onontio Gives Birth.” 57 Writing in 1815, chiefs from St Regis (Akwesasne) asked that steps be taken to improve the lot of “our wives and little ones [who] have been exposed to the inclemencies of the weather on Islands and strange places, while we and our warriors were engaged in the constant service of our Great Father.” Loyal Chiefs of St Regis to [George R.J. McDonald?], 26 May 1815, vol. 258, pp. 94–6, reel C-2852, rg8, lac. See also Petition from St Regis Iroquois to William Clauss, 27 January 1816, vol. 628, p. 84, reel C-13396, rg10, lac. 58 Petition from St Francis Abenaki to Matthew Aylmer, 13 November 1833, vol. 87, pp. 34717–19, reel C-11466, rg10, lac. See also Petition from St Regis Iroquois to Matthew Aylmer, 26 December 1833, vol. 87, pp. 34905–10, reel C-11466, rg10, lac. 59 “Enclosure 8 in No. 11,” in Great Britain, Colonial Office, Copies or Extracts of Correspondence, 42–3. Obomsawin, the modern form of the name given in the source (Bombsawine), is used. 60 “Enclosure 10 in No. 11,” 46 (emphasis in original). François Papino, grand chief of the Nipissings of the Lake of Two Mountains (Kanesatake) rejected commutation in almost identical language, saying that “our Wives and Children would be naked and miserable, and we Men unable to procure a Livelihood for them.” “Enclosure 9 in No. 11,” 44.

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61 McKay, “Liberal Order Framework”; Greer, Patriots and the People, 189–218; Bradbury, Wife to Widow, 260–88. 62 Viau, Femmes de personne; Hill, The Clay We Are Made of. 63 While Ted Binnema focuses on the text of the laws adopted from the 1850s themselves, Alain Beaulieu and Maxime Gohier cast a much wider net, more effectively examining the political and social origins of Indian status. Binnema, “Protecting Indian Lands”; Beaulieu, “Contestations identitaires et indianisation”; Gohier, “La pratique pétitionnaire,” 519–76. On these laws, see also Milloy, “Early Indian Acts.” On gender and politics within Indigenous communities in Lower Canada, see Vien, “Les mariages.” 64 “Enclosure 7 in No. 11,” in Great Britain, Copies or Extracts of Correspondence, 41 (emphasis in original). This argument emerged from a more general understanding among Mohawk living in the St Lawrence Valley at the time. Three years earlier, six chiefs and thirteen warriors from Kahnawake claimed in a French-language petition to Governor Aylmer that the British had distributed presents since the 1760s in recognition of services rendered and as a means of guaranteeing services to come. Petition from the Iroquois de Sault-Saint-Louis to Matthew Whitworth Aylmer, 27 November 1833, vol. 87, pp. 34840–3, reel C-11466, rg10, lac. 65 “Enclosure 8 in No. 11,” 43. 66 “Mon père, ces présents (puisqu’on nous a appris à les nommer ainsi) ne sont pas dans le fait des présents, c’est de la part du Gouvernement une dette sacrée promisé à nos pères par les Rois de France pour les indemniser des terres qu’ils leur ont abandonnées, et confirmée par les Rois d’Angleterre depuis la cession du pays, et jusqu’à présent ponctuellement payée et acquittée.” “Enclosure 17 in No. 11: A Son Excellence Archibald Comte de Gosford ...,” in Great Britain, Colonial Office, Copies or Extracts of Correspondence, 62. 67 James Hughes did not make any such inquiry to the Algonquins, Nipissings, and Iroquois of the Lake of the Two Mountains because the Sulpician Seminary ran the community’s school and paid for all of its expenses. “Enclosure 9 in No. 11,” 44. Duchesnay rejected outright the applicability of the question to those First Nations whose children did not already attend school. As those schools in operation already had funds, he saw no point in making inquiries. Duchesnay did, however, assert that “they never would willingly contribute in any way towards paying Part of the Expenses of a Schoolmaster and other Expenses attending a School.” “Enclosure 11 in No. 11,” 46. 68 “Enclosure 8 in No. 11,” 43. 69 “Enclosure 7 in No. 11,” in Great Britain, Colonial Office, Copies or Extracts of Correspondence, 42.

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70 “Enclosure 1 in No. 11: To His Excellency the Earl of Gosford ... Report of a Committee of the Executive Council ...,” 13 June 1837, in Great Britain, Colonial Office, Copies or Extracts of Correspondence, 28. 71 Ibid., 27–8. 72 “No. 11: Earl of Gosford to Lord Glenelg,” 25. 73 Leslie, “Commissions of Inquiry.” See also Lavoie, “Politique sur commande.” 74 A year later, Committee No. 4 struck a similar chord, arguing that “the improvident Indians” simply wasted treaty annuities, whether in the form of presents or cash. Moreover, the committee claimed, they would do so “as long as any thing was left wherewith spirits could be procured.” Canada, “Report of Committee No. 4 on Indian Department,” January 1840, Appendix 1 in Canada, “Report on the Affairs of the Indians in Canada.” 75 “Report on Indian Affairs by J.B. Macaulay (typescript),” 1839, vol. 11206, file 3, pp. 160–1, rg10, lac. 76 Aborigines’ Protection Society, Report, 24–5. 77 Canada, “Report on the Affairs of the Indians in Canada,” n.p. 78 Canada, Parliament, “Report of the Special Commissioners,” n.p. 79 Himmelfarb, Idea of Poverty; Fecteau, Un nouvel ordre des choses; Fecteau, Pauper’s Freedom; Valverde, “Mixed Social Economy.” 80 On improvement, see Samson, Spirit of Industry and Improvement. On the ties between empire and the liberal political and social project, see Mehta, Liberalism and Empire. On improvidence and the origins of the welfare state among marginalized groups in the United States, see SenGupta, From Slavery to Poverty; and Reed, Serving the Nation. 81 Curtis, Ruling by Schooling Quebec, 18. 82 Petitclerc, “Nous protégeons l’infortune.” 83 For the foundational text in this literature, see Mauss, The Gift. For more recent contributions, see Sahlins, Stone Age Economics; and Graeber, Anthropological Theory of Value. For historical applications of gift theory, see Carrier, Gifts and Commodities; and Davis, Gift in Sixteenth-Century France. 84 Delâge, Le pays renversé, 64–5; Delâge and Warren, Le piège de la liberté, 24–6. For a much broader treatment of debt that also stresses its role in tying societies together, see Graeber, Debt. 85 For the canonical study of the development of this idea in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century England, see Himmelfarb, Idea of Poverty. 86 Valverde, “Mixed Social Economy,” 41. 87 Axtell, “Invasion Within.” Such gendered notions of labour continued to shape outside perceptions of Indigenous societies well into the twentieth century. Raibmon, “Practice of Everyday Colonialism.”

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88 Carlos and Lewis, Commerce by a Frozen Sea, esp. 130–49. 89 Stevens, Poor Indians; Greer, Property and Dispossession, 78–9. 90 Pocock, Barbarism and Religion, vol. 4. On the noble savage, see Berkhofer, White Man’s Indian, 72–80. On Victorian ideas of disappearing Indigenous peoples, see Stafford, Last of the Race. On the discourse of disappearance in Lower Canada, see Rozon, “Pour une réflexion.” Of course, exceptions existed. Scottish-Canadian author John Rae is a good example. In an 1834 text on political economy, Rae used a story of an Indigenous man to illustrate foresight and delayed gratification. Ress, “Plum Tree.” 91 European thinkers from Locke to Rousseau to Gibbon and beyond conceived of money as serving to extend individuals’ needs and desires through time while simultaneously claiming that Indigenous peoples lacked the foresight to do so effectively. “Not only do indigenous people belong to a different time, but they are incapable of managing time in ways that accompany the money form.” Cattelino, “From Locke to Slots,” 281. See also, Pocock, Barbarism and Religion, 4:169. 92 Of course, this was not the only idea about First Nations to circulate in this way. For a discussion of some of these assumptions in the context of North American Indigenous history, see Deloria, Indians in Unexpected Places, 7–11. 93 This draws on Clifford Geertz’s concept of ideology and its role in the development of an autonomous politics – that is, political systems not “firmly embedded in Edmund Burke’s golden assemblage of ‘ancient opinions and rules of life.’” Geertz, “Ideology as a Cultural System,” 287. Geertz describes how political questions are “sensibly grasped” by public opinion through “the suasive images” provided by ideology. Put differently, ideology renders easily intelligible complex social, economic, and cultural phenomena, such as poverty, while simultaneously proposing a solution that is generally quite simple. On “public opinion” and the ways in which this notion, born of the Kantian enlightenment, came to establish itself as the primary means by which the state made authoritative decisions in British North America, see McNairn, Capacity to Judge. 94 Jean and John Comaroff argue that hegemony “exists in reciprocal interdependence with ideology: it is that part of a dominant worldview which has been naturalized and, having hidden itself in orthodoxy, no more appears as ideology at all.” Comaroff and Comaroff, Of Revelation and Revolution, 1:25. On “civilization” policy, see Beaulieu, “Gradually Reclaiming.” 95 On the general process through which institutions come to appear natural, see Douglas, How Institutions Think. 96 Black-Rodgers, “Varieties of ‘Starving.’” 97 Beaulieu, Béreau, and Tanguay, Les Wendats du Québec, 180–3.

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98 An Act for the Better Protection of the Lands and Property of the Indians in Lower Canada, S.C., 13&14 Vict., ch. 42 (1850); An Act for the Protection of Indians in Upper Canada, S.C., 13&14 Vict., ch. 74 (1850); An Act to Repeal in Part and to Amend an Act, Intituled, An Act for the Better Protection of the Lands and Property of the Indians in Lower Canada, S.C., 14&15 Vict., ch. 59 (1851). See Binnema, “Protecting Indian Lands”; and Gohier, “La pratique pétitionnaire,” 543–76. 99 In the words of the Pennefather Commission, Grey felt “that the gradual extinction of this vote would not conflict with any just claim on the part of the Indians.” Canada, Parliament, “Report of the Special Commissioners,” n.p. See also Milloy, “Era of Civilization,” 311. 100 Indeed, in 1822, two key officials overseeing Crown-Indigenous relations explicitly argued for increasing the symbolic weight of presents. Both the military secretary, Henry Charles Darling, and the superintendent general of Indian Affairs, John Johnson, felt “that if the delivery of the Presents were attended with some form and Ceremony, it might tend to enhance their value in the eyes of these people.” Both men, though, saw the need to convince First Nations to view presents “rather as Tokens of the paternal regard of their Royal Father, than acknowledgments of past services.” H.C. Darling to Sir John Johnson, 30 March 1822, vol. 15, pp. 11885–90, reel C-11002, rg10, lac. In his response, Johnson cites the entirety of this passage. John Johnson to Henry C. Darling, 19 April 1822, vol. 492, pp. 30192–4, reel C13340, rg10, lac.

chapter three 1

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Although the state required that such currency be used in all official accounts, its use was limited for much of the nineteenth century to ledgers and mental calculation; individuals, businesses, and, indeed, the state employed diverse media of exchange minted elsewhere in the Americas and in Europe when cash was required. On the wide variety of money in circulation, see chapter 1 and McCullough, Money and Exchange. By the end of the century, however, the Canadian dollar had become the standard accounting currency and medium of exchange. This typology is based on the situation in the eastern subarctic and refers specifically to First Nations of the region. Although it suggests that a similar situation may have existed farther west, it does not claim that the monetary system functioned in precisely the same way there nor that all Indigenous hunter-trappers were paid in beaver currency alone. Indeed, documentary evidence from the western subarctic suggests that Iroquois, Nipissing, Ojib-

Notes to pages 89–93

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wa, and Métis freemen demanded payment for part of their hunts in cash or bills that were negotiable in Canada. See Johnson, ed., Saskatchewan Journals, 206; and Binnema and Ens, eds., Hudson’s Bay Company, 42–4. Helleiner, Making of National Money. For a more recent, wide-ranging reflection on territorial money, see Dodd, Social Life of Money, 211–68. Friesen, Citizens and Nation, 148. Ó Tuathail and Luke, “Present at the (Dis)Integration”; Gregory, “Imaginative Geographies.” For the prototypical historical study of state formation, see Corrigan and Sayer, Great Arch. On state formation in British North America, see Greer and Radforth, eds., Colonial Leviathan. For the Canadian context, see Curtis, “Moral Thermometer.” See also Garson, “Counting Money”; and Helleiner, Making of National Money. For descriptions of truck systems in both Britain and Canada that exhibited both of these characteristics, see Hilton, “British Truck System”; and Ommer, “Truck System in Gaspé.” On Parliament’s efforts, see Tan, “Scrip as Private Money”; and Hilton, “Truck Act of 1831.” It is important to note that, within Britain, the truck system often flourished in heavily populated and central regions such as the Midlands and Gloucestershire. Hilton, “British Truck System,” 239. For example, authorities in the United States often overlooked laws barring the private issue of currency in the case of truck practised in remote mining and lumbering towns of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Timberlake, “Private Production.” For an example of a private monetary system in a remote British North American industry (lumbering), see Dechêne, “Les entreprises de William Price.” See, for example, Graves, “Truck and Gifts”; and Johnson, “‘Modified Form of Slavery.’” Frank Tough’s otherwise groundbreaking work on the Indigenous economies of northern Manitoba provides an excellent example of the importance of orthodox monetary theory to analyses of the fur trade. Tough labels the made beaver system “modernized barter,” despite quite rightly pointing out that it allowed for credit relations through time. If we were to accept this understanding, monetary transactions simply could not exist, because barter here potentially includes both goods and promises to pay. Tough, “Natural Resources,” 268. Economists tend to make a similarly awkward distinction between “efficient barter” and monetary exchange where the only difference is the absence of physical money-stuff whose market value they assume to be “independent of the personal reputation of the

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debtor party to the transaction.” Grubb, “Paper Money,” 153–4. Though they do not dwell on the question, Ann Carlos and Frank Lewis view the made beaver as “a monetary unit for the region” of Hudson and James Bay. Carlos and Lewis, Commerce by a Frozen Sea, 8. Furthermore, as legal scholar Hamar Foster notes, the hbc made this changing interpretation in the absence of a decision by any external legal body whatsoever: “The official corporate position came to be that their property included all the land drained by rivers flowing into Hudson’s Bay, a proposition which meant that, in the southwest, Rupert’s Land stretched all the way to the Rocky Mountains. And although many legal opinions were sought and obtained during the course of recurring disputes over the validity of their charter and the trading rights that went with it, neither issue was ever tested in court.” Foster, “Long-Distance Justice,” 2. It is important to note the theoretical distinction that existed between the company’s commercial and legal prerogatives. Whereas the hbc held a monopoly over trade with Indigenous peoples, its legal powers applied only to individuals of European descent within the territory covered by its charter. On the company’s legal powers, see Smandych and Linden, “Administering Justice”; and Laudicina, “Droit et métissages.” On the ways in which the East India Company combined commerce and governance, in the process asserting British sovereignty while coming to occupy many of the roles that Weberian political theory tends to reserve for the state alone, see Stern, Company-State; Stern, “English East India Company.” On corporate governance in Canada under the French regime, see Dewar, “Government by Trading Company?” On the creation of and changes to the region known as the King’s Posts, see Bouchard, Le Saguenay des fourrures, 81–123, 165–70. Robert Shore Milnes, Proclamation, 30 April 1803, in Canada, Public Archives, Report of the Public Archives for the Year 1921, 82. For example, Thomas Dunn, one of the lessees of the posts, held this office from 1764, the year before he and John Gray leased them. In 1786, one of the new lessees, Alexander Grant, was appointed to the office. In 1822, William Goudie, who in the same year founded the King’s Posts Company to manage the region’s trade monopoly, was named justice of the peace. Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online, s.vv. “Dunn, Thomas,” by Pierre Tousignant and Jean-Pierre Wallot, “Grant, Alexander,” by Carol Whitfield, and “Goudie, John,” by Eileen Marcil, all accessed 27 April 2012, http://www.biographi.ca. In general, criminal jurisdiction throughout Britain’s colonies and the Unit-

Notes to pages 94–5

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ed States at the turn of the nineteenth century did not yet apply to the Indigenous population. See Ford, Settler Sovereignty. Simard, “Onze années de troubles.” This claim had been strengthened by a law passed by the British Parliament in 1821 in which the post-merger hbc was accorded “the exclusive Privilege of Trading with the Indians in all such Parts of North America as shall be specified in any such Grants or Licences respectively, not being Part of the Lands or Territories heretofore granted to the said Governor and Company of Adventurers of England trading to Hudson’s Bay, and not being Part of any of His Majesty’s Provinces in North America, or of any Lands or Territories belonging to the United States of America.” An Act for regulating the fur trade, 1&2 Geo. IV, c 66 (1821) (UK). Rich writes that, as early as 1684, traders and hunter-trappers “made” all goods and furs into beaver to express their value, thereby providing the name for the Hudson’s Bay Company’s abstract accounting currency: the made beaver. Rich, Fur Trade, 59. As Louise Dechêne has noted in the context of the French regime, individuals neither saved skins nor employed them when purchasing goods as they did with metallic and paper money. Dechêne, Habitants et marchands, 135. On circulation of the made beaver via coin and stamped wooden sticks, see Bishop, Northern Ojibwa, 82; Gingras, “Medals and Tokens of the hbc”; Gingras, Medals, Tokens and Paper Money; and Lips, “Naskapi Trade,” 137. On beaver tokens issued by the North West Company in 1820, see “hbc Fur Trade Tokens – Currency of the Fur Trade,” hbca website, n.d., accessed 23 December 2019, https://www.gov.mb.ca/chc/archives/hbca/common _research_topics.html#currency. For examples of stone or shell tokens used in the James Bay fur trade, see Hudson’s Bay Company, Moose Factory Stone Token, n.d. [c. 1880–1920], object id: 1968.0047.00003.000, ncc; and Moose Factory Shell Token, n.d. [c. 1880–1920], object id: 1968.0047.00005 .000, ncc. “Information on Hudson’s Bay Company Trade Tokens and Promissory Notes: Compiled in the Museum of the Hudson’s Bay Company, Winnipeg,” 1959, Larry Gingras fonds, ncc. R.W. McLachlan provides a similar – if disdainful, prejudiced, and quite clearly inaccurate – account of the beaver tokens: “The coins were intended to facilitate the purchase of furs and other trade with the Indians. They were so deficient in mental arithmetic that they could not calculate the value of their catch, so that these tokens were given to them in exchange for furs, with which they could easily make their purchases at the stores. The Indians soon learned to trust the

