MP-0000.25.526 | Medal commemorating "Assembly of Indian Tribes", Calgary, 1901

Photograph, glass lantern slide
Medal commemorating "Assembly of Indian Tribes", Calgary, 1901
Anonyme - Anonymous
1901, 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
8 x 8 cm
Gift of Mr. Stanley G. Triggs
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Miscellaneous (671) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

Beginning with Treaty #1, special medals were handed out to chiefs at the signing of a treaty. Originally small, they were later made larger, with a portrait of Queen Victoria on one side, and pictures of the activities that Aboriginal people were supposed to engage in-farming, fishing, lumbering, mining-on the other. The medals were meant to symbolize the connection between First Nations and the "great white mother," as the Queen was still sometimes referred to during the treaty negotiations. It is difficult to resist the thought, however, that the medals were simply modern versions of the beads, knives and other items that were, in the early days of contact, given to Aboriginal allies to please them . The medals in this picture are not treaty medals, but have been struck to commemorate a special occasion.

  • What

    This is an image of two medals struck in Canada for a special occasion.

  • Where

    The medals were given out at a conference held in Calgary, Alberta.

  • When

    The conference, a meeting of First Nations representatives, was held in 1901.

  • Who

    King Edward VII succeeded his mother, Queen Victoria, in 1901. His consort, Queen Alexandra, is depicted with him on the medal.