In 1787, a treaty was signed between the Mississauga Indians and the British, who thereby purchased the land on which the city of Toronto would later be built.
In "Blackwing", Javier Vachon was actually there as one of the representatives of the Mississauga Nation; and, in that capacity, he signed the treaty himself. However, the Mississauga signatories were ambushed and killed on their way back home; and their copy of the treaty was lost.In 1995, Robinson Developers plan to build the world's largest shopping mall—a plan that is opposed by the Mississauga, who take them to court. The only evidence that the land is actually theirs is the lost treaty. Gary Blackwing claims to have a copy; but, when he is murdered, it cannot be found. Without it, there is no proof of the claim that can stand up in court. The murder of Gary Blackwing is investigated by Vachon's friend, Det. Tracy Vetter and her partner, Nick Knight.
Tracy is surprised to learn that Javier Vachon strongly supports the Mississauga in their claim for compensation; but she has doubts about his story that he was there when the treaty was signed. However, when she and her partner finally discover the place where Blackwater had hidden the treaty, Tracy is able to see that the name "J. Vachon" is indeed on the parchment.
Wording of the TreatyEdit
The Toronto PurchaseEdit
By the beginning of the eighteenth century, the Mississaugas had moved south from Georgian Bay to occupy much of what is now Southern Ontario. They traded with the French; but the colonists in Quebec did not settle that far in country. However, when Britain defeated France in the Seven Years' War, they decided to expand their newly acquired territory to the west. They did so by treaty, since many of the First Nations peoples had been their allies in the war.
In 1788, Lord Dorchester, the British Governor-in-Chief at Quebec, sent the Seneca to a natural harbour on Lake Ontario with instructions to negotiate with the local inhabitants. A treaty with the Mississauga was signed in 1787 at the Bay of Quinte. It surrendered over 250,000 acres of land that would later become the City of Toronto. For this, the Mississauga were paid just over a dollar per acre, for a total value of about ₤1700 (over $200,000 in modern money). This was paid with 149 barrels of goods and a small amount of actual money. The goods included 2,000 gun flints, 24 brass kettles, 10 dozen mirrors, 2 dozen laced hats, a bale of flowered flannel, and 96 gallons of rum.
Surveyors on board the Seneca drew up plans for a possible town site; but, initially, few Europeans visited the area. However, following the American Revolution, many of the United Empire Loyalists fleeing the new United States moved northwards looking for a home in the colonies that were still under British rule. The western boundary of the purchase was disputed; so, after the land was surveyed the Crown signed a revised version of the 1787 treaty, Treaty 13, on 1 August 1805 at the mouth of the Credit River, paying ten shillings extra for the additional territory. The following day, Treaty 13A (also known as the Mississauga Purchase) was signed. It surrendered 85,000 acres to the west of the Toronto Purchase, on which the City of Mississauga would later be built.
The Mississauga Indians retained sole rights to the fisheries around Etobicoke Creek and the Twelve Mile Creek, as well as a one-mile strip on each side of the Credit River. This became known as the Credit Indian Reserve.
The Toronto Purchase is subject to an ongoing land claims settlement. The Mississaugas of the New Credit Nation claim the British Crown's purchase of the land in 1787 was not adequately explained to their leaders, and the deed itself was actually blank and was not signed by Crown representatives. They assert that their ancestors never accepted the boundaries set out in the treaty—in particular, that the Toronto Islands were not included in the land covered by the treaty. Their land claim includes most of Toronto.