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Company’s officers, who were invariably trustworthy men, and their accounts in the Company’s books, to running chances of losing their new change, unaccustomed as they were to pockets or wallets.” McLachlan, “‘Beaver Currency’ Tokens,” 4. In addition to Rich, Fur Trade, see also Ray, Indians in the Fur Trade, 61–2; Ray and Freeman, “Give Us Good Measure,” 54–5; Tough, “Natural Resources,” 15, 268, 276–7; and Carlos and Lewis, Commerce by a Frozen Sea, 8, 51–4. On the debt system, see Morantz, “‘So Evil a Practice.’” Aimun-Mashinaikan Innu Dictionary, s.v. “pushkuatai,” accessed 3 April 2019, http://www.innu-aimun.ca/dictionary/Words; Dictionary of Moose Cree, s.v. “ahtay.” On the literal sense of pushkuatai, see Gardette, Les Innus et les EuroCanadiens, 201. Both the North West Company and the Hudson’s Bay Company drew upon classical imperial iconography (Roman busts and laurel crowns, for example) and language (the hbc’s use of the Latin pro pelle cutem, or “a skin for a skin”) while underlining the currency’s origins in the fur trade through depictions of beavers, stags, and other fur-bearing animals. For examples of coins, see North-West Company, Beaver Coin, 1820, object id: 1966.0160.01343.000, ncc; and Hudson’s Bay Company, Made Beaver, East Main District, c. 1865[?], 1922,0306.1, Department of Coins and Medals, British Museum. On the hbc’s political character across North America, see Galbraith, Hudson’s Bay Company. In at least one case, the hbc used a different unit of account in the 1820s. From its 1821 fusion with the nwc, the company adopted the “made marten” in Abitibi-Témiscamingue. Prior to this point, it had used the made beaver, making it clear that its Algonquin trading partners understood the use of both units. It is unclear when the hbc returned to beaver currency in the region. Inksetter, Initiatives et adaptations algonquines, 153. For example, two coins that the hbc most likely issued during the 1860s bear the engraving “hb e m” (Hudson Bay, East Main), one of the company’s districts in eastern James Bay. Hudson Bay Company 1 made beaver trading token, c. 1865, mec2758, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/40198.html; ½ made beaver trading token, c. 1865, mec2759, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects /40199.html. The hbc issued similar coins for its St Lawrence and Labrador Districts in the early twentieth century. See Gingras, “Medals, Tokens and Paper Money,” 83–5. The historiography reports several instances of company employees seeking

Notes to pages 99–102

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to retain Indigenous trappers at the posts at which they had traditionally traded, usually by way of explanations of capitalism’s principle of net profit. For a late nineteenth-century example, see Ray, Canadian Fur Trade, 91–2. For a compelling argument for the need to study the state precisely because of this process and because of the inseparability of the various sociopolitical phenomena embodied by it (such as sovereignty, war and diplomacy, administration and bureaucracy, the legal system, democracy or other means of accessing political power, and symbolic representations of collective identity), see Fecteau, “Écrire l’histoire de l’État?” For an important recent contribution to the history of the liberal democratic state in Canada, see Constant and Ducharme, eds., Liberalism and Hegemony. Girard and Brisson, Nistassinan-Notre terre, 6. On the interconnectedness of forestry and agriculture during this period of “colonization proper,” see Séguin, “L’économie agro-forestière”; and Bouchard, “Co-intégration et reproduction.” Due to the important role played by one of William Price’s associates, Alexis Tremblay, in the formation and management of the Société de Vingt-etUn, Dechêne speculates that Price may in fact have underwritten the group’s activities precisely in the hopes of creating for himself such a monopoly. Dechêne, “Les entreprises de William Price.” See also Girard and Perron, Histoire, 120–1. Girard and Perron, Histoire, 119. Dechêne, “Les entreprises de William Price,” 85. In fact, the payment of wages and the purchase of goods were explicitly linked on the bills themselves. For example, a bill issued in the name of William Price in 1853 states, “Store Order for Workers. To storekeeper. Deliver to bearer provisions, &c., from the Store to the amount of five shillings currency, for wages in my employ.” (“Ordre au Magasin pour les Travailleurs. Au commis du magasin. Délivrez au porteur des provisions, &c., du Magasin au montant de cinq chelins courant, pour gages dans mon emploi.”) William Price & Son, 5 shillings, 15 November 1853, object id: 1971.0106.00005.000, ncc. In 1850, a state surveyor sent to the region described in detail the power Price and Company held over colonists. Jacques Crémazie, “Rapport spécial sur le Saguenay,” 20 February 1850, in Girard, ed., Le Saguenay-Lac-SaintJean, 34. “Le colon du Saguenay est dans une situation exceptionnelle. À une distance considérable de tous les marchés, il ne trouve dans le territoire qu’il habite aucun moyen de se procurer, par la vente de ses modiques produits s’il en a, l’argent dont il a besoin.” Ibid. Métabetchouan provided competition to Chicoutimi while the company’s

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post at Mistassini did the same for Ashuapmouchouan. The hbc closed this second post, approximately ninety miles up the Ashuapmouchouan River from Lac-Saint-Jean, in 1850 due to its small clientele (it served no more than eight families). For the post’s history, see Burgesse, “Unwanted Post.” As early as 1831, a company employee described Chicoutimi as “a very pleasant and comfortable place, but trifling in the fur trade.” See Richard Rae to James Hargrave, 18 October 1831, in Glazebrook, ed., Hargrave Correspondence, 78–9. By 1851, the post had become primarily dedicated to the transshipment of merchandise to and from interior posts, and in 1856 the hbc abandoned it. Although it reopened Chicoutimi in 1863, the post had by that time long since lost the major role it had previously played in the Innu economy. Bouchard, Le Saguenay des fourrures, 229–30. Guitard, “Des fourrures pour le Roi.” In fact, the company established the post in direct response to a petition it received from eight Innu. These men claimed that “the present Post at Metebatchouan is too far from the Rivers, on the north side of the Lake, that many of us are accustomed to hunt in and especially during winter; when the navigation is closed the present Post is very difficult to access and for many of us who leave our families in the woods to come down for a supply of provisions it takes us a long time to reach Metebatchouan.” Luke Simeon et al. to Edward Hopkins, 12 October 1866, vol. 10263, file 377/322-5-7, reel T-7555, rg10, lac. The Department of Indian Affairs accorded the hbc permission to open a post on 6 December 1866. Newton Flanagan to James Bisset, 20 March 1876, vol. 10263, file 377/32-2-5-7, reel T-7555, rg10, lac. On the debt system, see Morantz, “‘So Evil a Practice.’” This “ideal” system did not necessarily function precisely in this manner. For example, the hbc post at Métabetchouan occasionally collected debts in the fall rather than at the beginning of the summer. In 1852, the post manager wrote, “Traded the hunts of Joseph Sr. & Joseph Junr. this forenoon the former paid his debt the latter nearly so. ... Simeonish[?] arrived in the evening and traded his hunt he paid his debt.” Lake St John Post Journal, 11 October and 13 October 1852 entries, B.111/a/4, f. 18v, reel 1M70, hbca. For instance, during the 1899 outfit – that is, the fiscal year running from June 1899 through May 1900 – the hbc post at Moose Factory recorded $3,673.73 in unpaid Indian debt. See Appendix 7: Statement of Indian Debts, Outfit 1900 (Amended Copy), Moose Post, Inspection Report on Moose Factory, 4–11 July and 12–18 August 1901, B.135/e/34, p. 24, reel 1M1257, hbca.

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48 This practice aimed to achieve the maximization of “overplus” – that is, the difference between the hbc’s official valuation of furs, on the one hand, and provisions and goods, on the other. By selling merchandise at higher rates than those given in official hbc instructions, along with the purchase of furs at lower prices, managers could add to their post’s profits. With the advent of cash payments, First Nations hunter-trappers were no longer captive consumers. As a result, the hbc lost, at least to some extent, one of its traditional forms of profit. On overplus, see Ray and Freeman, “Give Us Good Measure,” 52, 66–7, 93–5, 203–17. 49 Although the hbc had always viewed credit as “a necessary evil,” it was rarely able to discontinue it completely. For a brief discussion of credit in a region bordering Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, see Francis and Morantz, Partners in Furs, 51–3, 123–4. 50 At the time of the merger, the hbc drew up a series of lists using the castor currency to express the amount of debt owed the company by Innu hunters at the King’s Posts. For examples from posts in the Lac-Saint-Jean region, see K.K. Murchison[?], “List of debts due by Indians who frequent Ashwabmouson to the Hudson’s Bay Company, 1822,” 3 October 1822, ff. 213–14; and Charles Jordan, “List of the debts due by the Indians at the Post on Lake Saint Johns,” 7 October 1822, f. 215, both in E.20/1, reel 4M127, hbca. 51 For example, the Métabetchouan post journal contains the following entries pertaining to “barter”: “A canoe arrived in the afternoon from Ashwn. they left immediately with 3 Bags of Flour & ½ Cuvt.[?] Shot[?]” (8 October 1849 entry, B.111/a/2, f. 23v, reel 1M70, hbca) and “Pierre Chemish traded a Beaver & Lynx Skin for Flour and left” (5 February 1852 entry, B.111/a/4, f. 9v, reel 1M70, hbca). Both of these refer to products such as flour whose quantity would have directly depended on the value of the furs traded. In other words, measures of such products would have equated to particular amounts of money. The journals also note debt-based exchange: for example, “Agapie & Son Laurent arrived last evening they traded their hunts this morning, both paid their debts, they left immediately afterwards” (19 May 1853 entry, f. 27v, reel 1M70, hbca). If the state of the hbc’s surviving records from Métabetchouan makes it difficult to link these transactions directly to ledgers and exact monetary values, all of the above suggest the use of an abstract unit of account and measure. 52 “Many owe large amounts to the Company, others less, and some of the best hunters have large amounts at their credits.” David E. Price to [?], 14 November 1857, Appendix No. 11 in Canada, Parliament, “Report of the Special Commissioners,” n.p. 53 Ibid.

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Notes to pages 105–6

54 Ibid. Of course, Price’s accusations regarding the hbc’s unsavoury business practices are somewhat ironic given that his father’s company, in which he himself occupied an important role, made use of very similar techniques in dealings with its own employees. 55 The Indian Department remained essentially oblivious to the region and its population from the Conquest to the mid-1840s, when the Innu of both the North Shore and Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean began petitioning the governor for the establishment of reserves (see chapter 5). In 1845, the secretary of the Indian Department wrote that, in reference to the Indigenous population of the King’s Posts, he “could not discover among the records of the Indian Office, any notice or description of the Petitioners, and that they had not at any period been under the protection of the Indian Department.” Duncan C. Napier to James Macauley Higginson, 30 June 1845, vol. 149, pp. 86383–4, reel C-11494, rg10, lac. 56 This competition was supplemented for a short time by large timber interests. For example, an 1849 government report notes that the hbc “complain that the Lumberers, as well as the settlers carry on an extensive trade with the Indians to the great prejudice of the Compy & the demoralization of the Indians.” T.B., “Hudson’s Bay Compy at the King’s Posts,” 263–4, in Report Book, no. 1. C. E., September 1847 to May 1851, #294, E21/5, 2B081401A, Québec, Ministère des Terres et forêts, banq. However, timber companies’ interest in the trade was fleeting. 57 Guitard, “Des fourrures pour le Roi,” 155–7, 191. 58 As elsewhere in Canada, individuals of mixed Indigenous and European heritage participated in the fur trade as independent fur buyers. See, for example, the case of Peter McLeod detailed in Gélinas, Indiens, 93. Despite claims by contemporary organizations, Gélinas, in the most in-depth study of the question, finds no indication that a distinct, historical community and culture born of Indigenous-European métissage ever developed in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. 59 Provincial currency employed pound notation. “Day Book,” B.36/b/1, ff. 7–26, reel 1M175, hbca. Although primarily dedicated to Euro-Canadian trade by this period, some Innu hunter-trappers (such as Bazil Jr, Patapish, and François Lake St Johns) traded at Chicoutimi, thereby participating in this change. 60 Because of the document’s informal nature – it appears to have been used as a means of keeping daily accounts before transferring the numbers to formal account books and thus generally only lists the day and the month (without the year) – the Chicoutimi “Day Book” does not make entirely

Notes to page 106

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clear when this change took place. However, by 1859, the post had changed to dollar notation. “Day Book,” B.36/b/1, ff. 20v–26v, reel 1M175, hbca. The post’s Day Book lists a handful of cash sales made during August 1845. However, given the post’s standard practice of listing the names of Innu hunter-trappers for all transactions in which they were involved, these sales were most likely made to non-Natives. Furthermore, the post’s ledger for outfits 1846 and 1847, giving individualized accounts for all hunter-trappers (whether Indigenous or Euro-Canadian) trading at Métabetchouan, makes no mention of Innu cash purchases. 2, 3, 6, and 15 August 1845, B.111/d/1, ff. 37v–38v and 40r–41r, reel 1M506, hbca; Account Book, 1846–48, B.111/d/2, reel 1M506, hbca. By 1849, among its regular complement of hunter-trappers, the hbc made cash sales to Euro-Canadians (“freemen” in the company’s terms) alone. See for example, the purchases made by Joseph Verreaux on 6 June 1849, B.111/d/3, f. 20r; and his outstanding debt on 1 June 1847, B.111/d/5, f. 10v, both in reel 1M506, hbca. In 1854, the post manager wrote, “I started this morning for Chicoutimi, to bring up the Cash left there by Mr. Stewart.” Lake St John Post Journal, 6 April 1854 entry, B.111/a/4, f. 39v, reel 1M70, hbca. The hbc paid cash to Moyse Beaulieu, a French Canadian, in 1856 and 1857. 17 October 1856 and 15 August 1857, B.111/d/11a, ff. 4r and 5r, reel 1M506, hbca. For example, during outfits 1846 and 1847, the transactions made by Agapie Sr and Laurent Agapie were always recorded in pound notation, whereas the transactions of nearly every other Innu were kept in made beaver. However, one account book, which contains lists of “Indian balances” and “Freemen’s balances” at the beginning of outfits 1847 through 1849 at Métabetchouan, lists Agapie Sr’s and Laurent Agapie’s balances in dollar notation, suggesting that these Innu may have traded in either provincial currency, dollars, or both. All of the “freemen” – that is, Euro-Canadians – traded in provincial currency rather than either the castor or dollars. B.111/d/2; B.111/d/5, ff. 10r, 20r, and 30r; B.111/d/5, ff. 10v, 20v, and 30v, all in reel 1M506, hbca. The first accounting entries in dollars from the Métabetchouan post Day Book date to 1856. However, systematic accounting in decimal currency alone at the post did not begin until 1860. See B.111/d/11a and B.111/d/12a, both in reel 1M506, hbca. 30 December 1862, B.111/d/15b, f. 25r, reel 1M507, hbca. The annual average income, $120, is that of the Innu trading at Pointe Bleue during the hbc’s 1866 and 1867 outfits. The first trace found of an Innu having been

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Notes to pages 107–8

paid in cash by the hbc at Métabetchouan is from December 1860, when the company paid Bazil Junior $1 for furs. The following year François Jourdain received $2 for furs; in 1863, the hbc paid Luke $1 in cash. B.329/d/1, reel 1M575; 28 December 1860, B.111/d/12b, f. 15r, reel 1M507; 7 July 1861, B.111/d/12a, f. 93v, reel 1M507; 1 November 1863, B.111/d/14b, f.105v, reel 1M507, all hbca. For example, in outfit 1866, the hbc paid Etienne a total of $97.03 in cash for his furs. Although he also earned a relatively substantial amount of currency the following year ($30), the size of the payment he received in 1866 was certainly anomalous. B.329/d/1, reel 1M575, hbca. To diminish the standard deviation, and thereby augment the reliability of the resulting average, the highest and lowest sums of currency earned by any Innu during the outfits in question (1866, 1867, and 1870 through 1873) were not used when calculating the average. The “standard” years for which data has been analyzed include 1867, 1870, 1871, and 1873. The average increased significantly to approximately $11 in 1872 and rose to roughly $15 in 1866. B.329/d/1 and B.329/d/5, both in reel 1M575, hbca. An “outfit” was the hbc’s fiscal year, running from 1 June through 30 May. In 1872, the hbc paid Cleary $135.65, whereas he made a total of $83.80 in the other three years. B.329/d/5, reel 1M575, hbca. Carrière, Histoire documentaire, 3:281. The annual average income (£30, or $120) is that of the Innu trading at Pointe Bleue during the hbc’s 1866 and 1867 outfits. B.329/d/1, reel 1M575, hbca. Benoni is a Hebrew word meaning “son of my sorrow” or “son of my pain.” “Ce bon Antoine, le meilleur des chasseurs du lac, le bénoni des traiteurs, voulut racheter son péché par l’aumône; à la collecte que je fis à la fin de la Mission pour la chapelle, il me donna, en billets de banque, la somme de 30 piastres.” Quoted in Carrière, Histoire documentaire, 8:113. Ibid. This annual average ($297.50) is based on the total cash the hbc paid the Innu at Pointe Bleue during outfits 1866, 1867, and 1870 through 1873. B.329/d/1 and B.329/d/5, both in reel 1M575, hbca. For the hbc, drafts were a simple means of providing payment for individuals elsewhere than at a local post. For example, the post manager at Métabetchouan ordered payment of a surveyor at Chicoutimi. Simon Ross, Draft for $30.00 for P. Dumais, 5 January 1876, B.36/z/2, f. 4, reel 1M1657, hbca. For other examples of drafts and bons from the mid-1870s, see B.36/z/2, reel 1M1657, hbca. For a list of drafts drawn at Métabetchouan

Notes to pages 108–10

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on Chicoutimi, some payable to Innu, see B.111/d/4, ff. 44v–45v, reel 1M506, hbca. This is the author’s interpretation and is admittedly based on an archival record in which bons are quite rare. For an example of this form of payment, made for $34.16 to Charles Robertson in 1861, see 29 May 1861, B.111/d/12a, f. 63v, reel 1M507, hbca. In 1868, the company paid Price & Co. ten dollars, subtracting the amount from what the hbc owed Thomas Bacon. By 1863, Price and Company had become one of the hbc’s main clients at Métabetchouan. 11 November 1868, B.329/d/17, f. 9r, reel 1M575, hbca; Guitard, “Des fourrures pour le Roi,” 191–2. L.E. Otis, report on the Lake St John Agency, 26 October 1878, in diaar 1878, 35. This comment echoes another, made over twenty years earlier, by David Price: “They [the Innu] are generally strictly honest that they return with their furs to the trading posts, where they received advances.” See David E. Price to [?], 14 November 1857, in Canada, Parliament, “Report of the Special Commissioners,” n.p. James Bissett to Newton Flanagan, 22 September 1879, B.111/c/2, reel 1mb72, hbca. The earliest cash sales found at Pointe Bleue date from 1883. For examples, see the sales made in June 1883 to Old Philip, David Philip, Charles Jourdain, Charles Robertson, George Metabeg, and Bazil Ousinithlon. B.329/a/2, ff. 21r–26r, reel 1M1018, hbca. For a discussion of how to make the company’s prices at Mashteuiatsh more competitive, thereby theoretically diminishing the amount of cash necessary to purchase furs, see J.A. Wilson, “Post Report – Pointe Bleue,” 18 October 1889, B.329/e/2, reel 1M1258, hbca. P. McKenzie, “Inspection Report: Pointe Bleue Post, Saguenay District,” 21 April 1890, B.329/e/3, p. 14, reel 1M1258, hbca (emphasis in original). Unfortunately, none of these new fur traders left records of their activities. As a result, it is necessary to rely on statements made by hbc employees, which rarely contain any quantitative information. 29 May 1898, B.329/a/4, f. 9v, reel 1M1019, hbca. The lower number represents total cash payments made by the hbc where the recipient is clearly identified. The additional $133.82 included in the higher figure is the sum of cash payments made on the same day for which the recipient is not identified. The hbc records identify six Innu as having shared the $255.32. 3 May 1901, B.329/a/4, ff. 25r–27r, reel 1M1019, hbca. Beaulieu and Béreau, “‘Voir par eux-mêmes.’”

