Presentation on theme: "Social Studies 7. Before Confederation When the Canadian government purchased Rupert’s Land from the HBC in 1869, they gained control over almost the."— Presentation transcript:
Before Confederation When the Canadian government purchased Rupert’s Land from the HBC in 1869, they gained control over almost the entire northern half of the continent. All land west of the Great Lakes and east of the Rocky Mountains became known as the North West Territories. The territory around the Red River colony would soon gain full provincial status when Manitoba was created in 1870. The rest of the region, however, remained the North-West Territories. Although the region was a part of Canada, it did not have full provincial status:
Before Confederation Although the region was a part of Canada, it did not have full provincial status: It could not collect income tax from its citizens to help pay for social programs and services Although they had an elected government and representation at the federal level, residents wanted a stronger government and more seats in the House of Commons Residents of the NWT were not full citizens of Canada, and did not enjoy 100% equal status The residents and government of the region would have to make decisions over the next few decades about how and why to join Confederation to gain full provincial status— but first, several decisions about borders, government, and minorities had to be made.
Geography and Resources The North West Territories had a variety of geographic features: foothills in the southwest, lake country in the east near Hudson Bay, the flat, rolling central prarie region, and the harsh landscape of the Canadian Shield in the north-central region all made for a variety of landscapes in the territory. Most of the newcomers to the Territories would settle in the prairie region of present-day Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Geography and Resources The prairie region of the North-West Territories was being settled after 1872 under the Dominion Lands Act, and most newcomers to the region were farmers. The land in present-day Alberta and Saskatchewan was well-suited to a variety of agriculture: vegetables, staple crops (wheat, barley, hay), and livestock (cattle, pigs, sheep) all did well throughout most of the region. Most farmers in the region lived on farms that were mostly self-sufficient—meaning that they generated at least enough crops and products to feed the family, as well as some surplus produce (which would be sold for profit). In addition to agriculture, the North West Territories also had large deposits of minerals, ore, coal, and oil and gas (which would not be developed until the 1900s).
Complications to Joining Confederation Residents of the North West Territories were eager to join Confederation for several reasons, but needed to settle several disagreements first: Division of the Provinces: should the Territories become a single province, or be divided into several? NWT government believed that the region should remain undivided, while the federal government and Prime Minister felt that a single province that large would a) be too large to govern, and b) become too powerful and influential in the federal government.
Complications to Joining Confederation Land Ownership: since the land the NWT made up had belonged to the Canadian government since it purchased it from the HBC, the federal government felt that it had complete ownership over all land territory. They kept control over the land for some time because they wanted to make sure property and resources were well-managed to encourage immigration. Minority Rights: the NWT were populated by many different peoples, but three groups made up the majority of the population: Anglophones, Francophones, and First Nations. Anglophones and Francophones disagreed over what type of school system(s) should exist in the region to protect their languages and religious beliefs—while in 1875 the federal government passed the NWT Act to create separate school systems, it repealed that Act in 1892 with Ordinance #29, which made all schools English-speaking. First Nations had their own struggles, mostly related to land rights, citizenship, and access to public services. The government responded to these problems by signing several Numbered Treaties with many First Nations groups in the North West Territories
Important Steps 1887—NWT is granted four seats in the House of Commons 1905—discussion between NWT government and PM Wilfred Laurier about provincial status 1905—Saskatchewan Act and Alberta Act create two new provinces 1875—North West Territories Act creates separate French Catholic and English Protestant school systems 1892—Ordinance #29 makes all schools in the region English-speaking