ANT241 Lecture 15: Modern Issues
Treaty = Land Cession for Aboriginals.
• “Talk about it on a national scale”. Blank spaces on the map weren’t occupied by the
natives; they were however used as hunting camps, etc. Many of the treaties signed,
happened in 19 to 20 century, relatively late as compared to the contact with the
• Only one-half of the lands of Canada have been the object of a land cession or treaty.
Half of the lands were never sold to Canada by the natives.
• Southern Ontario had the earliest treaties, excluded now. Only half of the country was
actually subjected to land cession.
• New France or Lower Canada: British crown, and its predecessor the French crown
understood that the natives were a separate community. They however asserted
sovereignty over a territory. They understood that the natives owned the land. Quebec
had an early colony established there.
• French did not recognize Indian title: They didn’t recognize that the Indians owned the
land which was under French possession. They however sent missionaries. Jesuits
attracted the natives to their missions. They not only visited the Huron’s, and lived with
them they visited other natives as well and attracted them to the French colonies.
• First Indian reserves: Seigneurial grants to missionaries for Indians. French didn’t just
claim the sovereignty of the land; they claimed it to be their own property as well. The
French king was the person who’d permit missionaries to take land and continue their
mission. These became the first Indian reserves in Canada. These were not considered
to be Indian lands, but French property used to attract natives and convert them.
Ontario (Upper Canada)
• The British took over the French possessions in an act of Conquest. They did not only
take Quebec, they also took Ontario, referred Upper Canada. The map was defined by
St Lawrence. For a considerable period of time Ontario was referred as Upper Canada.
• Royal Proclamation of 1763: Very important British policy. It declared that Indians could
not be molested or disturbed in the territories they possessed.
• Defined Indian Territory: Afraid of encroachment by French. Indians at the time were a
considerable force to be reckoned with. They were a considerable military force on both
the sides and in many ways contributed of the British win over the French. Natives were
1 Mayuresh Misra
considered to be a friend or a foe for either side and disrupt the entire colony. This was a
time of turmoil; Indians were not irrelevant and were part of the geopolitical policies. The
British king gave a charter to the Hudson Bay’s company to extract all furs from there.
The height of land mass between Northern Ontario and Southern Ontario differentiated
which was Rupert’s land and which was Indian Territory. Southern Ontario was mostly
• Indian Territory could only be purchased by Crown at public meeting. The intention here
was to overcome the abuses of power before. Prior to this treaty, any European would
walk into an Indian territory, give them certain European goods and buy a piece of land.
The descendents would later have no idea what was going on and results in disputes,
and in some cases turn into national dispute, because the Natives would revolt against
the British easily. “Lands must be purchased by the Crown” was the most important
clause. This would help in enforcing a much more organized protocol. On either side a
figure of authority would be present to make the deal. The concept was to make the
treaties public, documented, archived to eliminate any under-the-table deals and nothing
would be kept in the dark.
• Treaty Text: Signed by each of the parties, the representatives signed this text. It
highlighted what lands were being sold and what payment is being made for those lands
or what other stipulations were being made in these transactions.
• Early treaties not recorded properly. Things in the early period were quite chaotic. In
other cases were oral agreements, but nobody got around to writing it. A number of
other inconsistencies in the early period. Open to modern litigation.
• Some treaties were written with blanks within them, and in some cases the blanks still
• Some land was bought, which was not needed by the British.
• Some land was bought to be given back to Individual Indians for their services.
Technically this was not allowed; it was supposed to be given to communities only.
• Prior to 1818 – Lump-sum payments for land. Indian would receive lump-sum payments
for lands. These lump-sum payments could be the valid European currency at that time,
or equivalent the British goods.
• After 1818 – Annual Payments (annuities) for the land. They would receive money or