[Algonquiana] forwarding a message

MONICA MACAULAY mmacaula at wisc.edu
Sun Apr 15 18:13:44 EDT 2018

Hi all - this message, from someone who’s on the list, just keeps bouncing. So I’m going to try forwarding it to see if that works.

From: Anne Lindsay <malindsay at shaw.ca<mailto:malindsay at shaw.ca>>
Subject: clouds
Date: April 15, 2018 at 5:09:24 PM CDT
To: Algonquiana <algonquiana-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org<mailto:algonquiana-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org>>

Hello all

I am writing to ask for help with a concept/words relating to treaties.

Specifically, in Treaty One negotiations (many involved were Ojibwe), at what is now Winnipeg, in 1871, before the negotiations began, an issue came up that is referred to as a cloud, as casting darkness. Unfortunately all I have found is in English (see below). There are other mentions relating to other treaties/relationship negotiations here and there that involve clouds/darkness/dark clouds, so I am wondering if anyone knows if there are particular words, rhetorical ideas, or forms that these kinds of interactions might draw on, maybe calling for signs of good faith or a recitation or clearing away of outstanding obstacles to relationship, etc? Any leads would be really appreciated! Thanks so much!


Ayee-ta-pe-pe-tung, a tall old brave, who was naked all but the breech-clout, and had his body smeared with white earth, next came forward. He spoke well, and in a very talkative and vehement manner, constantly flourishing an eagle’s wing which he holds. He said – I can scarcely hear the Queen’s words. An obstacle is in the way. Some of my children are in that building (pointing to the jail). That is the obstacle in the way which prevents me responding to the Queen’s words. I am not fighting against law and order; but I want my young men to be free, and then I will be able to answer. I hold my own very sacred, and therefore, could not work while my child is sitting in the dark.
(The old brave referred to the imprisonment of ten Indians recently for deserting the Company’s service. Four of these Indians were yet in prison…)


After some delay they stated that there was a could before them which made things dark, and they did not wish to commence the proceedings till the cloud was dispersed.

On inquiring into their meaning, I found that they were referring to some four of their number who were prisoners in gaol. It seems that some Swampy Indians had entered into a contract with the Hudson’s Bay Company as boatmen, and had deserted, and had been brought up before magistrates under a local law of last session, and fined, and in default of payment sent to prison for forty days. [1871]

More information about the Algonquiana mailing list