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Treaties, Surrenders and Agreements

By John Leslie


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1. Historic treaties should be differentiated from "modern treaties," which are comprehensive land claims agreements negotiated in accordance with the terms of the federal government's Comprehensive Claims policy. Modern treaty agreements are located in records group RG 22, Records of the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs.

2. The original, signed manuscript of the Royal Proclamation of 1763 is preserved in the House of Lords Record Office in London, England. Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has a facsimile reproduction in MG 40, E 1. The proclamation was printed at London (by Mark Baskett) for distribution in the British North American colonies. Copies were sent to each governor and to the two Superintendents of Indian Affairs, Sir William Johnson for the Northern District, and John Stuart for the Southern District. Only nine copies are known to survive in various libraries.

3. The best historical overview is Robert S. Allen, "The British Indian Department and the Frontier in North America, 1755-1830," Ottawa: Canadian Historic Sites: Occasional Papers in Archaeology and History, No. 14 (1975).

4. The 1764 Plan for the Future Management of Indian Affairs indicated that responsibility for managing Indian Affairs in colonial Nova Scotia fell within Sir William Johnson's purview. In 1766 Joseph Gorham was appointed Johnson's Nova Scotia deputy. However, distance and slow communications made this administrative arrangement impossible to implement and maintain. In 1777, the Hon. Michael Francklin was appointed Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Nova Scotia. Francklin was replaced by John Cunningham in 1782.

5. J. E. Hodgetts, Pioneer Public Service. An Administrative History of the United Canadas, 1841-1867, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1955. In particular see Chapter 13, "Indian Affairs: The White Man's Albatross," p. 205-225.

6. Now termed the Constitution Act (1867).

7. As a result of a fire in the West Block in February 1897, Joseph Pope, Under-Secretary of State, and two other deputy ministers, were commissioned by Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier to examine record-storage practices and make recommendations to secure the government's archival holdings. Pope and his colleagues delivered a report in November 1897 that recommended joining the records branch of the Secretary of State with the archives branch of the Department of Agriculture. In 1904, Arthur G. Doughty was appointed to the dual position of Dominion Archivist and Keeper of the Records. When the new archives building on Sussex Drive was completed some years later, the transfer of Indian Affairs records and other collections began. See LAC, RG 37, vol. 36, file 60-3-1A; RG 37, vol. 27, file 60-3-C&I; and Department of Indian Affairs file 1/1-6-10 (1899-1975), now LAC Accession 0-2003.0021.6, Box 7 (vols. 1, 3, 4, 5) and Acc. 1999-0131.6, Box 7 (vol. 2).

8. See excellent articles by Patricia Kennedy, "Tracking the TreatyTexts," The Archivist, (November-December 1989), p. 12-13; Yann Guillard, "Apposer un symbole. Quelques réflexions sur le totémisme et les signatures amérindiennes des traités," Anthropologie et Societé, Vol. 26, nos. 2-3 (2002), p. 215-234; and Y. Guilllard, D. Delâge, and M. D'Avignon, "Les signatures amérindiennes. Essai d'interprétation des traités de paix de Montréal de 1700 et de 1701," Recherches amérindiennes au Québec, Vol. 31, no. 2 (2001), p. 21-41.

9. For an overview of issues and problems see Patricia Kennedy, "Treaty Texts: When Can We Trust the Written Word?" SSHARE/ÉRASSH, Vol. 3, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 1995), p. 1, 8, 20-25.

10. See William N. Fenton, The Great Law and the Longhouse. A Political History of the Iroquois Confederacy, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1998; Francis Jennings, ed., The History and Culture of Iroquois Diplomacy: An Interdisciplinary Guide to the Treaties of the Six Nations and Their League, Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1985; and Francis Jennings, ed., Iroquois Indians: A Documentary History, Chicago: The Newberry Library, 1985.

11. Maurice Ratelle, Le "Two Row wampum" ou les voies parallèles, Québec: Ministère de l'énergie et des ressources, 1992.

12. Alexander Morris, The Treaties of Canada with the Indians of Manitoba and the North-West Territories, Toronto: Belfords, Clarke and Co., 1880.

13. William C. Wicken, Mi'kmaq Treaties on Trial: History, Land, and Donald Marshall Junior, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002.

14. An alliance of the Maliseet, Mi'kmaq, Abenaki, Penobscot and Passamaquoddy.

15. For example, Dummer's War (1721 to 1725) preceded the first Peace and Friendship treaties of 1725, 1726, and 1728. King George's War in North America and the War of the Austrian Succession in Europe (1749 to 1754) helped kick start the Peace and Friendship treaty negotiations of 1749 and 1752. The French and Indian War broke out in North America in 1754-55, shortly before the Seven Years' War began in Europe. The North American portion of the conflict ended in 1760 with the fall of Québec. This conflict prompted the Peace and Friendship treaty negotiations of 1760-61. The last Peace and Friendship treaty of 1779 sought to restore harmony during the American Revolution after attempts were made by George Washington in 1776 to recruit Mi'kmaq warriors.

16. Nova Scotia was represented by Paul Mascarene.

17. Six truckhouses were eventually established in Nova Scotia (which until 1783 comprised modern Nova Scotia and New Brunswick): at Fort Frederick (modern Saint John, N.B.), Fort Cumberland (formerly Fort Beauséjour), Lunenburg, Eastern Battery (modern Dartmouth, N.S.), Fort Edward (modern Windsor, N.S.), and at Annapolis Royal. They sold a wide variety of goods, including rum, blankets, clothing, cloth, beaver caps, kettles, jewelry, powder and shot, and some foodstuffs.

18. James Douglas was also governor of Vancouver Island from 1851 to 1864.

19. Dennis F. K. Madill, British Columbia Indian Treaties in Historical Perspective, Ottawa: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Research Branch, 1981.

20. See "R. V. Sioui (1990)" in Thomas Isaac, Aboriginal Law. Commentary, Cases and Materials, Saskatoon: Purich Publishing Ltd., 2004, p. 115-124.

21. See "R. V. Marshall," in Thomas Isaac, Aboriginal Law. Commentary, Cases and Materials, Saskatoon: Purich Publishing Ltd., 2004, p. 83-87; and William C. Wicken, Mi'kmaq Treaties on Trial. History, Land, and Donald Marshall Junior, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002.

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