During the 1700’s the relationship between the French and British greatly contributed to what took place in Europe in the 18th century. The series of events also greatly affected the Mi’kmaq lifestyle and culture. During that period, England carried out several raids that provoked the Mi’kmaq. They claimed the Mi’kmaq territory around 1621. This forced the Mi’kmaq to seek assistance from the French, forming an alliance.
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The treaty of Utrecht was formulated because of the war. British took over Acadia, naming it Nova Scotia. The Mi’kmaq fought the British from 1613 to 1763. This was the longest warfare in the history of North American Natives. They formulated successive attacks designed by local and war chiefs. The main strategy used by the Mi’kmaq was turning the imperial powers against each other. The war mainly took place at sea.
Due to the Mi’kmaq’s military assertiveness, they captured several vessels and ships. The intensity of the conflict heightened and the British undertook genocide against the Mi’kmaq. The genocide lasted fifty years. The British poisoned food donated to the Mi’kmaq. They also contaminated garments and clothes that led to thousands of deaths. The British used other rival tribes to destroy Mi’kmaq camps and kill people, irrespective of gender or age. This series of brutal events led to the formation of treaties.
The Treaty of 1725 and Proclamation
British Governor of Acadia, Richard Philip, issued a proclamation to the Acadians. The proclamation was utterly undemocratic and revealed their fear of the relationship between the Acadians and the Mi’kmaq. The proclamation stated that it was illegal for the Arcadians to host any Mi’kmaq.
The treaty of 1725 was a peace and friendship treaty. The treaty’s aim was to stop the conflict with the natives so that the British settlers could move in and start exploiting the resources. The treaty undermined the political structure of the Mi’kmaq people. It did not recognize the sovereignty of the Mi’kmaq.
The treaty of 1725 took place in Boston, with several Mi’kmaq villages represented. It created a provision for trade and commerce. The treaty also called for the release of all prisoners of war. The British promised to protect fishing and hunting grounds originally used by the Mi’kmaq. Disputes that arose were to be handled according to British law. The native Mi’kmaq people were to enjoy the same privileges as the British.
Governor Charles Lawrence Proclamation
The British and the Mi’kmaq had several conflicts during the period of 1756. This was because several districts belonging to the Mi’kmaq were still at war with them. Governor Charles Lawrence offered a proclamation in 1756.
This proclamation was the scalp proclamation. A reward of 30 Euros was to be issued to anyone that brought in an Indian prisoner. The prisoner had to be a male, above the age of sixteen, and alive. The proclamation also stated that the scalp of the Indian was worth 25 Euros. A fee of 25 Euros was offered to any person who brought an Indian woman or child alive.
The Mi’kmaqs suffered great atrocities under the British. A lot of their suffering was due to their resistance. The Mi’kmaq had a strong political structure that forced the imperial forces to turn to treaties. The fact that they used their enemies against each other was also a good strategy. Several authors have documented the atrocities faced by the native Indians. The Mi’kmaq make up only a small fraction of these native Indians.