The Indian Reader Studies


BOSTON, MA (IPN)-The Micmac Indian Nation and state officials on June 24, 1987 re-enacted the signing of the 1776 Treaty of Watertown, which made them the first ally with the newly formed United States.

"Our forefathers 211 years ago signed a treaty recognizing the United States of America as a nation for the first time," said Micmac Grand Capt. Alexander Denny.

Historians have long recognized the agreement as a valid legal document which is among the first international treaties in US history.

The original treaty was signed on July 19, 1776, when a delegation of seven Micmac and three Malecite leaders came to Watertown and agreed to help General Washington defend the newly signed Declaration of independence.

The nations pledged to "henceforth be at peace with each other and be considered as friends and brothers, united and allied together for their mutual defense, safety and happiness."

The Micmac have since become unhappy with some aspects of their relationship with the United States.

The United States-Canadian border now separates two groups of Micmacs although they move freely back and forth.

"We consider the border as arbitrary and really invisible to us," said Sajek Henderson, solicitor general for the Micmacs.

Henderson said that some Micmacs who fought for the United States in the Viet Nam war have been denied veterans benefits because they live outside of the US

About 15,000 Micmacs live in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward island, parts of Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Quebec's Gaspe Peninsula. About 5,000 Micmacs live in Maine.

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