Voices From Here

TERRITORIES AND TREATIES Indigenous territories are identified by the ancestral and continual connections Indigenous Nations still enjoy with their lands. Indigenous territories are not static and have evolved over time based on kinship, diplomatic relations, trade, and resource use. Knowledge about a Nation’s territory is contained in oral and written traditions. Western legal understandings and colonial borders were forcibly applied to lands that have been used by various peoples for centuries. To learn more, read The Canadian Encyclopedia article Indigenous Territory . Treaties are agreements that govern diplomatic relations between sovereign nations, and can involve access to land, military alliances, and economic relations. In the Canadian context, treaties are constitutionally recognized agreements between the Crown and Indigenous Peoples. They form the constitutional and moral basis of alliances between Indigenous Peoples and settler governments, first British and then Canadian. However, the terms of treaties have been understood differently by the parties involved. This difference in interpretation is rooted in differing worldviews, with distinct concepts of land ownership. Most agreements describe exchanges in which Indigenous Nations agree to share access to ancestral lands in return for various payments and promises. On a deeper level, treaties are sometimes understood, particularly by Indigenous Peoples, as sacred covenants between Nations that establish a relationship between those for whom Canada is an ancient homeland and those whose family roots lie in other countries. Indigenous groups have made treaties since Time Immemorial, and those treaties often included relationships that humans shared with wildlife and the environment. For more information, refer to The Canadian Encyclopedia article Treaties with Indigenous Peoples in Canada . Encourage students to look at Indigenous territories and treaties in Canada using this interactive map . Ask them what questions come up as they examine whether territories and treaties correspond with the Canadian map. Ask them if their school is on treaty land, territory without treaty relations, territory governed by an Indigenous Title agreement, or self- determined territory. What does it mean to be on treaty land or on unceded land? MAP OF BRITISH NORTH AMERICA, 1795 (KEN PILON /DREAMSTIME.COM) . WAMPUM COLLECTION. TAKEN BY HORATIO HALE, 1871. SIX NATIONS PUBLIC LIBRARY. SECTION 3 13