Treaties Recognition Week is a time for us to focus on learning more about Indigenous treaties and the history of treaty agreements among Indigenous peoples. Indigenous rights over land are governed by treaties between the government and Indigenous nations. The Royal Proclamation recognized Indigenous peoples as the original peoples of Canada and established the creation and negotiation of treaties, requiring Indigenous consent for settler access to land. Land that has not been negotiated by a treaty is considered Aboriginal title. Treaties cover all people who live in a treaty area. If you live on land governed by a treaty, you are a treaty person.
During this particular Treaties Recognition Week, we explore the impact the Williams First Nations Treaties has had on local Mississauga and Anishinaabe peoples. In this guide you will find Indigenous resources to help further educate and learn about treaties and the treatment of Indigenous peoples in Canada. We encourage you to take some time to explore the original treaty maps and documents that relate to where you were born, watch videos and listen to Indigenous voices. Through learning about Indigenous treaties and listening to Indigenous voices, we can help spread awareness and recognition of the role that treaties can play in building respectful relationships, now and in the future.
A land acknowledgement should be done at the beginning of any gathering to begin in a good way. Examples of such gatherings are meetings, webinars, convocation, training sessions, sporting events and special events.
To ensure this acknowledgement does not become a checklist item, we need to commit to action, education, meaningful dialogue and change. Along with the acknowledgement, we must engage our communities in education about Indigenous history, treaties and the rich culture and traditions of Indigenous peoples. Remembering always, “nothing about us without us”.
The Royal Proclamation, issued by King George III in 1763, set out guidelines for European settlement of Aboriginal territories in North America. The Royal Proclamation set the constitutional structure for the negotiation of treaties with the Indigenous inhabitants of large sections of Canada.