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The federal government had a good knowledge of the extent of Athabasca's natural resources at the time of treaty signing, but knew next to nothing about the customs and manners of the First Nations in the area. The Treaty Commissioners were not even sure where Native communities would be located or how many people they might expect to enter into treaty or take scrip.
Unfortunately, despite promises made by the Commissioners during the treaty negotiations, the government's main interest in the Athabasca has changed little over the last century. Most of its attention has focused on the economic integration of the region, often at the expense of the Native community even if it meant breaking its Treaty commitments.
Archival records document the government's on-going commitments to the Treaty, its changes in Treaty policy and its interpretation of the Treaty's terms.