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Indigenous Land, Treaties and Reserves


Land of the Coast Salish Peoples

This website was created from the traditional territory of the Lək̓ʷəŋən(Lekwungen)-speaking peoples,
known today as the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations
I am honoured to be here and I will conduct myself respectfully in gratitude 

21 Things You Didn't Know 
About the Indian Act

Dispelling Myths about 
Indigenous Peoples


Working Effectively with
Indigenous Peoples

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Timeline of the Land

1500 to 1600 - The Great Dying
 approximately 50 million Indigenous peoples died
1600s - Metis Beginnings

The Tudors
King Henry VII 1485 - 1509

King Henry VIII 1509 - 1547

King Edward VI 1547 - 1553

Jane Grey 1554

Queen Mary I (Bloody Mary) 1553 - 1558

Queen Elizabeth I 1558 - 1603

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1763 - Royal Proclamation
Established & Recognized Aboriginal Title
All land is Aboriginal land unless ceded by Treaty (purchased by the Crown)

Peace & Friendship Treaties

Upper Canada Land Surrenders

The House of Hanoverians

King George III 1760 - 1820

Queen Victoria 1837 - 1901

Upper Canada Land Surrenders

Peace & Friendship Treaties

Robinson - Superior

Douglas Treaties

1793 - Interior First Nations Contact
1812 - Canada & US Boarders are Established

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1857 - The Gradual Civilization Act

1867 - British North American Act

1869 - Gradual Enfranchisement Act

1869-1870 - Red River Rebellion

1876 - The Indian Act

1 & 2 - 1871
3 - 1873
4 - 1874
5 - 1875
6 - 1876
7 - 1877
8 - 1899


1893 - Indian Affairs Policy of Assimilation

As French and English explorers arrived in North America, they were met by the Indigenous groups that inhabited the land. On the East Coast, after some hostilities, the first Peace and Friendship Treaties were signed with the Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, and Passamaquoddy First Nations to encourage cooperation between the European and Indigenous parties.

These Peace and Friendship Treaties were significant because they did not require Indigenous Nations to surrender their land.

In 1763, King George III of Great Britain issued the Royal Proclamation, based on the Doctrine of Discovery, which established his ownership of North America. It also states the existence of Aboriginal Title, the inherent right that Indigenous Peoples have to the land, and that unceded Indigenous territories would be protected from settlers and can only be ceded by Treaty.

Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and The Windsors

King Edward VII 1901 - 1910

King George V 1910 - 1936

King Edward VIII June 1936

King George VI 1936 - 1952

Queen Elizabeth II 1952 - 2022

King Charles II 2022 - present

9 - 1905
10 - 1906

Because of Treaties, Indigenous peoples are the crown's property - still negotiating for their Nations' rights from within the active colonizing system that was strategically built around them.

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1 & 2 - 1871
6 - 1876
3 - 1873
7 - 1877
4 - 1874
8 - 1899
5 - 1875
9 - 1905
10 - 1906
11 - 1921
Douglas Treaties 1850-1854
"Our great brother here"

Bill Waiser of the Saskatoon Star Phoenix wrote an article in 2017 called "History Matters: Treaty 6 promises were quickly broken," which captures a trust once established (from one side). Chief James Smith of Fort-a-la-Come, near the banks of the North Saskatchewan River, prepared to discuss the poor conditions that his community was forced into due to the lack of support from the Crown at a meeting at Fort Carlton five years after Treaty 6 was signed. His words, "our great brother here," displays how he understood the treaty relationship between the Crown and Cree people. Take a read.

Robinson - Superior

With all the new wealth from the " shared " land, it's mind-boggling to hear that Chief Ahtahkakoop was only asking for "a thresher, a reaper, and the power to work them." Imagine how that community felt as they watched their white farmer neighbours with all their fancy equipment and flourishing crops on the land they traded for the same opportunities for success?

Williams Treaties - 1923
Upper Canada Land Surrenders - 1764-1862
Peace & Friendship Treaties
- 1725-1779
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The Constitution Act, 1982

Historical treaties signed with the Crown (Canada) along with old and new legislation,  guarantee Indigenous peoples in Canada certain rights and benefits. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada are responsible for fulfilling these promises which is the Government of Canada's obligation to First Nation, Inuit and Métis under law. The Parliament of Canada website notes that "Aboriginal peoples have always held a unique legal and constitutional position". In R. v. Vander Peet (1996), the Supreme Court of Canada commented that the doctrine of aboriginal rights exists, and is recognized and affirmed by s. 35(1) of the Constitution Act because of one simple fact: when Europeans arrived in North America, aboriginal peoples were already here living in communities on the land and were participating in distinctive cultures as they had done for centuries. It is this fact above all others which separates Indigenous peoples from Canadian society and which mandates their special legal and constitutional status.

