Num­bered Treaties, 1871- 1921

Kayak (Canada) - - FEATURE STORY -

Th­ese 11 Treaties cover an enor­mous area of what is now Canada. The first and big­gest is­sue came when the Cana­dian gov­ern­ment took over Ru­pert’s Land — a re­gion stretch­ing from Al­berta north­east to the area around Hud­son Bay — from HBC in 1869. The gov­ern­ment knew it had to reach agree­ments with First Na­tions so it could have the land for set­tle­ment, min­ing, farm­ing and more. It wanted Treaties like the Robin­son Treaties, but First Na­tions lead­ers held out for a bet­ter deal. They felt they were agree­ing to share the land in ex­change for things such as an an­nual gift of money, schools and teach­ers, farm tools, am­mu­ni­tion, land re­served just for their use and the right to hunt and fish. The gov­ern­ment, on the other hand, saw the Treaties as huge sur­ren­ders of land that brought the First Na­tions un­der gov­ern­ment con­trol. The Num­bered Treaties fol­lowed a sim­i­lar for­mat. How­ever, some of the terms were dif­fer­ent de­pend­ing on the cir­cum­stances of the First Na­tions in dif­fer­ent re­gions. Some prom­ises have still not been ful­filled.

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