Two Acres and a Cow Summary and Questions

Two Acres and a Cow: ‘Peasant’ Farming for the Indians of the Northwest, 1889-97 is an article about the Indian Peoples and how they struggled to get through the 1890s with the Peasant Farming Policy put in place. However, there were a couple of good things that came out of it, the Indian Peoples did not mind the switch to agriculture at first until the Peasant Farming Policy was implemented, which meant they had to get approval from a ‘superintendent’ in writing to sell, barter, exchange, or give their produce to others. This caused a lot of conflicts because people of close quarters, such as the provincial superintendent, were okay giving the go-ahead to a lot of the Indian Peoples, whereas the higher-ups didn’t exactly like that they were doing that. White Settlers began to become upset that the Indian Peoples were getting ahead of them financially and took a stand against it. While they didn’t receive much out of it other than a few lenient passes from the high ups, the Indian Peoples were now under lock and key with Hayter Reed where he was not approving anything they could sell or exchange, along with this the Indian Peoples were not allowed to buy machines to make farming easier even though they had the same amount of acreage as some white settlers, because they were seen as ‘non-self-sufficient’ if they couldn’t do it by hand.

  • Overall, I was shocked to find that the Indian Peoples actually didn’t mind agriculture when introduced to it, but as the article went on, you could tell that exactly what we have been told, the higherups imposing more and more disadvantages on them.
  • Another thing I was shocked by was the fact that Africa had the same thing happen as the Indian Peoples here, where the settlers took over and forced the Indigenous Peoples to completely change their agriculture ways and imposed disadvantages on them (not being able to sell coffee, as it was the highest profit plant).
  • Personally, I think further discussion on the fact that the article mentioned that the Indian Peoples were very adamant about efficiency and getting things done quickly and that was the reason they bought machines, and where that whole ideal came from. I think it is actually very interesting and I’m genuinely curious about why they did this.

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