Section 35 of the Constitution Act also recognizes Métis as one of three distinctive Indigenous peoples. Historically, the term Métis only applied to the children of French fur traders and Cree women in the Prairies and of English and Scottish traders and Dene women in the North. Today, Métis is used to describe peoole with mixed First Nations and Europenan ancestry who identify distictivly from First Nations, Inuit or non-Indigenous ppeoples. Métis are not regulated by the Indian At and are therefore not defined as having "status" under the act.

The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted by the United Nation in 2007 positioned Indigenous rights to self-determination and rights to lands, territories and resources at its core. The right to self-determination and natural resources on Indigenous peoples’ lands and territories were two of the most politically charged issues throughout the 25 years of continuous negotiations. However, more than 10 years later, the same issues remained.

In June of 2021, we finally witnessed the passing of  fedral bill C-15 to advance the implementation of the UN Declaration which is now called the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act and now presents a process requiring laws and policies to change so that First Nations rights are implemented and respected.


UN Declaration on the Rights 
of Indigenous Peoples 2008
UN Declaration on the Rights 
of Indigenous Peoples FAQs
Bill C-15
Assembly of First Natoins Response

The Provincial Government of British Columbia has been a good example of how Canadian provinces are to be responding to last years passing of bill C-15. Heart of the Nations showcases their efforts in hopes of other Provinces  following suit:

There are four key areas of the legislation:

  • Section 3 mandates the government to bring provincial laws into alignment with the UN Declaration,

  • Section 4 requires the Province to develop and implement an action plan, in consultation and cooperation with Indigenous Peoples, to meet the objectives of the UN Declaration,

  • Section 5 requires regular reporting to the legislature to monitor progress on the alignment of laws and implementation of the action plan, including tabling annual reports by June 30th of each year, and

  • Sections 6 and 7 allow for flexibility for the Province to enter into agreements with a broader range of Indigenous governments and to exercise statutory decision-making authority together.​

UBCM, Victoria renew Indigenous reconciliation commitments

BCs updated First Nations Engagement Guide for Local Governments

BCs Action Plan

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A Very Short History of the Coast Salish Peoples
of British Columbia

More specifically, this website was created and is updated from the:

lək̓ʷəŋən Territory
Songhees & Esquimalt Nations

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If you'd like to show respect for the peoples whoes land you conduct your business from, here's an example email signature from Victoria, B.C.


(Thank you)

~ First Name


First & Last Name, BAET, CIAPP-P , BCIP


This email was sent from the traditional territory of

the LƏK̓ʷƏŊƏN (Lekwungen) speaking peoples,

known today as the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations.

The land was renamed Victoria in 1843 by the Hudson’s Bay Company.

The Two Row Wampum (Gä•sweñta’) Treaty
How our relationship was meant to be
and still can be

The Original Agreement

The Gä•sweñta’

Two Row Wampum Belt - a Symbol of Sovereignty


This belt symbolizes the agreement and conditions under which the Haudenosaunee welcomed the newcomers to their land.


“You say that you are our father and I am your son.”

We say, ‘We will not be like father and son, but like brothers’.”

This wampum belt confirms our words. These two rows will symbolize two paths

or two vessels, travelling down the same river together. One, a birch bark canoe,

will be for the Indian People, their laws, their customs and their ways. We shall each

travel the river together, side by side, but in our own boat. Neither of us will make

compulsory laws or interfere in the internal affairs of the other.

Neither of us will try to steer the other’s vessel.



From a 1613 agreement between the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) and representatives of the Dutch government, declaring peaceful coexistence

The agreement has been kept by the Haudenosaunee to this date.

The Haudenosaunee were mostly located in  New York, between Lake Erie and the Hudson River, in a forested area below St. Lawrence.

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We Can Return to a Nation to Nation Relationship

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Education on the present state of reserves in Canada is underway - If you would like to contribute to the truth, please get in touch

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