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Treaties of Canada

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Jesse Reis

on 31 March 2014

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Transcript of Treaties of Canada

Usted puede usar su sombrero de unos días durante la semana, sábados y domingos
You can wear your hat some days during the week, Saturday and Sundays.
If you want to leave the class to use the washroom or go get a drink of water then you must sing "I'm a little teapot" in front of the class.
Si desea salir de la clase que se utiliza el baño o ir a buscar un vaso de agua, entonces hay que cantar "Soy una pequeña tetera" en frente de la clase.
You can use your cell phone in the lecture theatre before and after school.
Usted puede utilizar su teléfono celular en el aula antes y después de la escuela.
Treaties of Canada
(cc) image by anemoneprojectors on Flickr
First Nations Expectations and
Benefits from the Treaties
1) Peace and Friendship
What the FN were expecting
What the FN actually received
1) On going relationship with the Crown
2) Day Schools, residential schools, First Nations Schools and limited access to post-secondary education
2) Education
3) Health Care
4) Protection of their way of life and the right to live their lifestyle as before
5) Help in times of famine
6) Sharing of the land
7) Military Exemption
8) Tax Exemption
9) Transportation
10) Border crossing rights (U.S. and Can.)
10) Non-existent
9) Discount on train fares
8) On reserve only
7) Military Exemption
6) Reserves (small tracts of land held in trust by the crown)
5) Food Rations, Social Welfare
4) Some farming inplements, hunting fishing and trapping rights on reserve
3) "Medicine Chest" - access to some health care coverage
The Canadian Government's Expectations and Benefits from Treaties
The Canadian Gov't Expectations from Treaty
1) Peace and Friendship
2) Land for Settlement
3) Access to resources
4) Agricultural settlement of prairie region
5) Populate and Settle the country
6) Railway expansion to unite the nation
7) Stop American expansion
What did the Canadian Gov't and Canadians Receive form Treaty?
1) Peace and Friendship
2) Land for settlement
3) Access to resources
4) Agricultural settlement of prairie region
5) Populate and settle the country
6) Railway expansion to unite the nation
7) Confederation of the colonies
The American government spent around $20 million annually to forcibly remove Aboriginal settlers living on the U.S. plains during bloody conflicts of the 1870s. In comparison, the Canadian government spent slightly more than $730,000 between 1875 and 1905 on costs related to its Aboriginal treaties. There was also comparatively little bloodshed in Canada during this period
The Meaning of Contract and Covenant as They Relate to Treaties
is a solemn agreement to engage in or refrain from a specified action. It is commonly found in religious contexts, where it refers to sacred agreements between a god and human beings. It may also refer to - Religion, Politics, Law, etc...
is an agreement entered into voluntarily by two parties or more with the intention of creating a legal obligation, which may have elements in writing, though contracts can be made orally
Contract (Europeans Perception of Treaties)
Covenant (First Nations Perception of Treaties
1) Agreement between 2 autonomous parties
2) Agreement to last for a specific amount of time
3) Meant to Mutually Beneficial
4) Right and obigations for both parties
5) Is negotiated
6) Written text and Oral agreements
7) Is signed and dated
8) Signatures of witness make it legal and binding
9) Terms are specific as to what has been agreed to.
10) Legal Documents (the letter of the agreement is most important)
11) Can only be changed with the consent of both parties.
1) Agreements between 2 autonomous parties
2) Established a peremanent relationship
3) Meant to be mutally beneficial
4) Rights and obligations for both parties
5) Is an understanding based on the principles of good faith and good will.
6) The spirit of the agreement is important
7) Sealed with a sacred ceremony
8) The creator as a witness makes it binding
9) There is a spirit intent to the entire agreement
10) Sacred commitment for both parties (the spirit of the agreement is most important)
11) Cannot be changed
Canadian Treaties have been generally classified into 2 groups:
Treaties were made with the Crown through representatives of the British Gov't
treaties were made with the gov't of Canada
Post Confederation
These treaties began shortly after contact was established between European and the First Nations
These first agreements were concluded during a period of continual warfare between France and Great Britain.
They were intended to secure the neutarlity or assistance of Aboriginal nations in exchange for a commitment not to impede them in their traditional pursuis
Several of rhese treaties of peace and friendship were concluded by the British
The Indian Act
The Indian Act
Created in 1876 and revised in 1880. It was designed to be the instrument to affect a policy of assimilation. It permitted the gov’t to supervise the economy, politics, education, land and many personal decisions of First Nations peoples.
It was created by the Federal gov’t. First Nations had no say in creating it.
Key Points with the Indian Act
 Reserve land could not be sold to anyone other than the crown
o Individuals who were members of recognized bands, the wives, children or widows of registered Indians
 It defined who was considered to be an “Indian”
o The election of chiefs and band councils
o Taxation and legal rights
o Trading between First Nations and non-First Nations peoples
