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November 12th, 2019
November 12th, 2019

Fall Lecture Series - Grey County Early Land Treaties, 1818 and 1836

Join Stephanie McMullen. 

For centuries, Indigenous peoples of northeastern North America fought and traded with European representatives. Despite this contact, they maintained their independence and integrity. Nineteenth century immigrants found this relationship undesirable preferring assimilation to alliance.

The Ojibwa and Potawatomi in the Saugeen Territory (Grey and Bruce Counties) were among the last Indigenous people in southern Ontario to participate in the treaty-making and "civilization" process. By the 1830s, this region remained the only large unsurrendered area of fertile land in southern Ontario. By the 1850s in Canada West, the non-Indigenous population outnumbered Indigenous people by 100 to one. With the transfer of political power and its attending responsibilities from the imperial government to the local government in the late 1840s and 1850s, Indigenous concerns received less attention. 

The local government, confident in the colony's expansion and capitalist development, felt greater responsibility to the settler population. Believing that its foremost goal must be the economic development of the province for the benefit of settlers, the provincial administration neglected its responsibilities to the colony's Indigenous inhabitants.

By the time the government agents began to press them to cede their remaining lands in the 1850s, the communities of Saugeen, Nawash and Colpoy's Bay, living on the already small reserve plots of the Saugeen Peninsula, had fallen into a state of political paralysis due to internal conflicts. In order to achieve its goals, government agents exploited internal divisions, causing greater conflict and hardships for Indigenous people, and leaving a difficult legacy for future generations to reconcile. 

Stephanie McMullen, Membership and Volunteer Coordinator at Grey Roots, has enjoyed a varied career at the museum, beginning  back in 1999. After earning an MA in history from the University of Calgary, Stephanie worked at the Centre d’Interprétation de la Côte de Beaupré, the Mackenzie King Estate and the Canadian Museum of Civilization before arriving at the County of Grey-Owen Sound Museum.

Over the years, Stephanie has worked in historic site interpretation, education programs, program development, exhibit writing and development, promotions, memberships and grant writing. Since 2007, one of her great pleasures is working with volunteers. Their enthusiasm, creativity and dedication inspire possibilities every day!

This presentation is part of our Fall Lecture Series taking place on Tuesday afternoons in November in our Theatre. Talks take place at 1:00 p.m. and are repeated at 2:30 p.m. Complimentary refreshments following each talk. Free with admission. Members free as always.

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