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Notes to pages 110–15

88 For a recent study that asserts, in completely untenable fashion, the historical sovereignty of the king of France to a large part of Quebec in an effort to reject present-day territorial claims by several First Nations, see Lavoie, Le Domaine du roi. For a nuanced study of the initial historical development of such claims on the part of the state, see Beaulieu, “‘An Equitable Right.’” 89 For example, the Cree who traded at Mistassini, an hbc post located to the north of Lac Saint-Jean, made use of beaver currency into the twentieth century. In 1908, the post manager wrote, “Joseph Mittawasha arrived yesterday he brought 160 Mad Beav worth.” 16 January 1908, B.133/a/63, f. 22v, reel 1ma41, hbca.

chapter four 1 Zaslow, Opening of the Canadian North, 149–51. 2 Anderson, Fur Trader’s Story, 18. On “geographic imaginaries,” see Gregory, “Imaginative Geographies.” 3 Ray, Canadian Fur Trade, 50–95. 4 Morantz, White Man’s Gonna Getcha, 7–9. On settler colonialism, see Veracini, Settler Colonialism. 5 Using the standard conversion, 1 mb would have been worth 2 s, 6 d. Horden sold his books, then, for 0.8 mb. Quoted in Batty, Forty-Two Years, 40. 6 Newnham, Life at Moose Fort, 22. 7 An Ontario magistrate claimed that the company’s employees could, “if prompted to do so by ill-will or other motives, reduce a man and his family to absolute want and misery; and that, too, without so much as breaking the letter of any one of the Ten Commandments or bringing themselves under the lash of the law. Nor would such acts of oppression necessarily be heard of outside of the territory in which they occurred.” Borron, Basin of Moose River, 74–5. 8 In 1901, Moose Factory made $7,676.20, or nearly 85 per cent of its total sales, on credit. The remaining sales were split between cash ($807.47) – spent in its non-Indigenous sales shop – and barter ($576.86). Trading Account, Moose Factory Post, James Bay District, Outfit 1901, A.76/15, f. 92, reel 973, hbca. 9 Borron, Basin of Moose River, 86; Scott, “Last of the Indian Treaties,” 577. Also available in Long, Treaty No. 9, 292. 10 Quoted in Long, Treaty No. 9, 255. 11 For an example of the use of letters of credit, see W.K. Broughton to the Commissioner, 20 July 1901, B.135/b/56, file 1, doc. 243, reel 1M1120, hbca. Sister A. Felix wrote a cheque for twenty dollars, drawn on the Old

Notes to pages 116–17

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13 14

15 16 17 18

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Lowell National Bank, to the hbc on 30 April 1904. Remittance to Winnipeg on account of James Bay District Outfit 1904, 20 July 1904, B.135/b/57 vol. 2, f. 341Br, reel 1M122, hbca. No record of any unspent funds from letters of credit being paid to the holder in cash has been found. “The business at all Posts in the Southern Department, with the exception of Albany and Moose Factory where there are Sales Shops for the Company’s employees, is confined entirely to the Fur Trade which is conducted throughout on the mb system.” Moose Factory Post Report, 31 December 1895, B.135/e/32, p. 1, reel 1M1257, hbca. [George McKenzie?] to Commissioner, District Affairs, 31 January 1902, B.135/b/56, file 2, doc. [307B], reel 1M1120, hbca. For the names of the dismissed servants, see 5 June 1902, B.135/a/189, f. 35v, reel 1M1012, hbca. The market conditions at these posts were very similar to those in contemporaneous Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. In 1906, Alex Milne, the manager of the hbc’s James Bay district, noted with some wonder that the trip from “the line,” in this case from Missanabie, to Moose Factory took a mere nine days by canoe. Alex Milne to Mr Ware, 30 September 1906, A.11/48, p. 225, reel 725, hbca. An hbc servant reported that by 1910 the railway was just as accessible elsewhere. “Cochrane was still some two hundred miles upstream from Moose Factory, an eight-to-ten-day arduous journey by canoe, though the five-day downstream trip was somewhat easier.” Anderson, Fur Trader’s Story, 17. On “line” conditions across the subarctic, see Ray, Canadian Fur Trade, 225. Alex Milne, “Inspection Report on Moose Factory,” 4–11 July and 12–18 August 1901, B.135/e/34, p. 10, reel 1M1257, hbca. Ibid., 6. Milne frequently converted beaver currency into dollars when making his reports to upper management. In this same report, for example, he did so when calculating costs of shipping goods to Moose Factory. Ibid., 15A–24. In the same year, the hbc post at Moose Factory paid the Cree a total of $2,572.76 (4,677 ¾ mb) for furs and labor. Thus the $18 spent purchasing furs on the “black market” represents a mere 0.7 per cent of the total spent by the company. Ibid., 24. B.1/e/10, p. 5, reel 1M1254, hbca. The hbc divided its fur trade business during the period into several distinct, regionally defined departments. Because each department was somewhat autonomous, their particular policies sometimes led them to clash in “frontier regions” such as that separating Moose Factory from Lake Abitibi. Milne, “Inspection Report on Moose Factory,” 7. Following “vague rumors that opposition is sending in ... the Trader party –

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Notes to page 118

long expected, come in from their camp about the breach.” George McKenzie to [?], 7 July 1902, B.135/b/56, file 2, f. 156v, reel 1M1120, hbca; post journal, 16 August 1902, B.135/a/189, f. 41r, reel 1M1012, hbca. On Revillon Frères’s early twentieth-century operations, see Harris, “Revillon Frères Trading Company,” 11–52; Ray, Canadian Fur Trade, 92–3; and Sexé, Two Centuries of Fur-Trading, 57–73. While Revillon Frères remained active in the region through its final sale to the hbc in 1936, the English company had actually purchased a controlling stake in Revillon’s fur business in 1926. On the hbc’s acquisition of Revillon Frères Trading Co. Ltd., see Harris, “Revillon Frères Trading Company,” 65–82. On the sinking of Revillon Frères’s steamer, the El Dorado, on 1 September 1903, see “Wreck of the Lady Head on the Gasket Shoal,” n.d., B.135/z/7, f. 10r, reel 1M1666, hbca. For a global description of this expedition, see Harris, “Revillon Frères Trading Company,” 12–21. Beginning in the summer of 1902, Revillon Frères employees were unable to feed themselves from their own stores and hoped to purchase goods from the hbc. On the difficulties experienced by the company’s employees in obtaining food, see, for example, the post journal, 29 August 1902, B.135/a/189, f. 42r, reel 1M1012, hbca; and Donald Gillies to Mr Ware, 2 February 1903, A.11/48, f. 202, reel 725, hbca. George McKenzie to Officer in Charge, hbc, Moose River Post, 10 September 1902, B.135/b/58, f. 207v, reel 1M1122, hbca. George McKenzie to Revillon Freres Far North Company Limited, Moose River Post, 22 September 1903, B.135/b/58, f. 333r, reel 1M1122, hbca. McKenzie probably wrote this in order to encourage Revillon Frères’s shipwrecked crew and employees to leave Moose Factory and to continue down the Moose River to the railroad. Trading Account, Moose Factory Post, James Bay District, Outfit 1901, A.76/15, f. 92, reel 973, hbca. Trading Accounts, Moose Factory Post, James Bay District, Outfits 1902–04, A.76/16, f. 92, A.76/17, f. 86, and A.76/18, f. 86, all in reel 974, hbca. Although incomplete, Fort Albany’s records suggest that no change took place in the amount of cash sales during the years between the sinking of Revillon Frères’s ship and the provisioning of its Moose River trading post. From June through December 1902, for example, the hbc made $97.63 in cash sales at Albany. Over the same period in 1903, this amount declined to $14.85. B.3/b/101, p. 640, reel 1M1031B; B.3/b/101, p. 817, reel 1M1032, both hbca. In this sense, the major difference between the two posts was

Notes to pages 119–21

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not, as we shall see below, the inability of local Cree to pay in cash but the absence of Revillon Frères from Fort Albany. The Moose Factory post journal’s last entry describing a transaction in terms of Made beaver was recorded 17 March 1902: “Cephas[?] came in today with 104 Made beaver of a hunt.” 17 March 1902, B.135/a/189, f. 29r, reel 1M1012, hbca. The next entry that makes use of monetary notation was recorded nearly two years later and clearly involves dollars: “John Narager in on Wednesday with a good hunt (355.00).” 5 February 1904, B.135/a/189, f. 87r, hbca. The Moose Cree word ahtay, for “beaver pelt,” is used for “dollar” when modified by a number: for example, peyako-ahtay for “one dollar” and nîšo-ahtay for “two dollars.” Dictionary of Moose Cree, s.vv. “ahtay,” “nîšo-ahtay,” “peyako-ahtay.” Historian John Long observes that some residents of Kashechewan, a reserve located near to where Fort Albany once stood, used the Cree word ahtay (“a skin, hide or pelt”) to refer to the dollar when he lived in the community at the turn of the twenty-first century. Long, Treaty No. 9, 347. In December 1902, McKenzie wrote to the hbc manager at Rupert’s House that “the Opposition is still here [at Moose Factory] but do not seem to be doing much. I hear one of them is going out after Christmas, they are not likely to do much as they only have cash and we are not trading cash in our stores.” George McKenzie to A.G[?]. Nicholson, 19 December 1902, B.135/b/58, ff. 223r–224r, reel 1M1122, hbca. For a later example of local staff claiming that the Cree did not trade with Revillon Frères, see G. McKenzie to Commissioner, 24 September 1903, A.11/48, pp. 210–13, reel 725, hbca. According to Moose Factory’s post journal, “Most of the Indians have gone to work for the Traders.” 26 August 1902, B.135/a/189, f. 41v, reel 1M1012, hbca. George McKenzie to Robert Skene, 10 January 1903, B.135/b/58, f. 234r, reel 1M1122, hbca. Renison, One Day at a Time, 57. Trading Accounts, Moose Factory Post, James Bay District, Outfits 1903–04, A.76/17–18, reels 974, hbca. “Out Ports Established by Orders in Council since the Passing of the Act Respecting the Customs 1867,” in Canada, Orders in Council, 47. “Summary Statement of Imports – Province of Ontario,” in Canada, Sessional Papers, 1875, no. 4, p. 384. Borron, Basin of Moose River, 83–4, 89. For reports produced through the Geological Survey of Canada, see Bell,

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44 45 46 47 48 49

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51

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Notes to pages 121–3

Report on an Exploration; and Low, Report on Explorations. For one of a series of several provincial reports by a single author, see Borron, Basin of Moose River. Though this document, unlike the reports produced for the federal government, dedicates several pages to the Cree, Borron’s observations did not spur Ontario to action in the region. Indian Affairs reported this number annually from 1872 through 1882. diaar 1872, 62; diaar 1882, 257. “Mr Alex Matheson of Hudson’s Bay Co, and Archdeacon Thomas Vincent late of Moose Factory” provided the Indian Agent at Fort William (Thunder Bay) with information suggesting that roughly five hundred Cree traded at Moose Factory. J.F. Hodder, to Secretary, Department of Indian Affairs (hereafter, dia), 6 December 1902, vol. 3033, file 235,225, part 1, reel C11314, rg10, lac. John Long describes the state’s fact-finding mission in general terms, while making similar, more specific observations with respect to Fort Albany. Long, Treaty No. 9, 347. Long, Treaty No. 9, 32. Long takes this terminology from historian James Morrison, who also sees “northern resource development” as the reason that motivated Canada to sign Treaties 8, 10, and 11. For Long’s analysis of the petition, see ibid., 36–43. Quoted in ibid., 180. Quoted in ibid., 292–3. Ibid., 48–67. For the text of the treaty, see Canada, James Bay Treaty. On the commissioners’ decision to deny Indian status, and thus access to treaty payments, to Moose Factory’s population of mixed heritage, see Long, “Treaty No. 9.” This is the amount Canada requested that Ontario reimburse it. J.D. McLean to A.J. Matheson, Ontario Provincial Treasurer, 9 April 1906; J.R. Forsyth to Accountant, dia, 22 May 1906, both in vol. 3034, file 235,225, part 4, reel C-9666, rg10, lac. However, Samuel Stewart, the junior member of the federal delegation, reported paying 342 Cree in total. This would have meant placing $2,736 in circulation in 1905. Long, Treaty No. 9, 235. In 1904–05, the hbc made $819.05 in cash sales at Moose Factory. Trading Accounts, Moose Factory Post, James Bay District, Outfit 1904, A.76/18, f. 86, reel 974, hbca. As we have seen, the Cree almost certainly spent none of this money, because the hbc continued to accept cash payments from Euro-Canadians alone. In 1905–06, the hbc made $1973.69 in cash sales at the post. Trading Accounts, Moose Factory Post, James Bay District, Outfit 1905, A.76/19, f. 88, reel 1359, hbca.

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53 The Anglican Bishop of Moosonee stated that at the service following the treaty signing at Moose Factory, the Cree placed $134 in the collection plate and gave another $60 for fencing at the cemetery. He also noted that the Cree had given $115 at Fort Albany. Long, Treaty No. 9, 485n31. Though only half of the congregation at Albany service was Cree, we can assume that a large part of this sum came from treaty payments. Since a greater number of Fort Albany Cree identified as Catholic, this church almost certainly received a larger amount in donations this same day. 54 According to a manager of an hbc post in northern Saskatchewan in the early 1920s, annuities were “spent all in a day. Treaty money came from the government, so the people didn’t consider that it had any value in terms of their own personal work, and it wasn’t thought of as part of primary income. It was simply something extra, a present.” Keighley, Trader, Tripper, Trapper, 85. 55 Through the end of the decade, the hbc’s cash earnings at Moose Factory fluctuated widely. Cash payment constantly surpassed pre-treaty levels, growing from a low of $1,589.67 in 1906–07 to a high of $3,129.80 in 1910–11. Trading Accounts, Moose Factory Post, James Bay District, Outfits 1905–10, A.76/19, f. 88; A.76/20, f. 96; A.76/21, f. 96; A.76/22, f. 101, reel 1359; A.76/23, f. 102; A.76/24, f. 107, reel 1360, all hbca. 56 These quotations are from Scott, “The Last of the Indian Treaties,” reproduced as chapter 19 of Long, Treaty No. 9. For the quotes, see pp. 290 and 298. 57 Graham, Treaty Days, 117. 58 diaar 1936, 12. 59 Quoted in Long, Treaty No. 9, 293–4. 60 Quoted in ibid., 183. 61 Canada, James Bay Treaty, 5. 62 Quoted in Long, Treaty No. 9, 180. 63 Quoted in ibid., 196, 206. 64 Quoted in ibid., 210. 65 Canada, James Bay Treaty, 9. 66 Lytwyn, Muskekowuck Athinuwick, 15–17. 67 As Long demonstrates, state officials did not so much negotiate Treaty 9 with First Nations as they imposed its terms on them. Long, Treaty No. 9, 56, 329–53. On the hbc’s role in the treaty-making process, see Calverley, “Impact of the Hudson’s Bay Company.” 68 Hamilton began drawing a salary on 25 August 1929. diaar 1930, part I, 9. 69 Long, Treaty No. 9, 229. 70 N.H. Bacon, “Fur Trade Annual Report: Outfit 1916,” 31 January 1918, A.74/25, p. 63, reel 1350, hbca.

