Sunday, May 07, 2017

book review: Orillia's Civil War

titleOrillia's Civil War
authorDavid Town 
year: 2016
publisher: self-published

David Town has written a great summary of the history of Orillia 1832-1836, highlighting the "battles" between the 1st nations people, the Family Compact government, the settlers and the church. It's a story that, unfortunately, has been told in so many places, not only here in Canada, but around the world. 

As in many cases, the tensions revolve around land and power. In Orillia's case, the increasing reduction (and in some cases, illegal possession) of land sold to the Chippewa / Ojibwa, at below market prices. Town provides a detailed summary of the conflict between the four groups. All four groups hated at least one of the other groups. 

As I read the account, of the government failing to act or acting only for personal gain; of settlers, under the protection of the government, illegally occupying native land, ignoring treaties; of 1st nations people being so mistreated that they gave into the poor land deals that were offered; and, of church power battles - I felt anger at the way the people who were here long before we were, were mistreated.

The "civil war" for the land on which Orillia is located, lasted only five years, 1832-36. But final resolution of the original treaty agreement of land between Orillia and Coldwater did not happen until 2011.

I purchased "Orillia's Civil War" from Manticore Books, Orillia, which incidentally is where the Methodist Mission house was built in 1831-32.

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