Filmmaker and host John Parsons brings viewers on a journey of understanding as he strives to grasp the differing world views that motivated tribal leaders, settlers, and the United States government of the 19th Century.
Why Treaties? focuses on the 1863 “Old Crossing Treaty” in which the Red Lake and Pembina bands of the Chippewa ceded some 11 million acres of land to the United States Government.
This documentary examines the historic context of Minnesota land cession treaties between 1837 and 1889 to understand the forces in play that led both the US government and the Ojibwe Nations to sign the documents. It also looks at the worldviews of settlers and indigenous peoples in northern Minnesota at the time the treaties were signed, to appreciate what the specific terms of those treaties were, and to summarize how those treaties are affecting life in northern Minnesota today. This program is made possible by the Minnesota Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund