A Indigenous petition
Note: What was the greatest tragedy facing the Algonquin people according to the excerpt below?
Excerpt: An Algonquin and Nipissing petition (1845)
“My Lord and Gentlemen of the Legislative Council,
When you see us travelling up and down the rivers, streams and lakes in our small canoes, you think us very pitiful. It is the truth, we admit it. We are living in misery because each day we are being stripped of what we have. Our lands are quickly passing into the hands of the Whites. Long you have advised us to farm; long we have not listened to such beneficial advice. Is this surprising? We were once rich, and lacked for nothing: the forests were inhabited by animals of all species whose hides we sold dearly to the greedy merchant; that gave us the means to meet our needs and those of our children. But this is no more. The Whites are settling on all sides of our land, and where there’s no farming, the people of the lumberyards are there to destroy and scare away the animals that remain in the small space of land that has not yet been stolen from us. Our families are without livelihoods and we do not know where to find a living. We are reduced to dire straits. We want to imitate the Whites. This is why we request a field to cultivate. […] This is part of our hunting grounds that we want to cultivate if you grant us what we ask. ”
Alexis DE BARBEZOIEUX, Histoire de la province ecclésiastique d’Ottawa et de la colonisation dans la vallée d’Ottawa, Ottawa, La Cie d’Imprimerie d’Ottawa, 1897, p.442-443. Cited in Alain BEAULIEU, Les autochtones du Québec, Québec, Nuit blanche, 2000, p.67