Treaties in Canada Education Guide and Worksheets
Beginning in the early 1600s, the British Crown (later the Government of Canada) entered into a series of treaties with Indigenous nations in Canada.
Beginning in the early 1600s, the British Crown (later the Government of Canada) entered into a series of treaties with Indigenous nations in Canada. The treaties were intended as formal agreements to encourage peaceful relations and to specify promises, obligations and benefits for both parties. Indigenous peoples wanted to protect their traditional lands, resources, and ways of life, while ensuring peace and friendship, and eventually receiving support as they shifted to a new reality in the mid-19th century. Today, everyone agrees that First Nations peoples agreed to share some of their land and resources in return for material support. But the terms of this exchange would ultimately be understood differently by the parties involved. This difference in interpretation is rooted in differing worldviews, with distinct concepts of land ownership.
Message to Teachers
Activities and discussions related to Indigenous peoples’ history in Canada may evoke an emotional response from some students. The subject of treaties can bring out strong opinions and feelings, as it includes two worldviews. It is critical to acknowledge that Indigenous worldviews and understandings of relationships have continually been marginalized. This does not make them less valid, and students need to understand why different peoples in Canada might have different outlooks and interpretations of treaties.
Activities in this Guide have accompanying worksheets, download them here