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Office of the Treaty Commissioner
Bay 215-2553 Grasswood Rd East
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
S7T 1C8

Phone: 306-244-2100
Fax: 306-667-5654
Email: aseesequasis@otc.ca

 

Alexander Morris

Alexander MorrisAlexander Morris was born in Perth, Upper Canada in 1826 and died in Toronto in 1889. Jean Friesen wrote that Morris was “born to privilege, privilege which he used to expand the fortunes of his family and his country.” His father was a politician and Morris studied Law in addition to taking degrees from McGill College in Montreal. In 1861, Mr. Morris entered political life as a Liberal-Conservative in Western Canada. Unfortunately, political life had its negative sides effects, due to his health concerns and financial constraints and in 1872, Mr Morris took an a appointment as a Judge in Manitoba. Morris was also Lieutenant-Governor of the North-West Territories from 1872-1876.

Alexander Morris was the main Treaty Commissioner for the Treaties signed in Saskatchewan. He was commissioner for Treaties 3, 4, 5 and 6 and helped negotiate Treaties 1 and 2.

As Lieutenant-Governor, Morris was in charge of Indian Affairs and responsible for singing Treaties to open areas for settlement. Morris argued that Treaties should be signed before settlement took place and further argued for annuities along with education and assistance in farming. He focus on education to “train the new generation in the arts of civilization” and also emphasized assimilation and his need to “advance” the First Nations as part of his Christian duty.

Morris’ work as Treaty Commissioner was viewed as successful, however his inability to preserve lands for the Metis, due to speculation of Metis Scrip was a considerable weakness. Morris was also interested in Metis lands and when he ran for parliament in 1878 he was criticized for accumulating land in Manitoba at the expense of the Metis, and lost the election by 10 votes. Morris was later elected to parliament but had to resign because of poor health and died in 1889 at the age of 63.