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TREATY NO. 5
Prior to 1875, the Canadian government decided to extend the Treaty process to include the area around Lake Winnipeg. On September 24, 1875, the Cross Lake Band, along with the Norway House Band, signed Treaty No. 5 at Norway House. For the Cross Lake Band, Chief Tapastanum and two Councillors signed the document and for the Norway House Band, Chief David Rundle and three Councillors signed the Treaty.
Among the provisions of the Treaty was a stipulation that reserve land was to be provided to the Bands for their sole and exclusive use. Land was to be allocated to the Indians on the basis of one hundred and sixty acres per family of five or thirty-two acres per capita.
Treaty text states:
And with regard to the Band of Wood Indians, of whom Ta-pas-ta-num, or Donald William Sinclair Ross, is Chief, a reserve at Otter Island, on the west side of Cross Lake, of one hundred and sixty acres for each family of five or in that proportion for smaller families - reserving, however. to Her Majesty, Her successors and Her subjects the free navigation of all the lakes and rivers and free access to the shores thereof; Provided, however, that Her Majesty reserves the right to deal with any settlers within the bounds of any lands reserved for any band as She shall deem fit, and also that the aforesaid reserves of land or any interest therein may be sold or otherwise disposed of by Her Majesty's Government for the use and benefit of the said Indians entitled thereto, with their consent first had and obtained.
Approximately two years after the execution of the Treaty by Canada and the Indians, s survey was sent out with the task to survey reserves for various bands in Treaty No. 5 area. Duncan Sinclair, Dominion Land Surveyor, was delegated the assigment to undertake the survey work required. After completing other surveys in the Treay No. 5 area, Sinclair and his party proceeded to Cross Lake.
At Cross Lake, surveyor Sinclair undertook the following work:
1. survey of CrossIsland referred to as Otter Island in the Treaty text - 5657.58 acres.
2. survey of a portion of a smaller island located to the north east of Cross Island - 102.15 acres
3. survey of four lots on the mainland to the south east of Cross Island.