Treaty 7 and its impact on the Blackfoot people was discussed on Thursday at a SACPA session. Treaty 7 was signed in 1877 after two years of talks as the current Canadian government hoped to build the railway across Indigenous land. Dr. Mike Bruised Head, a University of Lethbridge professor, and the great-great-grandson of Red Crow, who was Chief of the Kainai people at the time said that the ramifications of Treaty 7 were not kind to the Blackfoot people.
“The chiefs at that time, especially my great-great-grandfather Red Crow said, how can you give us land when it’s already ours? And today that’s in legal, I guess, context, there has never been a meeting of the minds. It’s just been kind of a whitewash and steam roll the treaty. But the treaty was also to open the door for CP Rail by John A. Macdonald. So there was a whole agenda behind it and some of the provisions and accommodations given such as health, education, farming, ranching have never materialized.”
Bruised Head adds that the Blackfoot were misinformed by the settlers as they preferred an oral agreement compared to the written one that was drawn up.