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Notes to pages 127–30

71 Ray, “Periodic Shortages”; Shewell, “Enough to Keep Them Alive,” 77–87. 72 In his work on the mid-nineteenth-century development of census making in Canada, Bruce Curtis terms this knowledge-based apparatus the “eyes of politics.” Curtis, Politics of Population. See also Curtis, “Révolution gouvernementale.” On “population” and “governmentality” more generally, see Foucault, Sécurité, territoire, population, 69–77. 73 “Minutes of Evidence, No. 3, Brooke Claxton, K.C., Minister of National Health and Welfare, and T.R.L. MacInnes, Secretary, Indian Affairs Branch,” 6 June 1946, in Canada, Special Joint Committee, 80–1. 74 Long, “Treaty No. 9.” 75 On the ramifications for one Moose Factory Cree family of the genderbased discrimination at the heart of the Indian Act, see Long, Treaty No. 9, 79–80. 76 This average is based on annuity and arrears payments made from 1906 through 1932, excepting 1931, for which no data are available. Reports of payments made each year are available in vol. 3034, file 235,225, part 4, reel C-9666, rg10, lac. 77 The percentage reflects only the annuities paid at Moose Factory in August 1905 ($1,848) and not the gratuities. In 1900–01, the hbc extended $3,877.91 (7050 ¾ made beaver, where 1 mb was evaluated at $0.55) in credit at Moose Factory. “Appendix 7: Statement of Indian Debts, Outfit 1900, (Amended Copy), Moose Post,” in Milne, “Inspection Report on Moose Factory,” 24. 78 In 1905–06, the hbc sold $16,001.09 worth of goods on credit at Moose Factory. Trading Accounts, Moose Factory Post, James Bay District, Outfit 1905, A.76/19, f. 88, reel 1359, hbca. 79 The hbc extended $51,790 in that year while the state paid $1,252 in annuities and $48 in arrears. At $4 per person, the treaty party paid annuities to 313 people at Moose Factory. A.W. West, “James Bay District, Annual Report: Outfit 258,” n.d. [1928], A.74/42-8, p. 12, reel 1367; “Statement of annuities paid to Indians of Treaty Nine for the fiscal year 1927–28,” 13 October 1927, vol. 3034, file 235,225, part 4, reel C-9666, both in rg10, lac. 80 Ray, Canadian Fur Trade, 200–1. 81 John Long observes that at turn-of-the-century Lac Seul (Obishikokaang), “aside from Treaty No. 3 annuities, business was conducted largely through the debt system, as in the rest of the far north.” Long, Treaty No. 9, 137. 82 During the period, the hbc made a total of $2,633.80 of cash payments for furs. In contrast, it expended $14,691.66 in “barter” – that is, where neither cash nor credit was provided – and $256,647.49 in credit to the Cree. Trad-

Notes to pages 131–8

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ing Accounts, Moose Factory Post, James Bay District, Outfits 1901–21, A.76/15-38, reels 973–4 and 1359–65, hbca. 83 See chapter 1.

chapter five 1 Manuel, Unsettling Canada, 8. 2 While earlier policy in Upper Canada included both payments and reserves, these two elements were only formally joined beginning in the Robinson Treaties of 1850. Miller, Compact, Contract, Covenant; Harris, Making Native Space; Beaulieu, “La création des réserves indiennes.” 3 The seigneurial regime was the form of land tenure that the French instituted in North America. Under this regime, multiple entities – from the Crown through the lord (seigneur) to the tenant – held distinct yet overlapping rights to land. On the earlier development of French and British, along with Spanish, regimes of colonial land tenure, see Greer, Property and Dispossession. 4 Bouchard, “Les chefs autochtones”; Bouchard, “Des systèmes politiques,” esp. chaps. 3 and 5. 5 An Act to Authorize the Setting Apart of Lands for the Use of Certain Indian Tribes in Lower Canada, S.C., 14&15 Vict., ch. 106 (1851); Fortin and Frenette, “L’acte de 1851.” 6 Beaulieu, “Acquisition of Aboriginal Land,” 122. 7 Beaulieu, “‘An Equitable Right,’” 21–5. 8 James Hughes to Duncan C. Napier, 10 April 1839, vol. 97 pp. 40059–63, reel C-11470, rg10, lac; Beaulieu, “La création des réserves indiennes,” 140. 9 This translation is found in the margins of the document, most likely made internally within the Indian Department. The original text is “un aide pour commencer le défrichement de notre terrain, qui nous sera distribué annuellement.” Petition from the Montagnais of the North Shore to Charles Theophilus Metcalfe, 9 August 1844, vol. 599, pp. 47445–54, reel C-13380, rg10, lac. 10 De Sales Laterrière requested that “des endroits de territoire fertiles soient tracés et réservés pour eux sur les bords des grandes eaux dans les postes du pays où ils s’assemblent d’ordinaire ... et de plus que votre Excellence ordonne qu’une partie des revenus provenant de la location des Postes du Roi et des ventes de terres soit reservée afin de leur donner quelque support dans leur misere et de les assister dans leurs efforts qu’ils doivent faire pour cultiver le sol.” This undated petition is attached to Marc-Pascal de Sales Laterrière,

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Notes to pages 138–41

Report for Charles Murray Cathcart, n.d. [March 1846], vol. 122, pp. 5789–96, reel C-11481, rg10, lac. Laterrière writes that it had been addressed to Governor Metcalfe “last winter” (“l’hiver dernier”). “On ne peut rien avoir pour notre usage et vie sans payer pour, avec de l’argent, et nous n’en avons pas vu ... nous allons commencer à te dire ce que tu dois nous donner. ... Qu’on nous donne l’argent payé par le bourgeois de traite et l’argent de nos terres et nos bois. ... Qu’on nous donne aussi à nous autres Sauvages des presents tous les étés comme on entend dire que tu donnes aux autres Sauvages.” Petition from Tumas Mesituapamuskan, Jusep Kakanukus, Pasil Thishenapen to Lord Elgin, 7 Februray 1848, in Tremblay, “Une délégation des Montagnais,” 39–40. Denis-Benjamin Papineau, “Abstract from the Report of the Commissioner of Crown Lands, of His Journey to the Saguenay,” 27 September 1845, in Appendix A in Canada, Journals of the Legislative Assembly, Sessional Papers, 1846. “Ces Sauvages devraient être traités par le Gouvernement comme le sont les tribus du Haut Canada; c’est à dire recevoir une annuité, des terres en townships sur lesquelles ils pourraient se fixer et se livrer à l’agriculture.” Marc-Pascal de Sales Laterrière, Report for Charles Murray Cathcart, n.d. [March 1846], vol. 122, pp. 5789–96, reel C-11481, rg10, lac. Though it is undated, the report contains a note stating that the Civil Secretary’s office had forwarded it to the Executive Council on 30 March 1846. The Indian Affairs archives contain a second copy of the report, though dated 26 June 1847, or over a year after the report was referred to the Executive Council. Petition from the Innu of Saguenay to Charles Murray Cathcart, 26 June 1847, vol. 606, pp. 51060–3, reel C-13383, rg10, lac. “Le gouvernement a toujours perçu un revenu très considérable de la location des Postes du Roi pour le droit exclusif de traiter avec eux; lequel revenu supputé jusqu’à ce jour, formerait une somme de cent mille livres, versée dans les coffres publics dont ils n’ont jamais touché un sol. ... N’auraient-ils pas le droit, en équité, de réclamer de la couronne une parcelle de l’intérêt de cette somme en forme d’annuité, ou au moins les six cents livres que paie aujourd’hui la Compagnie de la Baie d’Hudson au gouvernement pour ce privilège?” Quoted in Trudel, “Autour du tableau,” 43. “J’invite vos lecteurs d’une nature privilégiée qui doutent que ces êtres, à faces humaines, ne sont point de leurs frères, de se porter à l’atelier de notre habile artiste, M. Hamel, où ils verront le tableau de ces trois chefs, présentant à Son Excellence, lord Elgin, le mémorial de leurs frères Sauvages.” Quoted in ibid., 49. See also Maxime Gohier, “La pratique pétitionnaire,” 334–6.

Notes to pages 141–2

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16 Though the interpreter, Peter McLeod, was of mixed Innu and Scottish heritage, the painting does not in any way make this clear. Trudel points out that into the 1970s the painting was mistakenly identified as “Lord Durham and the Indian Chiefs.” This makes clear the figure’s association with both non-Indigenous culture and respectability. Trudel, “Autour du tableau,” 41. 17 “S.E. [Son Excellence] a promis à ces Sauvages de leur accorder ce qu’ils demandent; nous sommes certain cette fois les Montagnais obtiendront la justice à laquelle ils ont bien des droits.” This article appeared the day after La Minerve published Laterrière’s piece. “Sauvages,” Mélanges religieux, politiques, commerciaux et littéraires, 11, no. 53, 14 March 1848, 181. 18 Fortin and Frenette, “L’acte de 1851”; Order in Council, 4 September 1856, vol. 228, pp. 135670–2, reel C-11539, rg10, lac. 19 “Report of a Committee of the Executive Council,” 13 June 1837, quoted in Beaulieu, “‘An Equitable Right,’” 23. 20 Order in Council, 17 April 1846, vol. 711, p. 168, reel C-13410, rg10, lac. The order does not detail the precise content of the “letter from Commissioner of Crown Lands” to which it responds. In 1851, the Assembly confirmed the 1846 arrangement when it agreed to continue the payment of up to $4,000 annually for necessary expenditure on behalf of First Nations in what is now the Province of Quebec (An Act to Authorize the Setting Apart of Lands, 1851). The Indian Department only began keeping books for this fund in 1854. Lower Canada Indians in Indian Department, Trust Fund Ledgers, 1849–60, vol. 1003, ff. 77 and 121, reel C-9061, rg10, lac. 21 The Indian Department initially distributed $200 worth of relief. By the 1860s and 1870s, this amount had risen to approximately $400 each year. Though not always specified in the department’s books, the entry for 5 September 1858 makes it clear that these funds were to be distributed as “Provisions & Clothing for Montags. Inds.” Order in Council, 4 September 1856, pp. 135670–2; Lower Canada Indians in Indian Department, Trust Fund Ledgers, 1849–60, f. 77. On later amounts, see William McDougall, memorandum, 9 April 1863, vol. 722, pp. 103–4; and William Spragge, memorandum, 21 April 1871, vol. 723, pp. 431–3, both in reel C-13412, rg10, lac. 22 The 1851 law that confirmed the annual provision of $4,000 to the Indian Department states that these funds were “to be distributed amongst certain Indian Tribes in Lower Canada by the Superintendent General of Indian affairs, in such proportions among the said Indian Tribes, and in such manner as the Governor General in Council may from time to time direct.” An Act to Authorize the Setting Apart of Lands (1851), ch. 106, s. 2. 23 Lower Canada Indians in Indian Department, Trust Fund Ledgers, 1849–60,

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34

35 36

37 38

39

Notes to pages 143–5

vol. 1003, ff. 77 and 121; 1860–64, vol. 1004, ff. 127 and 155; and 1865–70, vol. 1005, ff. 23, 70, 119, 143, 177, 186, and 201, all in reel C-9061, rg10, lac. Ronda, “Sillery Experiment”; Greer, Mohawk Saint. On the mission villages in New France, see Jetten, Enclaves amérindiennes; and Lozier, Flesh Reborn. Grenier, Brève histoire du régime seigneurial. Bouchard, “Des systèmes politiques,” 161. Ibid., 280–4. Ibid., 189; Maurault, Histoire des Abenakis, 571–2. Bouchard, “Des systèmes politiques,” 272–6. Ibid., 285, 297–303. Ibid., 308–13. Daniel Rück dates the chiefs’ practice of directly receiving seigneurial revenue in Kahnawake to the final third of the nineteenth century. Rück, “‘Où tout le monde est propriétaire,’” 41–2. Pierre Béland to Mons. Joseph Signay, Bishop of Quebec, 14 March 1842 in Appendix No. 8 in Canada, “Report on the Affairs of the Indians in Canada,” n.p. On the long history of Wendat claims to the seigneurie of Sillery, see Lavoie, C’est ma seigneurie. Jean-Baptiste Panet, notary, “Grant of a tract of land by the Reverend Jesuit Fathers to the Huron Indians,” 26 February 1794, no. 413, in Canada, Indian Treaties and Surrenders, 3:261–3. The original title includes clauses to the same effect. Jesuit Fathers, Act of Concession, 7 March 1742, vol. 121, pp. 5215–16, reel C-11480, rg10, lac. On Jesuit restrictions on commercial logging in the seigneurie, see Grenier, Brève histoire du régime seigneurial, 93. On farming on Quarante Arpents in the nineteenth century, see Gettler, “Economic Activity and Class Formation,” 149–51. In 1803, the missionary, writing at the behest of the chiefs, described Quarante Arpents as “forty square arpents of wood lots where they take firewood” (“quarante arpents en quarré de terres à bois où ils prennent le bois pour se chauffer”). Antoine Bédard, report on Wendat lands, 12 December 1803, vol. 10, p. 9565, reel C-11000, rg10, lac. While the original 1742 concession of Quarante Arpents explicitly exempted the tract from cens et rentes, its 1794 renewal required Wendat payment to the Jesuits of “perpetual and unredeemable seigniorial dues and rents [cens et rentes].” Panet, “Grant of a tract of land …,” in Canada, Indian Treaties and Surrenders, 3:261. I have found no evidence that the Wendat ever paid

Notes to pages 145–6

40

41 42

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45

46 47

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these. In 1819, Nicolas Vincent Tsa8enhohi testified to a committee of the House of Assembly that Michel Berthelot, agent of the Jesuit estates in the 1800s and 1810s, had “demanded rents, but we refused.” Nicolas Vincent, testimony, 2 February 1819, in Appendix R in Lower Canada, Appendix to the Journals of the House of Assembly, n.p. Moreover, the cadastres abrégés, constituted following the end of the seigneurial regime, do not mention either Quarante Arpents or Jeune Lorette, making it clear that, despite the 1794 concession, the Wendat did not pay cens et rentes on these tracts at midcentury and may not have done so after the state had taken charge of them along with the other Jesuit estates in 1800. Henry Judah, “No. 12: Cadastre abrégé de la seigneurie de St. Gabriel,” 16 March 1864, in Canada, Cadastres abrégés, 1–45. Wood was also an issue in Kahnawake, though here the issue came to head in the 1870s. Mohawk management and departmental involvement also differed substantially from the Wendat case. Rueck, “Enclosing the Mohawk Commons,” esp. chap. 5; “Commons, Enclosure, and Resistance,” 357–60; Rück, “‘Où tout le monde est propriétaire,’” 45–8. Though a similar mechanism may have been in place earlier, records from the system built around a single account book cover only this period. This section relies heavily on François-Xavier (Paul) Picard Tahourenché, Journal (1840–1854), P2-S1-A1, box B-1-1, acnhw. When Tahourenché began his accounting efforts on behalf of the community, he was a chef des guerriers. On Tahourenché, see Beaulieu and Tanguay, “François-Xavier Picard Tahourenche.” The purpose of several of the entries in the account book is not clearly indicated. Thus, only 45 per cent of the funds’ revenues arose explicitly from timber sales. However, given the individuals and the amounts involved in the 15 per cent of unidentified transactions, it seems likely these payments were made for wood. Picard, Journal (1840–1854). In 1840, Euro-Canadians paid £3.15 of £4.2.2; in 1846 Euro-Canadians paid £8.14.8½ of the £9.16.7 total; and in 1853 they provided £4.13.6 of the fund’s total income from wood of £6.2.6. Ibid. In 1841, the Wendat paid 94 per cent (£7.19.4) of the total paid for wood (£8.9.1). In 1848, Laurent Picard paid 100 per cent of the £2.12.9 that the fund received for wood. Ibid. Ibid., 12 and 26 October and 1 November 1850 entries. Sioui wrote: “Others, Indians such as Thomas Bastien and Laurent Picard, sell would on 40 Arp. irrespective of the prohibition reiterated by the chiefs” (“D’autres, des Sauvages, tels que Thomas Bastien et Laurent Picard, vendent du bois sur les 40 Arp. malgré les défenses réitérées des chefs”). Elie

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Notes to page 147

Scioui to Narcisse de Lorimier, 15 December 1858, vol. 246, pp. 146494–5, reel C-12639, rg10, lac. Following François Boucher’s arrival in Lorette, he rented the garden. Prior to Boucher’s arrival, Philippe Vincent, a future Chief, had rented the garden for one year. During the period, Thomas Plamondon, the Canadien husband of Adelaide Picard, and Philippe Vincent both rented the enclosed yard. Picard, Journal (1840–1854). Ibid., 14 February 1848 entry. The municipal council of St Ambroise petitioned the Indian Department to open a road at lesser expense than that demanded by the Huron – “the tidy sum of 80 pounds currency” (“la jolie petite somme de quatre vingt livres courant”) – in 1847. The issue was clearly settled at far less cost to St Ambroise than this. Dominique Lefrançois to D. Campbell Napier, 13 March 1847, vol. 604, pp. 49632–3, reel C-13381, rg10, lac. The chiefs charged an officer from the Quebec garrison, for example, £5 for the naming ceremony. It is unclear, however, whether the chiefs ever received the full amount. On 6 January 1843, Tahourenché placed 14 shillings in the account, noting that the 11 shillings had been spent for butter, bread, coffee, and candles, apparently on the evening of the naming ceremony. Picard, Journal (1840–1854). “Dépenses 1847” in Ibid. “To Isaac Bastien, for his trial with Frs Jean Bte” (“A Isaac Bastien, pour son procès avec Frs Jean Bte”). Picard, Journal (1840–1854), 5 June 1843 entry. Ibid., 6 June and 2 July 1843 and 16 February 1849 entries. Glackmeyer had drawn up a petition requesting aid on behalf of the Wendat in 1839. Petition from the Huron of Lorette to John Colborne, 11 May 1839, vol. 97, pp. 40168–70, reel C-11470, rg10, lac. In 1843, the council paid to transport Robert Symes, the deputy chief of police in Quebec City, to Wendake so that he could attempt to mediate the conflict between the chiefs and Stanislas Bastien, who, along with Isaac Bastien, had moved to Quarante Arpents by 1843 to be close to his fields. Picard, Journal (1840–1854), 8 October 1843 entry; Louis Thomas Fortier, “Certificat pour Isaac et Stanislas Bastien,” 14 November 1843, vol. 598, p. 47030, reel C-13379, rg10, lac. Given that Stanislas Bastien did not sign the October 1845 petition protesting against the council’s allegedly despotic rule, this negotiation would appear to have been successful. Isaac Bastien, however, did sign the petition. Petition from Vincent Ferrier et al., to Charles Theophilus Metcalf, 18 October 1845, vol. 122, pp. 5677–83, reel C11480, rg10, lac. Picard, Journal (1840–1854), 2 September and 21 October 1844 entries.

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56 For example, the fund paid £6 in 1843 “for the trip to Kingston of Chiefs André Romain and Michel Sioui” (“Pour le voyage des Chefs André Romain et Michel Sioui, a Kingston”), £2.3.2½ in 1845 “pour un voyage à Montréal, de trois chefs, et une femme,” and £5.7.5½ “pour aller au Sault St. Louis, au grand Conseil (Du Colonel Napier et Mr Vardon) du 13 Juillet 1846.” Ibid., 27 October 1843, 26 July 1845, and 25 May 1846 entries. 57 “Appendix 14: Extracts of Evidence of Mr. Robert McNab, formerly of the Indian Department, (having reference to the Tribes in Canada East),” in Canada, “Report on the Affairs of the Indians in Canada,” n.p. By this point, the Wendat had claimed for a number of years that they had not cleared Quarante Arpents for farming precisely because they sought to conserve it as a wood lot. Petition from Nicolas Vincent Tsa8enhohi et al., to Sir George Murray, 2 November 1829, in Appendix O.O. in Lower Canada, Parliament, Journals of the House of Assembly, n.p. 58 Petition from Nicolas Vincent Tsa8enhohi et al. to Charles Theophilus Metcalfe, 26 August 1843, vol. 598, pp. 46916–18, reel C-13379, rg10, lac. The chiefs wrote that Euro-Canadian men married to Wendat women claimed the right “to take, cut, and remove all the wood they need” (“de prendre couper et enlever tous les bois qui leur sont nécessaires”). 59 Duncan C. Napier to Rawson W. Rawson, 13 December 1843, vol. 7, pp. 3522–3, reel C-10998, rg10, lac. 60 In 1813, the superintendent general proposed retaining forty employees the following year. Though a list of salaries actually made by the department has not been found, this number is in line with personnel in the immediate postwar period. By 1815, the number of employees had been reduced to twenty-four. John Johnson, “Indian Department, Lower Canada, Proposed establishment for the year 1814,” 2 November 1813, vol. 627, pp. 182948–50, reel C-13396, rg10, lac; John Harvey, “Peace Establishment of the Indian Department of Upper & Lower Canada,” 11 July 1815, vol. 12, pp. 10571–3, reel C-11001, rg10, lac. On the number of 1839 employees, see R.I. Routh, “Account of Pay and Lodging Money issued to the Indian Department in Lower Canada from 1st October 1838 to 31st March 1839,” 31 March 1839, vol. 97, pp. 40025–6, reel C-11470, rg10, lac. 61 The superintendent was the solitary employee. Employment in Upper Canada’s Indian Department followed a similar trajectory, with the number of personnel dropping from thirty-four in 1815 to nine in 1835. No wartime numbers for Upper Canada have been found. Though the staff grew to thirteen in the mid-1840s, complemented by four missionaries and two schoolmasters, by 1858 Indian Affairs once again had only nine dedicated employees in Upper Canada, while paying salaries to three missionar-

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66 67 68

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Notes to pages 148–9

ies in the colony. “Statement of Charges on the Imperial Grant,” in Canada, Parliament, “Report of the Special Commissioners,” n.p.; Harvey, “Peace Establishment,” pp. 10571–3; D.C. Napier, “Establishment of the Indian Department in Upper and Lower Canada from the 1st of April 1835 to the 31st of March 1836,” 10 January 1835, vol. 91, pp. 37065–6, reel C-11468, rg10, lac; Canada, “Report on the Affairs of the Indians in Canada,” n.p.; “Statement of Charges on the Imperial Grant,” in Canada, Parliament, “Report of the Special Commissioners,” n.p. Gohier, “La pratique pétitionnaire,” 421–9. Officials understood annuities in the case of the Robinson Treaties as marking the Indian status of their recipients in a remarkably similar way. Chute, Legacy of Shingwaukonse, 127. In 1818, the military secretary informed the Indian superintendent that the governor had decided that “Indian Women who cohabit with Europeans, or their Children” were not entitled to presents from “His Majesty’s Magazines.” George Bowles to John Johnson, 2 November 1818, vol. 13, pp. 11226–7, reel C-11001, rg10, lac. Petition from Nicolas Vincent Tsa8enhohi et al. to Duncan C. Napier, 20 October 1842, vol. 597, pp. 46474–5, reel C-13379, rg10, lac; Louis Juchereau Duchensay to the Huron Chiefs, 25 March 1828, fonds Paul Picard, doss. P2-S1-A1, loc. B-1-1, acnhw. Petition from Tsa8enhohi et al. to Napier, pp. 46474–5. On the 1869 act (An Act for the gradual enfranchisement of Indians) declaring that Indian women married to non-Indian men forfeited their special status, see Milloy, “Early Indian Acts.” According to the Pennefather report, this practice was already in use in Canada West by the late 1850s. Canada, Parliament, “Report of the Special Commissioners,” n.p. For a detailed study of the struggle in Wendake over the chiefs’ gendered membership policies and indifference at the threat of withholding presents, see Rozon, “Un dialogue identitaire,” 133–46. Vien, “Les mariages.” James Hughes, minutes of a council held in Kahnawake, 14 July 1834, vol. 88, pp. 35289–91, reel C-11466, rg10, lac. For the decree, see Thomas L. Goldie, Order, 17 June 1839, vol. 99, p. 41327, reel C-11471, rg10, lac. I have found only a single case for Wendake in the 1830s and 1840s: in 1844, Wendat chief François-Xavier “Paul” Picard Tahourenché complained that Euro-Canadian Charles Leclerc had settled in the village without a licence. Picard, complaint against Leclerc, 26 December 1844, tl31, S1, SS1, no. 31873, banq-q. Following the concession, Quebec lawyer Andrew Stuart wrote, “All difficulties that could occur would be examined by the elders and chiefs, in the

Notes to pages 149–50

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72 73

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presence and with the approval of the Missionary, and they would decide everything” (“toute difficulté qui pourroit subvenir devoit être examiné par les Anciens et les Chefs, en la présence et avec l’approbation du Missionnaire, et qu’ils decideroient de tout”). [Stuart], “Questions soumises par les Chefs Huron du Village de Lorette près de Québec,” n.d. [1843], vol. 7, pp. 3524–5, reel C-10998, rg10, lac. Duncan C. Napier to Chief Secretary, Kingston, 10 January 1844, vol. 593, no. 52, reel C-13378, rg10, lac. The chiefs made this decision in response to claims by a handful of Wendat to the right to reside on Quarante Arpents. Petition from Stanislas Bastien, Isaac Bastien, and Pierre Aubin to Charles Theophilus Metcalfe, 15 November 1843, vol. 598, pp. 47026–8, reel C-13379, rg10, lac. The chiefs needed this rule “pour se préserver des déprédations qu’on exerce sur la propriété du village.” François Boucher to Duncan C. Napier, 15 December 1847, vol. 604, p. 50088, reel C-13382, rg10, lac. Protest by the Huron Chiefs v. Charles Savard and Scolastique Picard, 22 December 1847, Notary Dominique Lefrançois, cn301, S175, banq-q. “Ce n’est pas pour une couverte et un peut de drap qu’elle refusera de belle argent.” François Boucher to Duncan C. Napier, 10 November 1845, vol. 601, pp. 48492–8, reel C-13381; extract, Huron Chiefs of La Jeune Lorette to [Duncan C. Napier?], 26 September 1845, vol. 601, pp. 48359–61, reel C13380; François Boucher to Duncan C. Napier, 7 July 1846, vol. 603, p. 49159, reel C-13381, all in rg10, lac. According to the missionary, other community members continued to rent to outsiders through at least the end of the decade. François Boucher to Duncan C. Napier, 20 November 1849, vol. 606, p. 51346, reel C-13383, rg10, lac. Picard, Journal (1840–1854), 1854. Petition from Simon Romain et al. to James Bruce Elgin, 2 August 1852, vol. 198, pp. 116170–1, reel C-11517, rg10, lac. In 1853, the superintendent of Indian Affairs reported to the governor that the solicitor general for Lower Canada had applied to the department “on the part of the Huron Indians of La Jeune Lorette, to obtain the necessary Authority to sue a person of the name of Charles Savard, who has been cutting timber on the lands belonging to the Tribe.” Three years later, a member of the Legislative Council and notary with several clients in Wendake informed the department that the chiefs were experiencing a “great deal of trouble in preserving the Wood and Timber upon the 40 Arpents from being plundered by the Whites, and even by some Indians of the Village, who sell wood to the Whites to the great damage of the Community. Dilapidations of the Kind are going now at such rate that unless promptly checked, the whole wood

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80 81

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84 85

86 87

Notes to pages 150–2

must soon go.” Duncan C. Napier to Robert Bruce, 7 March 1853, vol. 201, p. 119031, reel C-11519; Louis Panet to Duncan C. Napier, 4 March 1856, vol. 603, p. 49420, reel C-13381, both in rg10, lac. The case had been dismissed because it was improperly filed. Scioui to de Lorimier, 15 December 1858, pp. 146494–5. The chiefs made similar complaints a year later against three Euro-Canadian farmers, each of whom they charged with timber poaching. Simon Romain, complaint, 17 December 1859, vol. 252, pt. 2, pp. 150540–1, reel C-12642, rg10, lac. “S’il n’y a pas de loi pour les protéger dans leur propriété que vont ils devenir.” Édouard-Narcisse de Lorimier to Richard T. Pennefather, 28 December 1858, vol. 246, pp. 146491–3, reel C-12639, rg10, lac. Romain, complaint, pp. 150540–1. “Simon Romain Tsa8enhouhi, and other Chiefs of the Huron Tribe of Indians” petitioned the Legislative Assembly in 1864 “praying for the passing of an Act for the protection of their timber.” Canada, Journals of the Legislative Assembly, Sessional Papers, 1864, p. 196. An Act to enable the Huron Indians, S.C., 27&28 Vict., ch. 69 (1864). Simon Romain to William Spragge, 5 December 1865, vol. 350, p. 97; Simon Romain et al., By-Laws, 5 December 1865, vol. 350, pp. 98–100, both in reel C-9591, rg10, lac. “Hurons of Lorette,” in Indian Affairs, Trust Fund Ledgers, 1870–73, vol. 1006, pp. 83–4, reel C-9062, rg10, lac; C.T. Walcot, “Statement and Condition of the Indian Fund,” 25 April 1872, in diaar 1871, 53; “Hurons of Lorette,” in Indian Affairs, Trust Fund Ledger, 1879–80, vol. 1010, pp. 107–8, reel C-9063, rg10, lac; L. Vankoughnet, “No. 44: Hurons of Lorette in Account with the Department of Indian Affairs,” 30 June 1889, in diaar 1899, 207; No. 44, “Hurons of Lorette,” in Indian Affairs, Trust Fund Ledger, 1890–91, vol. 5922, pp. 153–4, reel C-9065, rg10, lac. William Spragge to Paul Tahourence, 29 January 1864, vol. 523, pp. 159–60; William Spragge to Peter H. Parkin, 3 November 1864, vol. 524, p. 11, both in reel C-13349, rg10, lac. Joseph Howe, James Reid, and William Reid, contract, 20 May 1871, vol. 335, pp. 538–43, reel C-9584, rg10, lac. Simon Romain to Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, 18 January 1869, vol. 383, pp. 716–17, reel C-9604; H. Bernard to E. Parent, 10 October 1870, vol. 385, p. 192, reel C-9605, both in rg10, lac. Petition from Simon Romain to Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, 7 December 1868, vol. 383, pp. 718–19, reel C-9604, rg10, lac. Hector-Louis Langevin to Simon Romain, 10 December 1868, vol. 528, p. 43, reel C-13351, rg10, lac.

Notes to pages 152–3

249

88 “Hurons of Lorette,” in Indian Affairs, Trust Fund Ledger, 1870–73, f. 83; No. 44, “Hurons of Lorette,” 153–4. 89 An Act to Amend and Consolidate the Laws Respecting Indians, S.C., ch. 18, s. 63, ss. 3 (1876). 90 “Règles et règlements passés par les chefs du village Huron de la Jeune Lorette réunis en conseil tenu le 29 juillet,” 21 September 1891, acnhw; Order-in-Council, 21 September 1891, vol. 584, no. 1891-2184, reel C-3418, rg2-A-1-a, lac. 91 “The regulations, framed by the chiefs, in regard to cleanliness, and sanctioned by His Excellency the Governor General in Council on the 21st September, 1891, have also been well observed. Temperance is improving and the many disorders which existed formerly have been considerably repressed.” Antoine O. Bastien, report on the Jeune Lorette Agency, 24 August 1892, in diaar 1892, 31. With respect to revenue from fines, Bastien paid at least $155 and perhaps as much as $329 into band funds on account of “Liquor fines” in the sixteen years following the adoption of the rules. The two clear payments came in 1899 and 1902. The 1905 payment does not indicate why Bastien paid these monies ($174) to the fund. No. 44, “Hurons of Lorette,” 1 July 1899, in Indian Affairs, Trust Fund Ledger, vol. 5931, pp. 173–4, reel C-9068; No. 44, “Hurons of Lorette,” 22 February 1902, in Indian Affairs, Trust Fund Ledger, vol. 5932, n.p., reel C-9068; No. 44, “Hurons of Lorette,” 30 November 1905, in Indian Affairs, Trust Fund Ledgers, vol. 5936, pp. 161–2, reel C-9070, all in rg10, lac. 92 Indian Advancement Act, 1884, S.C., 47 Vict., ch. 28. 93 Tobias, “Protection, Civilization, Assimilation,” 20. 94 Copy of the Pointe Bleue Band Council Minutes, 4 July 1895, vol. 7151, file 377/3-10, part 1, reel C-9685, rg10, lac. 95 L.E. Otis to Hayter Reed, 4 July 1895; Acting Deputy Superintendent General of Indian Affairs to L.E. Otis, 7 August 1895, both in vol. 7151, file 377/3-10, part 1, reel C-9685, rg10, lac. 96 The Innu would accept the law “pourvu qu’elle leur accorde des pouvoirs plus étendus en leur donnant les moyens d’avoir des revenus pour faire figure avec les dépenses car sans cela, leur Conseil leur servira à peu de chose et paralysera ainsi les efforts qu’ils font pour entrer dans une voie de civilisation et d’ordre.” L.E. Otis to Hayter Reed, 15 August 1895, vol. 7151, file 377/3-10, part 1, reel C-9685, rg10, lac. 97 This was due to a combination of factors, including a failure to hold council elections and the replacement of the Indian agent. Beaulieu and Béreau, “‘Voir par eux-mêmes.’”

250

Notes to pages 153–60

98 The most thorough historical study of treaty making, for example, fails to consider why the practice was absent from Quebec between the Royal Proclamation and the 1970s. Miller, Compact, Contract, Covenant. 99 Beaulieu, “‘An Equitable Right.’” 100 Greer, Property and Dispossession, 425–7. 101 In this way, the financial situation in Lower Canada differed markedly from that found in Upper Canada, where reserve lands held a distinct status and the state had involved itself at an earlier date in the management of First Nations funds. Hill, “Grand River Navigation Company”; Shanahan, “Tory Bureaucrat as Victim.”

chapter six 1 The canonical study of the subject is Shewell, “Enough to Keep Them Alive.” This chapter differs substantially from Shewell’s analysis by focusing on questions he either does not address or addresses only in passing. 2 “Honneur à la tribu des Hurons,” La Presse, 17 April 1885, 5. 3 Bastien started with an annual salary of $150, though Indian Affairs increased it to $200 after he had been employed for a year. In 1899, Bastien received a second raise, to $300. Despite the raise, his salary remained well below the $500 to $1,200 the Department paid most of its agents. Memorandum concerning Antoine O. Bastien, n.d. [1900–02], vol. 2883, file 179,962, reel C-11291, rg10, lac. 4 Bastien, acting as Indian agent, reported on the negative impacts of provincial regulations on multiple occasions. Antoine O. Bastien, report on the Jeune Lorette Agency, 16 July 1896, in diaar 1896, 42; Bastien, report on the Jeune Lorette Agency, 10 August 1900, in diaar 1900, 51. See also Paul, “Le territoire de chasse,” 9. 5 An Act further to amend “The Indian Act,” S.C., 53 Vict., ch. 29, s. 134 (1890). 6 For an example of ten dollars’ worth of relief provided by Bastien, in exchange for a cheque from Indian Affairs for the same amount, see Relief Account of François Grolouis, 20 January 1896, vol. 2738, file 144,620-6, reel C-12790, rg10, lac. 7 J.D. McLean, memorandum to Solicitor General, 8 June 1900; J.D. McLean to C.J. Jones, Governor General’s Secretary, 22 June 1900, both in vol. 2883, file 179,962, reel C-11291, rg10, lac. 8 J.D. McLean to A.O. Bastien, 7 February 1900, vol. 2883, file 179,962, reel C11291, rg10, lac.

Notes to pages 160–2

9

10 11 12 13

14 15

16

17 18 19 20 21

22

251

“Roberval, Chicoutimi Co., Que.,” in Mercantile Agency Reference Book, 234. In 1895, “L.E. Otis” was also among the “Principaux établissements de commerce” in the town of Roberval. “Observations de voyage,” La Semaine commerciale 3, no. 5 (13 September 1895), 4. An Act further to amend “The Indian Act,” 1890, s. 134. Antoine O. Bastien to Secretary, dia, 19 February 1900, vol. 2883, file 179,962, reel C-11291, rg10, lac. McLean to Jones, 22 June 1900. For the development of this restriction, see the following statutes: An Act further to amend “The Indian Act,” S.C., ch. 32, s. 10 (1894); Indian Act, R.S.C., ch. 81, s. 142 (1906); Indian Act, R.S.C., ch. 98, s. 44 (1927); Indian Act, S.C., ch. 29, s. 91 (1951); Indian Act, R.S.C., ch. 149, s. 91 (1952); and Indian Act, R.S.C., ch. I-6, s. 92 (1970). diaar 1900, part J, 6; diaar 1935, part I, 7 and 9. In 1938, relief expenditure was roughly seven times as great as in 1929. The sample used includes Bersimis (Pessamit), Caughnawaga (Kahnawake), Lorette (Wendake), Oka (Kanesatake), Pierreville (Odanak), Pointe Bleue (Mashteuiatsh), Restigouche (Listuguj), and Temiskaming. The data analyzed is from the dia Annual Reports (diaar) for 1929 to 1938 (excluding 1937 when the annual report included no relief statistics). For example, in 1935, the year in which the department provided them the greatest amount of relief, the Abenaki of Odanak received $56.16 per capita. In contrast, in 1938 Indian Affairs provided the Innu of Pessamit with $5.99 in per capita relief – the most assistance that they received during the 1930s. diaar 1931, 7. On relief policy and subsistence gathering see, Lutz, Makúk, 261–2. diaar 1931, 8. Ibid., 7. In the early 1930s, “as work and money became scarcer, single men worked two days every three weeks and were paid half in cash and half in relief vouchers.” MacDowell, “Relief Camp Workers,” 207. On the broader movement from vouchers to cash, see Guest, Emergence of Social Security, 84–5. For an example of the process involved in granting five dollars in relief to the Wendat widow of François Lawinens, see Resolution of the Huron Band Council, 23 February 1894; Antoine O. Bastien to Hayter Reed, 24 February 1894; and Antoine O. Bastien to Hayter Reed, 29 March 1895, all in vol. 2738, file 144,620-6, reel C-12790, rg10, lac. For a description of the mechanics of relief administration in Quebec and Ontario during the peri-

252

23 24

25

26

27

28

29

30 31

Notes to pages 162–3

od, see Shewell, “Enough to Keep Them Alive,” 42–67. It is important to note that relief administration in Wendake more closely resembled the Ontario case presented by Shewell, except in instances of generalized need. [Hayter Reed], Deputy Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, to A.O. Bastien, 4 April 1895, vol. 2738, file 144,620-6, reel C-12790, rg10, lac. Duncan Campbell Scott, the deputy superintendent general of Indian Affairs, and J.D. McLeam, the agency’s secretary, both played central roles in the system’s development. Shewell, “Enough to Keep Them Alive,” 99–104. “Nos vieux n’avaient que six ou sept piasses par mois. Ils appelaient ça le prêt. À un moment donné, ils appelaient ça les pitons. Mais c’était accordé seulement aux vieillards. Avec les pitons, ils n’avaient pas le droit d’acheter n’importe quoi. C’était du lard, de la farine, du thé. Ils n’avaient pas le droit au luxe, pas de tabac, pas d’autres choses” Although Kurtness’s life history, from which this quote is taken, does not permit the precise dating of the system he describes, given that he began working off-reserve in 1936 at the age of thirteen and that he continued to earn his living off-reserve through midcentury, it would appear that he is referring to the 1930s. Kurtness and Girard, La prise en charge, 19, 36–7. Pierre-Albert Picard, Journal personnel, 1916–1920, 21 May 1917 entry, p. 44, F-1-79, acnhw. The Wendat Grand Chief, Pierre Albert Picard Tsichiek8an, claims that Agent Antoine O. Bastien refused Mrs Georges Gros-Louis’s request because he felt that she would receive better value for her voucher from Rochette. Ibid., 17 June 1917 entry, 50. Bastien made this claim in M.E. Bastien, Agent des Hurons de Lorette, letter to the editor, 6 February 1933, in “Lettres que nous recevons,” Le Soleil, 10 February 1933, 4. See below for more on Maurice E. Bastien’s involvement with vouchers. The Department’s secretary sent these instructions to the agent at Wendake near the beginning of the Depression in response to increasing requests for relief. T.R.L. MacInnes to P.A. Picard, 5 November 1930, P882, S1, SS2, file 8, banq-q. In 1931, Indian Affairs provided more per capita relief than that received by non-Indigenous Canadians. However, in 1932, First Nations began receiving less expenditure per capita than other Canadians. Shewell, “Enough to Keep Them Alive,” 115. For a more detailed analysis of the issues raised in this paragraph, see Gettler, “La consommation.” Vouchers formed “la presque totalité du pouvoir d’achat d’épicerie de la réserve entière.” Gustave Gros-Louis and Paul Sioui to J.F. Pouliot, mp, 2 January 1933, in “Lettres que nous recevons,” Le Soleil, 2 February 1933, 4.

