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The Treaties Series For Education.

Treaties Recognition Week

In 2016 Ontario passed legislation proclaiming the first week of November as Treaties Recognition Week. This is part of the Ontario government’s work to rebuild trust and relationships with Treaty partners and First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples. Part of that work includes educating Canadians about the role Treaties play in our lives and relationships today.[CW1] 

Some[CW2] [CW3]  of you may find yourself asking, what even are Treaties? Is there more than one? And if so, are they all the same? And those are all really great questions to start a conversation. At their base, the treaties were land surrenders on a huge scale. As part of the obligations created by the transfer of the Hudson Bay Company charter, Canada was responsible for addressing any and all Indigenous claims to land. A total of 11 Numbered Treaties were negotiated, starting with Treaty 1 in 1871, and ending with Treaty 11 in 1921. In the eyes of the Federal Government, the act of signing treaty brought Indigenous people under the jurisdiction of the Dominion of Canada and its laws, while the Indigenous peoples saw it as an understanding to share the land and its resources. While the Numbered Treaties all follow the general form and scope, the individual circumstances of the treaty signings led each agreement to have unique clauses. In general, they promised reserve lands, annuities, and the continued right to hunt and fish on unoccupied Crown lands in exchange for Indigenous title. However, as seen in history and today, much of these promises either were not kept or the opposite was enforced according to the desires of the government.

That is just a brief overview on the Treaties here on Turtle Island, and you may have seen over the past several months, we’ve been putting out short explainer videos on the 11 Numbered Treaties including the Unceded Territories. To keep with the commitment of Treaties Recognition Week to educate, we want to open up an invitation to share the knowledge by using these videos for educational purposes. Below you’ll find links to each of the Treaty videos. We encourage you to start new conversations on the land we all reside on and keep them going.

Treaty 1

Treaty 2

Treaty 3

Treaty 4

Treaty 5

Treaty 6

Treaty 7

Treaty 8

Treaty 9

Treaty 10

Treaty 11

Unceded Territories


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