APTN Investigates: Cows and Plows in Treaty 8

APTN Investigates correspondent looks at the Cows and Plows agreement with Treaty 8 and what that is doing to communities today.

Canada has made good on a hundred-year-old promise to Treaty 8 First Nations.

But in doing so has created strife within the communities.

It’s a lucrative deal and people in the communities have disagreed on how to spend it.

When Treaty 8 was signed by First Nations in 1899, Canada committed to a number of promises in exchange for the land.

For the most part, one of those promises was never honoured.

Now after three decades of hard negotiation, the federal government is making things right.

Officially it’s called the Agricultural Benefits Agreement – but it’s better known as Cows and Plows.

That’s because what Canada failed to provide was a basic single family farm starter kit to any First Nation that wanted to trade life on the land for a life of farming.

Video Journalist

Rob is a member of the Dzawada’enuxw First Nation from Kingcome Inlet BC. He’s been a part of APTN National news since 2005, Rob brings to APTN almost twenty years of broadcast experience. He joined Investigates in 2013 and has covered protests, land claims and the fentanyl crisis. His cinematography was nominated in 2016 for a Canadian Screen Award.


10 thoughts on “APTN Investigates: Cows and Plows in Treaty 8

  1. you are right when you say it caused strife, because the lawyer we had, was apparently very smart, cause between them and the chief they kept 10% of our money, and we cant find the children’s trust fund,,

  2. you are right when you say it caused strife, because the lawyer we had, was apparently very smart, cause between them and the chief they kept 10% of our money, and we cant find the children’s trust fund,,

  3. Chris Devlin says first nations lived very well from trapping..chris .devlin needs t do proper research before talking about how fn lived…fn did not live well from trapping at all… Sure trapping sustained fn ppl but… very well…far from it… fn ppl had t build cabins f winter months n sum along Alaska hwy moved into used army buildings…so get your facts straight…fn ppl suffered a lot t survive… where were the Fed govt at the time.

  4. Chris Devlin says first nations lived very well from trapping..chris .devlin needs t do proper research before talking about how fn lived…fn did not live well from trapping at all… Sure trapping sustained fn ppl but… very well…far from it… fn ppl had t build cabins f winter months n sum along Alaska hwy moved into used army buildings…so get your facts straight…fn ppl suffered a lot t survive… where were the Fed govt at the time.

  5. Does the cows and plows settlement only include treaty 8 or are other treaties included in this settlement ?

  6. This is a very common concern in regards to the current elected leadership of TallCree First Nation located in Northern Alberta. I.R 171, 172 and 173. Zero consultation with membership and Zero transparency in the decision making process of how the Agricultural Benefits Agreement is governed locally.

    1. when researching actual registered farmers in tallcree only 2 names came up. they were john auger , George alook.

  7. This is a very common concern in regards to the current elected leadership of TallCree First Nation located in Northern Alberta. I.R 171, 172 and 173. Zero consultation with membership and Zero transparency in the decision making process of how the Agricultural Benefits Agreement is governed locally.

    1. when researching actual registered farmers in tallcree only 2 names came up. they were john auger , George alook.

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