Notes to pages 164–5

253

32 Ibid. In the same year, the department provided a total of $11,285.59 in relief to the Wendat, or roughly $940 per month. diaar 1933, part I, 6. 33 Paul Sioui and Gustave Gros-Louis, letter to the editor, 13 March 1933, in “Lettres que nous recevons,” Le Soleil, 17 March 1933, 4. 34 On the Bastien family fortune, see Gettler, “Economic Activity and Class Formation,” 151–9, 162–6. 35 The other two letters by M.E. Bastien were published in Le Soleil on 10 February 1933 (p. 4) and 21 March 1933 (p. 4). 36 In 1937, two Wendat swore before a justice of the peace “that Agent Bastien has a store ‘Au Bon Marché’ by Bastien & Frères, controlling the Relief Funds of the Indians.” (“Que l’Agent Bastien détient le magasin ‘Au Bon Marché’ par Bastien & Frères, contrôlant les Fonds de Secours des Indiens.”) Elzéard Sioui and Charles Sioui, sworn affidavit, 11 June 1937, fonds Marguerite Vincent, 8542-05, acnhw. 37 Shewell, “Enough to Keep Them Alive,” 99–104. 38 For example, bill for purchases made by Madame George Gros-Louis from Albert Rochette, 15 October 1929; and bill for purchases made by Joseph Sioui from Albert Rochette, 15 February 1930, both in P882, S1, SS2, file 12, banq-q. 39 “La plupart choisirent le ‘Bon Marché’, parce que il y avait un plus grand assortiment et à des meilleurs prix, cette épicerie étant affiliée aux ‘Epiciers Unis’ de Québec.” M.E. Bastien, letter to the editor, in “Lettres que nous recevons,” Le Soleil, 10 February 1933. 40 Picard’s list gives an average price of thirty-two cents for goods at GrosLouis’s store and an average of thirty-four cents for those sold by Sioui, with a price differential with Au Bon Marché of six cents for the former store and three cents for the latter. In other words, Gros-Louis’s clients saved almost one-fifth and those of Sioui slightly less than one-tenth of the price charged by the Bastiens. Price list for Au Bon Marché, Gustave [Gros-Louis], and Paul [Sioui], 7 October 1929, P882, S1, SS2, file 12, banq-q. 41 Au Bon Marché controlled approximately 90 per cent of Wendake’s relief budget. According to Sioui and Gros-Louis, their stores received $46 and $62 per month in vouchers at the beginning of 1933. Gros-Louis and Sioui to Pouliot, in “Lettres que nous recevons,” Le Soleil, 2 February 1933, 4. Indian Affairs distributed a total of $11,285.59 in relief in the village during 1932–33. diaar 1933, part I, 6. In other words, the Bastiens received $832 in monthly vouchers from a total of $940. 42 Annual reports of Indian Affairs only include figures for relief expenditure on the reserve for eight of the ten years of the 1930s (1930 through 1936 and 1938). Using the mean to estimate the figures for the missing two years

254

43

44

45

46 47 48 49

50

51

52

Notes to pages 165–8

produces a total outlay of $90,737.15, whereas the median produces an estimate of $111,981.60. Though relief expense declined towards the end of the decade, it almost certainly remained well above the figures for 1930 and 1931 (respectively, $475.28 and $1,835.63). In 1936, Harry Gros-Louis Sr also ran a store in Wendake. Hoping to secure supplementary income, he contacted the mpps for Quebec-Montmorency and Quebec County to request their assistance “in obtaining from the Department of Indian Affairs some of the pensions it provides the Huron Indians from Lorette as RELIEF, this would permit me to attract business to my store” (“en obtenant du Département des Affaires Indiennes quelques pensions que celui-ci accordes aux Indiens-Hurons, de Lorette comme RELIEF, ceci me permettrait de faire des affaires avec mon magasin”) (emphasis in original). Harry Gros-Louis Sr to Wilfrid Lacroix, 27 March 1936; Harry Gros-Louis Sr to Frank Byrne, 28 March 1936, both in fonds Marguerite Vincent, 8551-01, acnhw. The per capita annual relief expenditure is estimated from population and expenditure figures contained in annual reports of Indian Affairs. The observations on moccasin factory work are from Gaspard Picard to T.G. Murphy, 1 September 1934, fonds Marguerite Vincent, 8551-01, acnhw. On social assistance in Canada during the Depression, including increased willingness to provide benefits in cash, see Guest, Emergence of Social Security, 83–102. Douglas, How Institutions Think, 45. Hodgetts, Pioneer Public Service, 205–25. McCallum, “Assistance to Veterans,” 162. See also Morton, “Resisting the Pension Evil,” 204. On the bpc’s complicated administrative apparatus and its frequent unwillingness to award pensions, see Morton and Wright, Winning the Second Battle, esp. 202–25. See also Morton, “Resisting the Pension Evil.” Brownlie briefly mentions a similar case in which the Indian agent in charge of the Parry Sound Agency from 1922 to 1939, John Daly, assisted one of his wards, Francis Pegahmagabow, in receiving a pension for his service during World War I. Brownlie, Fatherly Eye, 69. This spelling (“Quachegan”) accords with the variant used in present-day Moose Factory. Many alternative orthographies appear in Indian Affairs files. James Neil to Mr Awrey, 25 October 1927, vol. 6789, file 452-482, part 1, reel C-8525, rg10, lac. Rachel Chum married James Quachegan on 11 March 1908; she remarried in 1933 (Sam Cheena). Though the archives use her husbands’ last names, her maiden name is used herafter for the purpose

Notes to pages 168–70

53 54

55

56

57 58 59 60

61 62 63

64 65

255

of clarity. John A. Maggrath, copy of the Marriage Register of St Thomas’ Anglican Church, Moose Factory; W.L. Tyrer to Secretary, dia, 28 June 1933, both in vol. 6789, file 452-482, part 1, reel C-8525, rg10, lac. B. Simpson to Secretary, dia, 27 July 1928, vol. 6789, file 452-482, part 1, reel C-8525, rg10, lac. For the hbc’s total credit and sick and destitute supplies, see A.W. West, “James Bay District, Annual Report: Outfit 259,” n.d. [1929], A.74/43-8, pp. 13, 26, reel 1354; and for the population at Moose Factory (369), see diaar 1929, 62. Total revenue fell from a high of $810,000 in 1925–27 to $700,000 in 1929 and, eventually, to a low of $480,000 in 1932. Ray, Canadian Fur Trade, 202, 205. As in the case of James Quachegan, Indian Affairs files contain a plethora of different orthographies for both Tapas (frequently “Tapes”) and Obediah (Obeiah/Obadiah/Obiab). “Dinah” is also occasionally rendered as “Diane” or “Dianah.” I have privileged the spelling in military documents, including the only document found where Obediah Tapas wrote his signature (as “Tapas O.”) as opposed to his mark. Short Form, Proceedings on Discharge, 12 April 1919, accession 1992-93/166, box 9499-42, rg150, lac. H.W. Nichol to A.F. MacKenzie, 8 October 1936, vol. 6796, file 452-584, reel C-8527, rg10, lac. W.L. Tyrer to Secretary, dia, 24 September 1936, vol. 6796, file 452-584, reel C-8527, rg10, lac. C.H. Cawley[?] to T.R.L. MacInnes, 12 February 1937, vol. 6796, file 452-584, reel C-8527, rg10, lac. For the bpc’s initial rejection letter, see N.M. Halkett to A.F. MacKenzie, 16 October 1930, vol. 6789, file 452-493, reel C-8525, rg10, lac. The Indian Agent later reported that he had “appealed this case twice with the same result, it seems uneless [sic] for me to do so again.” W.L. Tyrer to Secretary, dia, 7 October 1936, vol. 6789, file 452-493, reel C-8525, rg10, lac. A.F. MacKenzie to Secretary, Board of Pension Commissioners for Canada, 18 July 1928, vol. 6789, file 452-482, part 1, reel C-8525, rg10, lac. Nichol to MacKenzie, 8 October 1936. T.R.L. MacInnes to Secretary, Canadian Pension Commission, 2 February 1937, vol. 6796, file 452-584, reel C-8527, rg10, lac; Cawley[?] to MacInnes, 12 February 1937. B.H. Hamilton to [?], 25 February 1930, vol. 6789, File 452-493, reel C-8525, rg10, lac. “The Case of Mrs. Oliver Mark, has been in slings for some time. The facts have been before the Board on several occasions. This woman is destitute,

256

66 67 68

69 70 71

72

73 74

75

Notes to pages 170–1

and has been on the rations list of the Department of Indian Affairs, off and on for several years.” B.H. Hamilton to Secretary, dia, 16 March 1931, vol. 6789, File 452-493, reel C-8525, rg10, lac. Dictionary of Moose Cree, s.v. “šôliyânikimâw.” B. Simpson to Secretary, dia, 27 July 1928, vol. 6789, file 452-482, part 1, reel C-8525, rg10, lac. A.F. MacKenzie to James Adams, 30 July 1928, vol. 6789, file 452-482, part 1, reel C-8525, rg10, lac. When Chum’s pension was later reduced to $87 per month, Indian Affairs’ central office suggested to the hbc manager at Moose Factory, who was then responsible for supervising her pension expenditure, that “it will, therefore, be in order for you to issue relief to this widow as usual but it is thought that she should not require provisions and clothing each month to this full amount, but that a small portion of it should be left to her credit here to be used in case of emergency.” This practice led to widely varying monthly expenditure. Once Indian Affairs had a permanent agent residing at Moose Factory, Chum’s monthly expenditure immediately stabilized at $50. A.F. MacKenzie to V.W. West, 7 March 1929; Hudson’s Bay Company, receipt for goods issued to Widow Quatchiquan, 3 September 1930, both in vol. 6789, file 452-482, part 1, reel C-8525, rg10, lac. T.R.L. MacInnes to W.L. Tyrer, 16 February 1937, vol. 6796, file 452-584, reel C-8527, rg10, lac. W.L. Tyrer to Secretary, dia, 26 February [1937], vol. 6796, file 452-584, reel C-8527, rg10, lac. Five dollars per month plus $10 every six months provided Dinah Tapas with $80 of goods annually from the hbc. By comparison, Tapas received $15 monthly from the cpc, amounting to an annual total of $180. For the details of Tapas’s pension, see Canadian Pension Commission, Award Declaration for Dinah Tapas, 17 March 1937, vol. 6796, file 452-584, reel C8527, rg10, lac. W.L. Tyrer to Mr Patrick, 12 January 1940, vol. 6789, file 452-482, part 2, reel C-8525, rg10, lac (emphasis added). From Indian Affairs records, it is impossible to determine Allan Quachegan’s relationship to James and Rachel, though it seems he may have been their nephew. W.L. Tyrer to Doctor Stone, 6 April 1936; W.L. Tyrer to Secretary, dia, 12 April 1936, both in vol. 6789, file 452-482, part 1, reel C-8525, rg10, lac. Claude Gélinas astutely makes this point in reference to welfare benefits paid to First Nations families in northern Quebec. Gélinas, Les Autochtones, 211. For instance, following the successive deaths of Peter Quachegan on 27

Notes to pages 172–5

76 77 78

79 80

81

82

83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90

257

November 1937 and his widow on 8 March 1938, the pension funds remaining in trust at Indian Affairs passed back to Rachel Chum to be spent in favour of Peter’s three-year-old child. W.L. Tyrer to C.C. Parker, 24 December 1937; W.L. Tyrer to Secretary, dia, 14 March 1938; and G.A. Conley, Chief, Trusts & Annuities, to W.L. Tyrer, 23 March 1938, all in vol. 6789, file 452-482, part 2, reel C-8525, rg10, lac. J. Franklin to W.L. Tyrer, 28 October 1938, vol. 6796, file 452-599, reel C8527, rg10, lac. W.L. Tyrer to Mr Patrick, 3 February [1939], vol. 6796, file 452-599, reel C8527, rg10, lac. Indian Affairs archives contain no reference to the initial pension, neither in terms of the amount nor in terms of the date at which the bpc awarded it. J.L. Biggar to Secretary, dia, 7 January 1922, vol. 6786, File 452-432, reel C-8524, rg10, lac. J.T. Gibaut to A.F. MacKenzie, 10 September 1924, vol. 6786, file 452-432, reel C-8524, rg10, lac. A.G. Leslie to Doctor T.J. Orford, 7 July 1945; Dr T.J. Orford to Indian Affairs Branch, 21 September 1945, both in vol. 6786, file 452-432, reel C8524, rg10, lac. H.J. Baueron[?] to Louis P.O. Picard, 7 April 1930, P882, S2, file 7, banq-q. Picard died on 28 June 1930. Pierre-Albert Picard, Journal personnel, 1916–1920, undated entry, n.p., F-1-79, acnhw. This is the sum of Kurtness’s personal pension ($6.50) and the amount accorded for the support of his elderly mother ($0.75). Joseph Kurtness to T.G. Murphy, 27 May 1931, vol. 6790, file 452-511, reel C-8525, rg10, lac. [?], Private Secretary, memorandum to Dr Scott, 12 June 1931, vol. 6790, file 452-511, reel C-8525, rg10, lac. For a study that focuses on this question in the context of World War II, see Arrowsmith, “Fair Enough?” diaar 1921, 17. A.F. MacKenzie to E.E. Binet, 3 September 1936, vol. 6772, file 452-40, reel C-8515, rg10, lac. R.E. Wodehouse to Harold W. McGill, 4 April 1936, vol. 6772, file 452-40, reel C-8515, rg10, lac. A.F. MacKenzie to J.W. McKee, 12 June 1936, vol. 6772, file 452-40, reel C8515, rg10, lac. Harold W. McGill to R.E. Wodehouse, 7 December 1936, vol. 6772, file 45240, reel C-8515, rg10, lac. R.E. Wodehouse to Harold W. McGill, 9 December 1936, vol. 6772, file 45240, reel C-8515, rg10, lac.

258

Notes to pages 175–6

91 Harold W. McGill, circular letter to Indian agents, 21 December 1936, vol. 6772, file 452-40, reel C-8515, rg10, lac. 92 A.F. MacKenzie to E.H. Scammell, 24 July 1936, vol. 6772, file 452-40, reel C-8515, rg10, lac. 93 A. de la Boissière to Secretary, dia, 27 May 1936, vol. 6772, file 452-40, reel C-8515, rg10, lac. 94 M.E. Bastien to Secretary, dia, 19 May 1936, vol. 6772, file 452-40, reel C8515, rg10, lac. 95 For the Indian agent’s recommendation that Nicoshee be granted additional funds, see W.L. Tyrer to Secretary, dia, 28 May [1936], vol. 6772, file 45240, reel C-8515, rg10, lac. 96 See the monthly accounts of relief allowances paid to Indian disability pensioners in “Correspondence regarding assigned pay and allowances for enlisted Indians’ dependents,” vol. 6772, file 452-40, reel C-8515, rg10, lac. Although these accounts do not mention Nicoshee by name, he was the only member of the Moose Factory band whom the Indian agent had reported as being eligible for such relief. 97 Campbell, “‘Mud of Flanders.’” 98 In addition to the disability pensions forming the basis of the present study, Indian Affairs adopted a similar position with respect to the Last Post Fund, an organization dedicated to offering respectable burials to indigent veterans. In early 1928, following initial correspondence concerning Indian Affairs’ on-reserve burial practices for indigent veterans, the secretary of Indian Affairs explained that his agency made no provision for the purchase of headstones. He continued: “If you are willing to make a grant from the Last Post Fund of $25.00 to suitably mark the graves of Indian soldiers this Department will be very pleased to accept the grant.” A.F. MacKenzie to Arthur H.D. Hair, 21 January 1928, vol. 6771, file 45237, reel C-8515, rg10, lac. 99 This observation is also applicable to later programs that included First Nations even though they were run by state agencies other than Indian Affairs. For example, following World War II, Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians alike qualified for the benefits provided by the Veterans Land Act, although First Nations were to receive reserve rather than unoccupied Crown lands. As a journalist pointed out in 1946, “Indian veterans are covered under this plan too and so far 260 out of a total enlistment of 2,500 have taken grants on the Indian Reserves. The $2,320 in each case is handed over to the Indian Agent who supervises the development.” Monty Berger, “Veteran Pioneers are Said to Get Opportunities in Quebec Province,” Montreal Gazette, 14 August 1946, 6.

