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First Nations Treaties Essay (Canada)

  • Date Submitted: 12/07/2011 03:59 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 53.2 
  • Words: 593
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Less than 500 years ago, the only people living in Canada were Aboriginal peoples. Hundreds of tribes were created and those who later came had first contact with the Aboriginal nations. The new settlers relied on First Nations for resources and trade. There were times of war and conflict created when they began to live in the occupied land so they had to look for peaceful means. One of these means was the treaties.

The newcomers described the many different First Nations as Indian. One theory to how they were named Indian was when Christopher Columbus sailed into the islands around Cuba; he called the people Indians because he thought they were from India. A treaty is a negotiated agreement between two or more nations which are passed on over time. For a treaty to exist, the representatives of the First Nations and of the Crown must make an agreement which is sealed. The Crown used a written document and the First Nations sealed agreements by exchanging Pipestem, Wampum, Tobacco, and Oratory.

Most treaties were made to end land conflicts between nations, and sometimes to end a war. One of the earliest recorded treaties is the great Law of Peace of the People of the Longhouse, negotiated before 1450. It created a code of law and a form of government. The treaty-making process in Canada began in the 1600’s and continues today. Many territories in Canada had different numbers of treaties. The First Nations might have a lack of understanding the treaties because they have their own language, culture, and history however a common understanding that the purpose of treaties was to share land and its resources. First Nations generally saw treaties as a way of planning for their economic future. In the 19th century, the First Nations who occupied the prairies were faced with famine, disease and hardship as the buffalo they relied on became very scarce. The First Nations were influenced by these harsh living conditions, and focused on how to ensure their survival for...

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