o Establishment of schools
 Regulated most aspects of the lives of the first Nation people
Status Indian – A person who is registered as an Indian under the Indian Act. The act sets out the requirements for determining who is an Indian for the purposes of the Indian Act.
Treaty Indian – A Status Indian who belongs to a First Nation that signed a treaty with the Crown
Non- Status Indian – An Indian person who is not registered as an Indian under the Indian Act
What Determines Status
The principal requirement for being considered for inclusion in the Indian Register is evidence of descent from persons whom the Canadian government recognized as members of an Indian band in Canada.
Between 1850 and 1951, government agents continued to maintain lists of the names of First Nation people who were members of a band. The Indian register consolidated all of the existing records of persons who were recognized by the federal government as members of an Indian band. It served then and does still today – as a centralized record of all of the individuals who are registered as Indians under the Indian Act
Loss of Indian Status
Status Indians have certain rights and benefits that are not available to Non-Status Indians or Metis people. These include on reserve housing benefits and exemption from federal and provincial taxes in specific situations.
If an Indian woman married a non-Indian, she automatically lost her Indian Status. Her children would no longer considered to be Status Indians
Until 1960, the only way that Native people could vote was to give up their Indian Status
Through the process of enfranchisement – This meant that an Indian gives up their Indian Status. It was used as a tool to force assimilation on the First Nations people.
A person can lose his/her Indian Status
Bill C-31 of the Indian Act in 1985
Bill C-31 was introduced to end discrimination based on gender and to restore status to those who lost through marriage or enfranchisement
• Its main purpose was to treat men, women and children equally
Residential Schools
The first Residential Schools were established in the 1840’s and were funded by the federal gov’t and ran by various churches.
“Killing the Indian in the child.”
They were intended to assimilate the children of the Aboriginal peoples in Canada into European-Canadian society.
In 1884, attendance in Residential schools became compulsory by law for status Indians less than 16 years of age.
•Their families were threatened with prison if they failed to send their children willingly
•Children were often forcibly removed from their families
Students were required to live on school premises. Most had no contact with their families for up to 10 months at a time because of the distance between their home communities and schools, and sometimes had no contact for years
Because of the relatively isolated nature of the schools, there was an elevated rate of physical and sexual abuse.
Overcrowding, poor sanitation, and a lack of medical care led to high rates of tuberculosis.
•Children were prohibited from (and sometimes punished for) speaking their own languages or practicing their own faiths
•The hope was that English or French would be learned and their own language forgotten
• A study done in the early 1900’s reported that mortality rates at residential schools in Western Canada ranged from 30% to 60% over five years.
Just a few things to note about this study:
1) This study was done by Dr. Peter Bryce, general medical superintendent for the Department of Indian Affairs
That means in 5 years of attending schools 30%-60% of children died
2) He released this information in 1922 (study done in 1909)
3) He attributed many of the deaths to the fact that healthy children were deliberately forced interact with children with tuberculosis.
Further, the children of those who attended residential schools are also more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol than children in other cultures
As a fallout of the residential schools, post traumatic stress disorder, drug abuse and alcoholism, violence and domestic abuse, and incarceration are much more prevalent in Aboriginals than in other cultures within Canada.
Residential schools have had lasting effects on aboriginal communities. The schools had a negative impact on aboriginal culture and have led to the partial loss of aboriginal languages as a result of systemic cultural genocide.
Lasting effects of residential schools
I was attending public school in my community when I was taken, in the middle of class, and brought to residential school. They targeted me because my father was a chief. My mom didn't know what had happened. She searched for me for three days. My residential school was on Kuper Island. We called it Alcatraz, because us kids couldn't hope to escape from an island... I was sexually abused at that school from when I was ten years to twelve years young. I have post-traumatic stress disorder, and I never know when I'll be triggered. I'll walk with these scars forever."
"When I started day school at age 5, all I could speak was Kwak'wala. My teacher beat the language out of me. When I was caught speaking Kwak'wala to my cousin, she made me bend over a desk in front of all the students, she pulled up my dress, and she spanked my bare bottom with a leather strap. From then on I never wore dresses; I only ever wore pants to school. If I was caught again, I was forced to write 'I must only speak English' on the chalkboard one hundred times, and the number doubled each time I was caught... To this day I can't speak Kwak'wala. Sure, I can understand it, but when I try to speak it, it won't come."

I feel unworthy, being a survivor, knowing that most of my friends died, either at the school, or shortly after, because of addictions. I was molested and raped, like the other boys at the school. It took 15-20 years of work with a therapist to pry this out of me. In the meantime, I was callous. I beat my wife like all the other drunk Indians."
The teachers told me I was nothing but a worthless, useless, stinking Indian - they said that's why my parents dumped me there... Our protectors turned out to be our tormentors... A lot of things happened in those school bathrooms... I had to pretend like I was the only one it was happening to, even though I saw it in the eyes of the other kids, too. I would be drugged with wine after dinner, and I'd wake up in the middle of the night in bed, without my underwear or pajama bottoms."
Treaties: Treaties are the instruments used by the Crown to clear lands of Aboriginal title so that settlement or resource development could proceed.
The First Nations people of Canada rights to land, culture, language and self-government are not something that was created by treaties or created by the government of Canada
They are rights that First Nations people enjoy these rights from the fact that they were here thousands of years before the Europeans.
It is the job of the Canadian government to accommodate FN rights. It cannot diminish, alter or eliminate them
It is a common misperception that treaty rights are "special" rights given to native people by the government because of their racial status, but this is not the case. The government does not "give" treaty rights to anyone – native people reserved them when they signed treaties in a government-to-government relationship.
One of the main issues in regards to treaty rights is the issue of First Nation Sovereignty,
Sovereignty: Possessing supreme authority. A nation that is sovereign is independent and free, with the right to a territory of its own.
The source of treaty rights is different from the source of Aboriginal rights. Aboriginal rights are considered to be inherent rights. They originate by the fact that Aboriginal peoples occupied those lands prior to the arrival in North America of Europeans. Treaty rights are those rights set out in a treaty which has been negotiated between First Nations and the Crown.
Treaty Rights: Rights which are provided for in the treaties made between the First Nations of Canada and the Crown or Government of Canada.
The 19th century was characterized by an increasing urgency to expand exploration into the interior of Canada. The federal government, in the name of the Queen, subsequently made treaties with the Indian people. In the treaties, the government promised to set aside reserves of land for the Indians and to acknowledge existing rights. In exchange the Indians were required to "cede, release, surrender, and yield" the specific territory and resources involved, to pledge allegiance to the Crown, and to keep the peace. Among Indian leadership it was intended that the original peoples would retain self-government and other pre-existing structures.
In making treaties, the main goals of the federal government were:
• to acquire legal title to western and northern lands for farming, railways, mining and other types of development;
• to populate the west peacefully with immigrant farmers;
• to keep the costs of westward expansion at a minimum, and to avoid wars with the original inhabitants;
• to stop American expansion into Canada's western and northern territories, and to protect these territories; and
• to respond to Indian requests for treaties and treaty benefits.

How Establishing Canada affected the First Nations people.
Assimilate - Absorb and integrate (people, ideas, or culture) into a wider society or culture
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