Making Treaties

Taking a historical perspective means understanding the social, cultural, intellectual, and emotional settings that shaped people’s lives and actions in the past.

September 1, 2018

See “What is a Treaty” on pages 4 and 5 in the We Are All Treaty People issue of Kayak: Canada’s History Magazine for Kids.

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A Treaty is much more than a piece of paper with words on it – that’s why we talk about making Treaties, rather than just signing them. A Treaty includes all the spoken words the First Nations and government people used to make promises. These words were about the land, how it would be shared and for what purposes. The Treaty was then sealed through a pipe ceremony which invited the Creator to witness the promises.

Minds on

Explore the idea of historical perspective with the students. Taking a historical perspective means understanding the social, cultural, intellectual, and emotional settings that shaped people’s lives and actions in the past.

Hands on

Give students cue cards with either First Nation or Crown written on the front; one card per student (half the class should have one, half the other). On the opposite side of the card, instruct them to print single words or sketch the perspectives held by that group regarding Treaty-making and the Treaty relationship.

More classroom activities

Classroom Treaty

Design a classroom Treaty with your students and use it throughout the year as the typical “class rules.”

Commemorating Treaty Relationships

Explore several places and occasions that mark the importance of Treaties and stories about the historic Treaty relationship between First Nations people and the Crown.

Finding Del's Truck

Students will explore historical significance as the process used by historians to evaluate what was important about particular events, people, and developments in the past.

Wampum Belts

Focus on the importance of wampum belts for ceremonial and diplomatic purposes, as well as to mark agreements such as Treaties and covenants.

Unceded Land

Explain and expand upon the concept of unceded land.

We Are All Treaty People

Explore the meaning and the significance of the phrase “We are all Treaty People.”

Relationships

Explore the symbolism in the Treaty medal. 

Treaty Day

Have students create an invitation to an event celebrating Treaty Day. 

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