Treaties and the Treaty Relationship

Everyone benefits when there is a greater understanding and appreciation of Treaties and the Treaty relationship. This special issue is part of a greater conversation to ensure that our collective history is truly inclusive.

April 30, 2018

This issue of Canada’s History explores the history of Treaties and the Treaty relationship and is an important first step in sharing First Nations perspectives.

It has been developed with contributors who have helped to incorporate the spirit and intent of Treaty making. The contributors, drawn from across the country, bring expertise and insights that help us to understand the continuing relevance of Treaties and the Treaty relationship.

We are grateful to Treaty Commissioner Loretta Ross, who co-edited this issue, along with Canada’s History editor-in-chief Mark Collin Reid and all the contributors who have helped to bring this project to fruition.

On the cover

The cover design for this issue began with the Treaty phrase “As long as the sun shines, the grass grows, and the waters flow” represented by three colours (red, green, and blue). These colours were then interwoven to resemble a sweetgrass braid, traditionally signifying mind, body, and spirit, and in this case also representing the three parties in the Treaty relationship (the First Nations, the Crown, and the Creator). The end of the braid includes twenty-one individual strands representing seven past generations, seven future generations, and the Seven Sacred Teachings. The design was a collaboration between artist Kenneth Lavallee and graphic designer Andrew Workman.

Contents

Foreword

Treaty Commissioner Loretta Ross addresses the readers of the Treaties and the Treaty Relationship issue of Canada’s History magazine in this foreword.

Messages from Canada's History

This special issue is part of a greater conversation to ensure that our collective history is truly inclusive.

Minister's Message

A message from the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage. 

Gakina Gidagwi’igoomin Anishinaabewiyang: We Are All Treaty People

Understanding the spirit and intent of the Treaties matters to all of us.

Interpreting the Treaties

Historical agreements between the Crown and First Nations are fraught with ambiguity.

Ties of Kinship

The Treaty of Niagara is seen by some as marking the true founding of Canada.

The Numbered Treaties

Western Canada’s Treaties were intended to provide frameworks for respectful coexistence.

Living Well Together

Understanding Treaties as agreements to share.

Algonquin Territory

Indigenous title to land in the Ottawa Valley is an issue that is yet to be resolved.

Nations in Waiting

British Columbia’s First Nations are in a unique situation regarding Treaties.

Finding Forgiveness, Building Trust

Treaty Education in Nova Scotia is a reconciliation story that has been many years in the making.

Teachers & Homeschoolers!

Register to receive your FREE educational package devoted to Treaties and the Treaty Relationship.

Packages are aimed at Grades 2–7 and Grades 7–12, and available in both English and French.

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