Treaty, A Formally Concluded and Ratified Agreement Between Countries.

Here are some things Canadians should know about Treaties: 

If you are a Canadian, know you are a signatory to a Treaty. If you are a settler (i.e. non-Indigenous), know you are a benefactor of the Treaty. 

Know which Treaty territory you are on. That is the true Canadian history. 

Know that the Treaty is not just an Indigenous peoples agreement. We are all Treaty peoples. Know that treaties are the foundation of Canada. 

The Treaty was made for all of us to co-exist. It was an agreement between the British Crown and Indigenous peoples. Indigenous leaders believed they were entering into a trust relationship with the representative of the British Crown. They considered the Treaty a mutual trust agreement to live in peace. 

The Treaty cannot be “thrown out” or reneged on. “For as long as the grass grows, the rivers flow and the sun shines.” 

The federal government has a fiduciary responsibility with Indigenous communities who entered into Treaty. (In plain terms, it’s similar to the responsibility that a corporation has to its shareholders.) The Canadian government’s shareholders are Indigenous peoples and it has a duty, a legal responsibility to them. For allowing settlers to live among the Indigenous inhabitants, the Treaty was to ensure peace and goodwill between Indigenous people and the Crown, in exchange for the Queen’s “bounty and benevolence.” 

Indigenous peoples will always have a right to the land to hunt, fish and forage and the Treaty and Aboriginal Right is further protected under Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution.

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