Saturday, December 17, 2011

"George MacMartin's Big Canoe Trip" on CBC Radio One

.. is my radio documentary being broadcast on CBC Radio One this Monday, December 19, at 9.00 pm.  (Also on RealAudio and Sirius Satellite Radio 159, and to be available continuously from the Ideas website.)

A few years ago, researchers came across the manuscript diary of George MacMartin of Perth, Ontario, who in 1905 knew nothing in particular about First Nations or land treaties, but had some expertise in mining and resources. He was named one of the three treaty commissioners sent to canoe across northern Ontario (I mean far northern, not the Muskoka) to make Treaty Number 9 with the Cree and Ojibwa there.

Perhaps because he knew so little, MacMartin kept a detailed record of what was said at the treaty discussions along the Albany River and the shore of James Bay.  Compared to previously-known written accounts, his record offers a new perspective -- but, some say, one that sounds a lot like what the First Nations have always said the treaty talks covered.

"George MacMartin's Big Canoe Trip" explores treaty-making a century ago and the implications today.  With RH Thomson, Colin Fox, Barry McGregor, and Nonnie Griffin reading the diaries and documents of the time.  Written and presented by Christopher Moore, produced for Ideas by Sara Wolch and Dave Field.  Commentary by historians John Long, David McNab, David Calverley, Victor Lytwyn and other scholars and commentators.

Photo from Archives of Ontario: George MacMartin, seated, centre.
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