Notes to pages 178–80

259

100 “Indian Reservations Despoiled by Gangs of Plane Poachers,” The Globe, 8 January 1932, 9; Gélinas, Les Autochtones, 205; Gettler, “Innu Participation.” 101 Morantz, “‘So Evil a Practice,’” 219. 102 diaar 1930, 40. 103 R.A. Hoey to Ralph Parsons, 16 January 1940, vol. 6748, file 420-8-2, part 2, reel C-8105, rg10, lac. 104 Morantz, “Provincial Game Laws”; Calverley, Who Controls the Hunt? 105 Meren, “‘Commend Me the Yak,’” 346. 106 On the population pressure created by “trapping out” and its contribution to the beaver preserve movement, see Carlson, Home Is the Hunter, 172–3. On the establishment of the first beaver preserve in eastern James Bay (at Rupert House), see Morantz, White Man’s Gonna Getcha, 151–61; and Loo, States of Nature, 102–11. 107 diaar 1943, 146; [H.R. Conn?], “Beaver Quotas – Kesagami Preserve, 1947–48,” n.d. [August–September 1947?], vol. 6749, file 420-8-4ke-1, part 2, reel C-8105, rg10, lac. 108 T.A. Crerar to Herman O. Ripel, Ontario Minister of Game and Fisheries, 16 December 1942, vol. 6749, file 420-8-4ke-1, part 1; T.J. Orford, memorandum for Hugh R. Conn, fur supervisor, Kesagami Beaver and Fur Preserve, 2 November 1943, vol. 6749, file 420-8-4ke-1, part 1; [Hugh R. Conn?], report on Kesagami Beaver and Fur Preserve, n.d. [July 1946?], vol. 6749, file 420-84ke-1, part 2, all in reel C-8105, rg10, lac. 109 Ray, Candian Fur Trade, 200–1. 110 D.J. Allan to D.E. Denmark, 20 May 1943; Hugh R. Conn, “Report on Transplanting Beaver Algonquin Park to Kesagami Preserve,” n.d. [April 1944?]; Conn, “Transplanting Beaver: Algonquin Park to Kesagami Preserve,” n.d. [April 1945?], all in vol. 6749, file 420-8-4ke-1, part1, reel C-8105, rg10, lac; [Conn?], report on Kesagami Beaver and Fur Preserve, n.d. [July 1946?], lac. 111 [Hugh R. Conn?], 29 June 1942 entry in “Kesagami Fur Preserve: Supervisor’s Journal,” 15 June–4 July 1942, vol. 6749, file 420-8-4ke-1, part1, reel C8105, rg10, lac; [Conn?], report on Kesagami Beaver and Fur Preserve, n.d. [July 1946?], lac. 112 [T.J. Orford?], “Kesagami Beaver and Fur Preserve: 1946–47, House count & beaver trapping quotas,” n.d. [October 1946?], vol. 6749, file 420-8-4ke-1, part 2, reel C-8105, rg10, lac; T.J. Orford, “Recapitulation of Kesagami Beaver Funds,” 1 September 1947, vol. 6749, file 420-8-4ke-4, reel C-8105, rg10, lac. 113 These were the families of Caleb Cheena, Joseph Dick, David Loon, and John Oustan. [J.S. Allan?], “Recapitulation of Kesagami Funds,” 31 March 1949, vol. 6749, file 420-8-4ke-4, reel C-8105, rg10, lac.

260

Notes to pages 180–2

114 R.A. Hoey to R.H. Chesshire, 4 October 1946; R.H. Chesshire to C.W. Jackson, Secretary and Executive Assistant, Department of Mines and Resources, 15 November 1946; R.H. Chesshire to C.W. Jackson, 2 January 1947, all in vol. 6749, file 420-8-4ke-1, part 2, reel C-8105, rg10, lac. 115 Carlson, Home Is the Hunter, 200–1. 116 On Péribonka, located on the territory of Mashteuiatsh and Pessamit, see Gettler, “Innu Participation,” 139–42. 117 H.R. Conn to P.H. Watt, 16 December 1946; D.J. Allan to T.J. Orford, 28 January 1947; H.R. Conn to T.J. Orford, 12 February 1947, all in vol. 6749, file 420-8-4ke-1, part 2, reel C-8105, rg10, lac. Due to low fur prices, the impost dropped to one dollar in the summer of 1947 before rebounding to two dollars the following spring. T.J. Orford to H.R. Conn, 25 February 1947; H.R. Conn to T.J. Orford, 3 March 1947, both in vol. 6749, file 420-84ke-1, part 2, reel C-8105, rg10, lac; and T.J. Orford to H.R. Conn, 14 June 1947; H.R. Conn to T.J. Orford, 20 June 1947; H.R. Conn to J.S. Allan, 9 March 1948, all in vol. 6749, file 420-8-4ke-4, reel C-8105, rg10, lac. 118 The James Bay Indian agent had first formulated this plan at the very beginning of the Kesagami project. D.J. Allan to T.J. Orford, 15 December 1941, vol. 6749, file 420-8-4ke-1, part1, reel C-8105, rg10, lac. 119 H.R. Conn to R.M. Duncan, 13 January 1947, vol. 6749, file 420-8-4ke-1, part 2, reel C-8105, rg10, lac. 120 Alex Henderson, “Beaver Not Wily as Hunter, May Net Indian $2,000 Year,” Toronto Daily Star, 28 February 1949, 3. 121 T.J. Orford to H.R. Conn, 17 January 1947, vol. 6749, file 420-8-4ke-1, part 2, reel C-8105, rg10, lac. 122 W.R. Cargill and Son of Moosonee acquired the first lot of 231 furs for $5,584 and C. Paulson of Moose River Crossing purchased the second lot of 239 furs for $6,354. Thomas J. Orford to H.R. Conn, 9 January 1947; P.H. Watt to H.R. Conn, 15 March 1947, both in vol. 6749, file 420-8-4ke-1, part 2, reel C-8105, rg10, lac. Not far to the south, Indian Affairs earned much more on its winter 1947 sales: “Our Abitibi (Quebec) furs realized an average of $35.93 on the first sale and $42.94 on the second sale. ... Since writing the above we have disposed of another lot of 173 pelts from the Abitibi Preserve in Quebec at an average price of $49.10.” H.R. Conn to W.J.K. Harkness, 18 April 1947, vol. 6749, file 420-8-4ke-1, part 2, reel C-8105, rg10, lac. 123 [H.R. Conn?], Return, Kesagami Beaver Preserve, 1942–1948, n.d. [December 1948?], vol. 6749, file 420-8-4ke-1, part 2, reel C-8105, rg10, lac. 124 The Canadian Fur Auction Sales Company would receive these shipments. H.R. Conn to W.J.K. Harkness, 25 April 1947, vol. 6749, file 420-8-4ke-1, part 2, reel C-8105, rg10, lac.

Notes to pages 182–4

261

125 J.S. Allan to Canadian Fur Auction Sales Co., 5 March 1949, 14 April 1949, and 30 May 1949; H.R. Conn to J.S. Allan, 19 September 1949; [J.S. Allan], James Bay Agency, Beaver Funds, 8 October 1949; J.S. Allan to Indian Affairs Branch, 16 January 1950; H.R. Conn to J.S. Allan, 17 February 1950, all in vol. 6749, file 420-8-4ke-4, reel C-8105, rg10, lac. 126 H.R. Conn to J.S. Allan, 8 August 1949, vol. 6749, file 420-8-4ke-4, reel C8105, rg10, lac; J.S. Allan to H.R. Conn, 29 November 1948, vol. 6749, file 420-8-4ke-1, part 2, reel C-8105, rg10, lac. 127 H.R. Conn to J.S. Allan, 23 March 1949, vol. 6749, file 420-8-4ke-4, reel C8105, rg10, lac. 128 [R.M.] Duncan to Hugh R. Conn, telegram, 11 January 1947; H.R. Conn to T.J. Orford, telegram, 13 January 1947; H.R. Conn to Manager, hbc, Moose Factory, telegram, 13 January 1947, all in vol. 6749, file 420-8-4ke-1, part 2, reel C-8105, rg10, lac. 129 J.S. Allan to H.R. Conn, 28 February 1949; J.S. Allan to [H.R. Conn], 8 December 1949, both in vol. 6749, file 420-8-4ke-4, reel C-8105, rg10, lac. 130 Allan to [Conn], 8 December 1949. 131 J.S. Allan to H.R. Conn, 16 March 1949, vol. 6749, file 420-8-4ke-4, reel C8105, rg10, lac. 132 The evidence suggests that these trappers fully intended to reimburse the branch. In 1950, for example, Erland Vincent and his son, Bobby, filed a complaint with the rcmp over the requirement that they hand their furs over to the Indian agent. They argued that they would earn more for their furs elsewhere, thereby being in a position to reimburse Indian Affairs in cash while increasing their overall income. The officer in charge rejected their complaint, finding the agreement that both father and son had signed when receiving their fall advance legal and binding. J.L. Van Blarcom, “Handling of Beaver – Kesagami Preserve, Complaint of Moose Factory Indians,” 24 April 1950, vol. 6749, file 420-8-4ke-1, part 2, reel C-8105, rg10, lac. 133 Conn to Allan, 23 March 1949. 134 In July 1949, Hugh Conn wrote to a representative of the Canadian Fur Auction Company: “Since your next regular sale does not take place until September 6th and since we are anxious to return the proceeds of these pelts to the natives concerned at the first opportunity, I am writing to enquire whether the prospects of a private treaty sale are favourable at the present time and if in your opinion substantially the same prices would be received now instead of waiting until the September sale.” The Canadian Fur Auction recommended against a private sale, thereby delaying payment until September. H.R. Conn to Mr Prentice, 13 July 1949; W.P. Ewen to H.R. Conn, 15 July 1949, both in vol. 6749, file 420-8-4ke-4, reel C-8105, rg10, lac.

262

Notes to pages 185–91

135 Brownlie, Fatherly Eye. 136 Carlson, Home Is the Hunter, esp. 167–201. 137 Granatstein, Ottawa Men; Owram, Government Generation.

conclusion 1 “Si on leur donne de l’argent, ils feront ce qu’ils voudront. C’est ben correct, c’est leur droit, mais au-delà de ça, on a une responsabilite sociale envers eux, il faut les aider ces gens-là. ... Le jeune, à 18–19 ans, il depense comme il veut, mais si au bout du compte les Quebecois ont à payer une deuxième fois, pour ramener ce gars-là sur la bonne ‘track’, on va payer une deuxième fois.” Quoted in Patrice Bergeron, “L’adq s’insurge contre la distribution de chèques dans les reserves: L’adq est contre les chèques dans les reserves,” La Presse Canadienne, 2 November 2011. 2 Kevin Dougherty, “Charest Keeps Legault in His Crosshairs; ‘caqiste’ Attacked; Premier Ignores Speaker, Continues Using Term,” Montreal Gazette, 4 November 2011. 3 “Si jamais il y a de l’argent comptant qui est versé à la communaute, ils [les autochtones] vont se depêcher d’aller boire et d’acheter de la drogue. Non, mais, on est en 2011?” Bergeron, “L’adq s’insurge.” 4 Ibid. “Ce n’est pas un cadeau qui nous est fait.” See Dougherty, “Charest Keeps Legault”; Stephanie Marin, “Le chef innu de Mingan vient à Quebec reclamer des excuses de l’adq: Un chef innu reclame à Quebec des excuses de l’adq,” La Presse Canadienne, 8 November 2011; Alexandre Robillard, “François Bonnardel brandit une lettre d’appui envoyee par un Innu de La Romaine,” La Presse Canadienne, 22 November 2011; Jean-Luc Lavallée, “Des Innus soulignent le ‘courage’ de l’adq,” tva Nouvelles, 22 November 2011, http://www.tvanouvelles.ca/2011/11/22/des-innus-soulignent-le-courage-deladq; Bonnardel, “Transcript, Point de presse.” 5 Fecteau, Pauper’s Freedom, esp. 37–46; Harvey, Neoliberalism, 7. 6 Milke, “Ever Higher.” 7 This idea is, of course, not particularly new. Though earlier assimilation policy ostensibly aimed at the end of Indian status and, thus, Indigenous governance, the push by Pierre Trudeau’s government to repeal the Indian Act in the late 1960s represents the first clearly formulated plan to unilaterally bring about such change. Weaver, Making Canadian Indian Policy. Over the past two decades, a number of scholarly works have proposed precisely this neoliberal project. Flanagan, First Nations? Second Thoughts; Flanagan, Alcantara, and Le Dressay, Beyond the Indian Act; Morissette, Les Autochtones.

Notes to pages 191–6

263

8 Heather Scoffield, “Taxpayers’ Federation Pitches Solution to End First Nations Poverty,” Canadian Press, 15 January 2013. 9 Pasternak, “How Capitalism Will Save Colonialism”; Pasternak, “Fiscal Body of Sovereignty.” 10 Calder, Financing the American Dream; Cohen, Consumers’ Republic; Taschereau, “Plutôt ‘s’endetter sur l’honneur’”; Hyman, Debtor Nation; Maurer, How Would You Like to Pay? 11 This point is powerfully made in a number of recent sociological and anthropological studies of cryptocurrency. Karlstrøm, “Electric Coins”; Maurer, Nelms, and Swartz, “‘Money Itself’”; Maurer, “Gift of Money.” 12 Dodd, Social Life of Money, 213. 13 On the tension between ideology among advocates and users of cryptocurrency and their collective action – characterized by the relationships, practices, and processes – to make it money, see Dodd, “Social Life of Bitcoin.” 14 Zimmer, “Bitcoin and Potosí Silver”; Eagleton and Williams, Money, 230. 15 Dodd, Social Life of Money, 212. 16 Vieira, “Gold and Silver.” 17 Ferry, “On Not Being a Sign.” 18 Alcantara and Dick, “Decolonization.” The authors explain, as something of an afterthought, that their preference for dealing with “the problems of inflation and fluctuating value” would be for Indigenous communities to back their cryptocurrencies with gold (32). 19 Coulthard, Red Skin, White Masks; Manuel, Unsettling Canada. 20 Hewitt, “Distant View.” 21 This follows Patrick Wolfe’s basic contention about discursive analysis: “The fact that Michel Foucault appropriated the term ‘discourse’ from linguistics should not lead us to forget that, in his hands, the concept encompassed institutional configurations as solid as the prison or the asylum. (As practices go, few can be more material than architecture.) Despite this, postcolonial writing has too often excluded historical, economic, and material factors.” Wolfe, “History and Imperialism,” 405–6.

264

Notes to pages 000–000

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Index

Abenaki, 72–4, 143–4 Abitibi, Beaver and Fur Preserve, 260n122; HBC post, 115, 117, 119, 120, 233n20; River, 118 Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 224n31 Aborigines’ Protection Society. See commissions of inquiry into Indian Affairs Action démocratique du Québec (ADQ), 189–91 agriculture, 18, 20, 34, 42, 50–2, 64–6, 80, 85, 100, 131, 137, 139, 145, 147, 245n57 Akwesasne, 72, 74–5, 216n57 Albany, 235n31, 236n42, 237n53; Cree, 125; HBC post, 115, 119, 128, 233n11, 234–5n30; River, 5, 112 alcohol, 65, 70–3, 83–5, 152, 249n91. See also improvidence Algonquin, 71, 74, 120, 136–8, 217n67, 224n31 Algonquin Park, 180 Amherst, Jeffery, 61–2, 66, 212n8 Anishinabe. See Ojibwe annual cycle, 102–3, 126, 131 Army Pay. See money: army bills Ashuapmouchouan, 102, 225n42

Assance, John, 65 assistance, 76–9; and calls for treaty, 121–2, 138, 141–2, 154; DIA expenditure, 169–71, 174–7, 178, 187, 251n16; framing credit as, 183; from Indigenous-controlled funds, 147, 152; and on-reserve retail, 157–66, 254n43; stigma attached to, 80–1. See also Hudson’s Bay Company; improvidence; Poor Law; presents; vouchers Atikamekw, 136 Attorney General, 82, 151 Awannaneio, Thomas, 149 Aylmer, Baron, 72, 217n64 band funds, 136, 151–3, 249n91; held by chiefs, 142–8, 150 Bank of Canada, 42–3, 55 Bank of Montreal, 35, 37–9, 41, 44–5, 46–8, 49, 51, 54, 207n42; branches, 38; seal of, 48, 51 Bank of Upper Canada, 37–8 banks, 34–42, 51, 115, 171; branch banking, 37–8, 206n32; chartered banks, 36–9, 42, 51, 206n32

294

Index

barter, 12, 92, 95, 104, 113, 115, 129, 200n45, 221n13, 227n51 Bastien, Antoine-Oscar Wawadorolien, 159–60, 163, 185 Bastien, Jean-Baptiste, 150 Bastien, Ludger, 163–5 Bastien, Marie, 150 Bastien, Maurice E., 163–6 Bastien family, 159, 163–6, 244n54 Bissett, James, 108 Board of Pension Commissioners for Canada (BPC), 167–8. See also veterans’ and dependents’ benefits bons. See money: scrip Borron, E.B., 120 Boissière, Achille de la, 175 Bourdieu, Pierre, 15–16 British Empire, 13, 32, 37, 40, 49–54, 56, 92, 96, 110 Canadian Expeditionary Force, 167 Canadian Pension Commission (CPC), 167. See also veterans’ and dependents’ benefits Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), 191 Catholic Church, 141; indigenous donations to, 107, 237n53; missionaries, 107, 122, 143–4, 246n69; mission villages, 71–5, 136–7, 142–4; Caughnawaga. See Kahnawake chartered companies, 90, 99; “company-states,” 93 Chicoutimi, 102, 105–6, 225n42, 228n59, 228n60 Chum, Rachel, 168–71, 254n52, 256n68 Church of England, 64–5, 121, 123;

Indigenous donations to, 114–15, 237n53 Cochrane, Ontario, 17, 22–3, 181, 233n14 Colborne, John, 65–6 colonialism, 14–15, 100, 187, 194, 201nn56–7; bureaucratic, 14–15, 113; fur-trade or resource, 15, 113, 201n56; monetary representations, 49–56; and money in Indigenous commentary, 10; and provinces, 17–18; settler, 14, 24–5, 39, 194, 201n56 Colonial Office, 68–9; retrenchment, 25, 63, 65–7 commissariat. See Routh, R.I. commissioner of Indian lands in Lower Canada, 150 commissions of inquiry into Indian Affairs, 76–7; Aborigines’ Protection Society (1839), 77; Bagot Commission (1844), 77, 137–8; Committee No. 4 (1840), 218n74; Executive Council of Lower Canada (1836), 70–8; Macaulay, James Buchanan (1839), 77; Pennefather Commission (1858), 78, 220n99 Confederation, 41, 52 consumption. See alcohol; fur trade; retail courts, 149, 151–2, 159–60, 222n14 credit, 8, 47, 72, 92, 101, 192; creditworthiness, 50, 196; from DIA, 170–1, 181–5, 256n68; fur-trade companies, 6, 23, 95, 97, 102–5, 108–9, 115–16, 119–20, 129, 168, 177–8, 221–2n13, 227n49, 227n52, 232n8, 232n11, 238n82; ledgers and local trade, 33–5,

Index

114–15, 159–60; loans, 163, 164; as unsecured loans, 103, 183. See also debt Cree, 16–17, 21–4, 121, 125–8; Chapleau, 126; Homeguard, 22, 126; inlanders, 22, 126; language, 4–5, 21–2, 25, 95, 119, 170, 197n4, 235n31; money use, 114–17, 119–20, 123–4, 129–30; notions of money, 4, 5–6, 9–10, 115; notions of property, 9, 204n95; veterans and dependents, 168–73, 176. See also Kesagami Beaver Sanctuary; Moose Factory Crown, 62, 71–2, 76–8, 90, 92, 137, 143–4, 153–4; monetary representations of, 49–50, 52, 56, 224n29 Crown Lands Department, 138–9, 258n99 currency (£ cy), 33–4, 38–40, 96, 106, 110, 205n7, 206n35, 207n46; territorial, 11, 89–90, 99, 192–3. See also decimalization Currency Act of 1841, 40 Dalhousie, Earl of, 63–4 Darling, Henry Charles, 64–5, 220n100 debentures, 39–40, 51–2 debt, 159–60; Indigenous notions, 4, 80, 213n11; presents as debt, 74–5, 77; system, 91–2, 95, 98, 101, 102–4, 108, 113, 181, 226nn46–7, 227nn50–2, 238n81. See also credit decimalization (of currency), 40–1, 207n42, 207n46, 229n65 de Lorimier, Édouard Narcisse, 150 Department of Indian Affairs (DIA), 15–16, 65, 69–70, 81–2, 136–7,

