Douglas Treaties, 1850- 1854
The Hudson’s Bay Company didn’t pay much attention to the First Nations living on the south end of Vancouver Island when it set up a colony there in 1849. But the HBC governor, James Douglas, did. He oversaw 14 Treaties that protected First Nations village sites and rights to hunt and fish. According to the company, those nations gave up ownership of their land when they made the Treaties, but the First Nations involved saw the agreements as peace Treaties that didn’t mean losing land.
The Canadian government put many rules together in something called the IndianAct in 1876. The lives of First Nations people were now largely controlled by the federal government’s policy. Even though they lived in very different territories and had very different ways of living, First Nations from all over were lumped together under the same policies.