295

201n58; as a clientele agency, 167, 169, 176–7; ignorance of the law, 159–61; involvement in communities, 60–1, 73, 82–3, 110, 127, 144–6, 148–53, 167–8; and missionaries, 148, 245–6n61; Montreal district, 71–3; public finance, 61–4, 66–8, 75, 141–2, 166–7, 174–5; Quebec district, 71; Sioux Lookout agency, 178; staff, 15, 127, 148, 162, 170–1, 179, 245nn60–1. See also commissions of inquiry into Indian Affairs; Indian agents; Indigenous policy Department of Pensions and National Health (DPNH), 166, 174–6. See also veterans’ and dependents’ benefits Department of Soldiers’ Civil Reestablishment, 169–70. See also veterans’ and dependents’ benefits dollar, 31, 36, 40–3, 49, 106, 119; in Cree (ahtay), 5, 95, 119; Spanish, 35, 40, 45–6, 193, 200n43; US, 35, 40, 46–7; Dorion, Charles-Napoléon, 163 Duchesnay, Louis Juchereau, 71, 74 Durocher, Flavien, 107 economics, 7, 202n68; heterodox, 9; neoclassical, 196; orthodox, 11, 92–3, 221n13 écus, 35, 47 Ekuanitshit (Mingan), 189 English River, 123, 125 equitable compensation, 141, 153 euro, 192–3 family allowances, 127 Flannery, Regina, 9

296

Index

Fort Hope (Eabametoong), 122, 124–5, 131 Frenchman, William, 172 fur trade, 19–22, 27, 92–4, 113, 125–6; cash payments, 108–9; consumption, 80–1, 129; independent buyers, 21, 23, 105, 113, 116, 228n56, 228n58, 231n84; Innu auctions, 21; justices of the peace, 94; representations on money, 48, 54; unemployed settlers, 21, 169, 178–9. See also credit; colonialism; debt; Hudson’s Bay Company; Kesagami Beaver Sanctuary; made beaver; Revillon Frères Gage, Thomas, 143 Galbraith, John Kenneth, 33 gender, 9, 80, 195, 218n87; legal status, 148–9; and pensions, 173; and politics, 25, 83–4; and presents, 72–3; and treaties, 123 geographic imaginary, 112 gift economies, 80. See also presents Glenelg, Lord, 59, 62, 66–70, 213n13, 214n35 Goderich, Viscount, 63–5 Gosford, Earl of, 67–8, 70–1, 74, 78 governor, 18, 62, 65, 67–9, 72–3, 82, 138–41, 143, 148, 217n64, 246n63; governor-general, 63–4, 66; lieutenant-governor, Lower Canada, 94; lieutenant-governor, Upper Canada, 59–60, 70; monetary representation, 55 Great Depression, 21, 131, 161–6, 174, 177–9, 251n16, 253n42 Grey, Lord, 82, 220n99 Gros-Louis, Felix, 159–60 Gros-Louis, Georges (Mrs), 252n26

Gros-Louis, Gustave, 163–5, 253nn40–1 Gros-Louis, Harry Sr, 254n43 Gustin, Albert, 172 Gustin, Caroline, 172 Gustin, Joseph, 172 Halifax pounds. See currency Hamel, Théophile, 140–1 Hamilton, B.H., 127, 169–70 Head, Francis Bond, 59–60, 67–70 Hincks, Francis, 51–2 Hoffman, Frederica Maria, 151–2 Horden, John (Bishop), 114–15 Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), 93–4, 222n14; competition between HBC posts, 97, 102, 117, 224n33, 225n42, 233n20; conservation, 21, 179; economic power, 232n7; Montreal Department, 117; outfit, 230n69; as a political actor, 22, 120; and relief, 127, 168; Saguenay District, 100–3, 109; Southern Department, 116, 232n11; and state programs, 168, 170, 172, 180, 182–3; and Treaty 9, 120–30; use of state money, 6, 10, 96, 103–9, 113, 115–20, 123–4, 129–30, 236n51, 238n78, 238n82; wage labour, 22, 235n33. See also chartered companies; credit; debt; fur trade; King’s Posts; made beaver Hughes, James, 71–4 Huron. See Wendat improvidence, 26–7, 59–61, 66–7, 69–71, 75–85, 108, 111, 123, 127, 141–2, 152, 157–8, 162, 166, 173, 177, 181, 184–5, 190. See also alcohol; assistance

Index

Indian Act, 74, 128, 152, 157, 185, 191, 195, 262n7; agents trading with Indians, 158–60, 166; elected band councils, 20, 152–3; Indian Advancement Act (1884), 152–3 Indian Affairs Branch. See Department of Indian Affairs Indian agents, 5, 27, 105, 152, 158–60, 162–4, 174–5, 180–3; and the Indian Act, 160–1, 195; in Cree (šôliyânikimâw), 5 Indian fund. See Lower Canada Indian Fund; Wendake: band fund Indian status, 73, 148–9, 172, 202n71, 217n63, 246n62, 262n7 Indigenous peoples: “disappearing,” 5, 57–8, 81, 219n90; as liberal anti-citizens, 13 Indigenous policy, 136, 186–7, 190–2, 195, 213n17; assimilation, 154, 167, 176, 262n7; “civilization,” 19, 64, 76, 81, 190; control, 185–6; development, 179; elected band councils, 20, 110, 152–3, 162; protection, 70. See also commissions of inquiry into Indian Affairs; Department of Indian Affairs; improvidence Innu, 16–17, 19–21, 99–100, 143; language, 95, 140–1; notions of money, 9–10; notions of property, 9–10, 198n27. See also Ekuanitshit; Mashteuiatsh; Nitassinan; Unamen Shipu James Bay (Wînipekw), 14–15, 22, 57, 94–5, 112–15, 119–20, 178, 186, 203n86; eastern, 179; Indian agency, 5, 127, 168, 172, 176, 178; western, 117, 126, 128, 130–1

297

James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement, 153 Jesuit Order, 143–5, 148–9, 242n39 Jones, Peter Kahkewaquonaby, 65 just compensation, theory of, 137–8 Kahnawake, 71–2, 74, 143, 149–50, 217n64, 243n40, 245n56; chiefs’ control of revenue, 143–4, 242n33 Kanesatake, 71, 74, 216n60 Kashechewan. See Albany Kempt, James, 65–6 Kesagami Beaver Sanctuary 21, 177–85; credit, 181, 183, 185; Cree labour, 179–80, 182, 186; fees, 182, 184; fur auctions, 180–2; management, 181; marketing agreements, 183–4; in production, 179–80; quotas, 180; stocking with live beaver, 179–80 Keynes, John Maynard, 7 King’s Posts, 93–4, 100–1, 103, 105, 138–41, 228n55 King’s Posts Company, 94, 222n19 Kingston (Ontario), 37, 245n56 kituskeenuw/nituskeenan, 25, 204n95 Kurtness, Harry, 163, 252n25 Kurtness, Joseph, 172, 175–6 Lac Saint-Jean, 20, 100, 109 Lake of Two Mountains. See Kanesatake Laterrière, Marc-Pascal de Sales, 139, 141 legislation: Dominion Notes Act (1868), 41–2; Provincial Notes Act (1866), 41; Uniform Currency Act (1871), 41. See also Indian Act; Poor Law

298

Index

liberalism, 12–13, 27; and ideas of poverty, 79; on money, 12 Listuguj, 161 livre tournois, 33–4, 205n7 Locke, John, 13, 200n49, 219n91 logging, 20–1, 100–1, 138, 228n56; representations of, 54–5, 131. See also Wendake: timber Lorette. See Wendake Loretteville, 165 Lower Canada Indian Fund, 141–2, 241nn20–2 Macaulay, James Buchanan, 77. See commissions of inquiry into Indian Affairs McGill, Harold W., 174–5 MacInnes, T.R.L., 127 MacKenzie, A.F., 169, 175 McKenzie, George, 115–16, 118–19, 234n27, 235n32 McLean, J.D., 159–60 MacMartin, D.G., 3, 124–5 made beaver, 5, 12, 89–90, 94–9, 102–6, 111, 194–5, 232n89; in account books, 95, 97–9, 103–4; coins or tokens, 95, 97, 223n26, 224n29, 224n32; Indigenous efforts to end, 106, 111, 120; made marten, 224n31; origin of the name, 223n23; wooden sticks, 4, 95, 115; value, 232n5 Magrath, James, 64–5 Manitoulin Island, 69 Mark, Kathleen, 169–70, 255n65 Mark, Oliver, 169 Marshall, John, 153–4 Marten Falls, 125 Mashteuiatsh, 9, 16–17, 20–1, 24;

assistance, 163; band fund, 152–3. See also Innu Métabetchouan, 97–8, 102–4, 106–7, 225n42, 226n46, 227n51, 229n61, 229nn64–6, 230n76, 231n78 métissage, 228n58 Mill, John Stuart, 8–9 Milne, Alex, 116–17 Missanabie, 126, 233n14 missionaries, 64–6, 119, 126, 148–9. See also Catholic Church mission villages. See Catholic Church Mississaugas of the Credit, 64–5, 214n23 monetary space, 13, 37, 89–90 money: accounting, 33–4, 94–9, 106, 115, 222n1; army bills, 34, 36, 39, 46; bills of exchange, 35, 46–7, 209n75; cheques, 115, 167, 172, 174–6, 189; clipped, 35, 43; coins, 7, 35–6; confidence, 35, 37, 49–50, 206n31; cryptocurrency, 192–3, 263n18; dangers associated with, 71–3, 77–82; debased, 35, 37, 43; design, 42–3; discounting, 36, 37–8, 41, 206n31; early use by First Nations, 12; fiat, 43; foreign currency, 32–3, 36–7, 39, 41, 89, 208n51; forgery, 43; functions, 198n23; Indigenous understandings, 4, 5–6, 9–11, 115, 199n32; letters of credit, 115, 232n11; literature on, 7–9; monetary representations, 42–56; myth of barter, 12; note-producing firms, 49; notes, 36–42; redemption of notes for specie, 35, 38, 41–3, 48, 209n72; scrip (or bons), 36, 38–9,

Index

46–7, 50, 101–2, 108; settler claims of Indigenous ignorance of, 4–7, 8, 105, 115, 124–5; shinplasters, 41; specie, 33, 35–8, 43, 45–9; tally sticks, 4; tokens, 36–9, 95–6, 209n71, 223n26; as a tool of “civilization,” 6, 68; value, 4, 10, 73, 91, 105, 192–3, 196, 202n68. See also currency; decimalization; dollar; écus; euro; livre tournois; made beaver; pound sterling; precious metals; truck system; vouchers Montagnais. See Innu Montreal, 37, 39, 41, 47–8, 54, 97, 105, 138–41, 147; fur auction, 182, 184; “Montreal price,” 62 Moonias, 122, 131 Moose Factory, 16–17, 21–4, 112, 131, 171, 178, 233n14; HBC post, 115, 120, 126, 233n20. See also Cree; Hudson’s Bay Company Moosonee. See Moose Factory Murray, George, 65 Newnham, Sophia, 114–15 Nicoshee, Thomas, 176, 258n96 Nipissing, 71, 74, 137–8, 217 Nitassinan, 20, 99 normative history, 158–9, 195 North West Company (NWC), 93–4, 96–7 Oblates, 107 Obomsawin, Simon, 72–3, 216n59 Odanak, 72, 74–5, 143–4, 161, 251n16 Ojibwe, 3–6, 26, 120–5, 131, 212n10 Ontario, province of, 17–18, 41, 112,

299

122, 178–9; hunting and trapping regulations, 178–80, 184, 186; registered traplines, 182 Oriwagati, Saro, 74 Osnaburgh (Mishkeegogamang), 121, 124–5 Otis, L.E., 160 Pageau, Pierre, 163 Papineau, Denis-Benjamin, 138–9, 141 Parliament (Canada), 55 Parliament (UK), 50, 67–8, 91–2 Péribonka Beaver Sanctuary, 21, 181 Pessamit, 161, 251n16 petitions, 74–5, 121–2, 138–41, 147 Picard, Euséric, 175–6 Picard, François-Xavier Tahourenché, 146 Picard, Joseph, 175 Picard, Laurent Atehratak, 146, 150 Picard, Louis-Philippe-Ormond Arôsen, 172 Picard, Pierre-Albert Tsichiek8an, 10–11, 165 place-based analysis, 24 Pointe-Bleue. See Mashteuiatsh political economy, 11, 56, 60; on Indigenous peoples, 8, 12–13 Poor Law (1834), 59–61, 70 population, creation of, 127–8; surveillance of, 82–3 pound sterling, 34, 40, 92, 96, 205n7, 207n46 precious metals, 11, 33, 35–6, 43, 45–7, 56, 192–3, 200n43; official rating, 35–6, 40–1, 45 presents, 59–78, 212n10; as assistance, 63–4, 66, 78, 79, 84; com-

300

Index

mutation, 59, 63–77; as creating dependence, 61–2, 73, 76–8, 83–4; and DIA’s existence, 65, 67; distribution, 61–3; for education, 67–8, 75–6; as gifts, 80; nature of, 59, 83; medals, 59, 84–5, 140–1; as payment, 63–4, 74–5; for utilitarian goods, 65–6, 84–5. See also gift economies; Indian status Price, David E., 104–5 Price (William) and Company, 101, 108; money, 101–2, 225n39, 228n54, 231n78 Quachegan, Allan, 171, 254n51, 256n72 Quachegan, James, 168, 171, 254n51 Quachegan, Peter 254n51, 256n75 Quebec, province of, 17–18, 110, 136; hunting and trapping regulations, 159, 178–9, 186 Quebec City, 18–19, 37, 105, 147, 166 railways, 20, 116, 122–3, 126, 130–1, 151, 161–2; representations of, 53; Temiskaming and Northern Ontario (T&NO), 22, 131, 171, 178 Receiver General, 35, 41, 209n75 relief. See assistance retail, 23, 34, 91, 101, 205n8. See also vouchers; Wendake: assistance Revillon Frères, 113, 117–20, 127, 130, 234n23, 234n25, 234n27 Roberval, 20 Rochette, Albert, 163, 165, 252n26 Ross, J.B., 109 Routh, R.I., 66–7, 69–70, 213n13, 214n35 Royal Canadian Mounted Police, 127, 261n132

Rupert’s Land, 94, 105, 112, 120, 222n14 Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, 19–20, 90, 93, 100–3. See also King’s Posts; Nitassinan Saguenay River, 20, 100–1 St Regis. See Akwesasne Scott, Duncan Campbell (D.C.), 3–5, 122, 124, 252n24 Scribner’s Magazine, 124 scrip. See money seigneurial regime, 136–7, 142–5, 239n3, 242n33; seigneurial agent, 144 Sillery, 143–4 Simmel, Georg, 7 Sioui, Abraham, 159–60 Sioui, Elie, 146 Sioui, Paul, 163–5, 253nn40–1 Six Nations of the Grand River, 24, 66 Slavery Abolition Act (1833), 68 Smith, Peter, 151 social assistance. See assistance sovereignty: and chartered companies, 90, 92, 99, 112; and claimed Indigenous ignorance of money, 5, 125; monetary claims to, 3, 43, 52, 131–2; and the state, 27, 110, 112, 114, 120, 131–2, 194 state, 15–16; claims to territory, 3, 11, 42, 50–1, 125; formation, 11, 13–14, 56–7, 60, 110; money and claims to authority, 43–4, 90–1; seigniorage, 91–2 Stewart, Samuel, 3, 122, 125 Tahourenché. See Picard, FrançoisXavier Tahourenché

Index

301

Tapas, Dinah, 168–70, 255n56, 256n71 Tapas, Emily, 168, 255n56 Tapas, Obediah, 168, 255n56 taxation, 152–3, 155; import duties, 120; taxpayers, 190–1 Tekanasontie, Martin, 71–3 Temiskaming (Indian agency), 161 Teppaise, George, 125 Thompson, Gilbert, 172 Toronto, 37–8, 41, 64, 69 Treasury (British), 61–3, 66–9, 75 treaties, 53, 57, 121; Algonquin and Nipissing requests for, 137–8; annuities, 3–5, 26–7, 55, 62, 66, 71–2, 75, 121, 123–31, 136–42, 154, 211n102, 212n2, 218n74, 236n49, 237nn53–4, 238n81, 246n62; flags, 4, 27, 124; Innu requests for, 138–42; medals, 53–4; in Quebec, 153–4; Robinson Huron and Superior, 26, 154, 239n2, 246n62; suits of clothes, 124; treaty tickets, 127. See also petitions Treaty 9, 3–6, 55, 57, 114, 120–32; definition of “Indian,” 128; gratuities, 123–4; Indigenous understanding, 3–4, 121–2, 237n67; negotiations, 122–3; Ojibwe petition, 121–2; population data, 127–8. See also treaties truck system, 91–2, 108, 221nn10–11 Tsichiek8an. See Picard, PierreAlbert Tsichiek8an Tyrer, W.L., 170

veterans’ and dependents’ benefits, 167, 173–4; gender and age, 173; low pensioner benefits, 174–6; as replacement for DIA relief, 166–77, 256n68, 258n98; as a right, 176 victory bonds, 23, 203n91 Vincent, Bobby and Erland, 261n132 Vincent, Nicolas Tsa8enhohi, 242n39 Vincent, Zacharie, 146 vouchers, 158, 161–6, 170, 175–6, 251n21

Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam (SeptÎles), 190 Unamen Shipu (La Romaine), 190

York pounds. See currency

wage labour, 21–3, 91–2, 101. See also Hudson’s Bay Company; Kesagami Beaver Sanctuary: Cree labour wampum, 12, 144, 200n41 War of 1812, 36, 61–2, 148 welfare. See assistance Wendake, 16–19, 24; assistance, 157–66; band fund, 151–2, 155, 249n91; chiefs’ fund, 144–8, 150; leases, 145, 147, 151–2; on-reserve retail, 158–66; Quarante Arpents, 149–51, 154–5, 242nn38–9, 244n54, 245n57, 247n70; residence restrictions, 149–50, 247n70; Rocmont, 145, 151; timber, 145–51, 155, 247n75 Wendat, 16–19; chiefs and gender, 73, 148–9; ideas of money, 10–11; loans to other Wendat, 18–19; loans to settlers, 18; social class, 18–19

Zelizer, Viviana, 8

302

Index