On 5 September 1760, three days before the Capitulation of Montreal, the chief of the Huron-Wendat of Lorette, who had accompanied the retreating French army from Quebec to the Montreal region, approached General James Murray at Longueuil. A treaty of peace — known as the Murray Treaty of Longueuil or simply, the Murray Treaty — was concluded whereby the Huron-Wendat came under British protection. (See also Treaties with Indigenous Peoples in Canada.)
Terms of the Treaty
The Murray Treaty of Longueuil gave the Huron-Wendat a safe conduct to return to their village of Lorette near Quebec. The Huron-Wendat were received on the same terms as the Canadian militiamen; that is, there would be no punishment for having taken up arms against the British.
Furthermore, they were accorded the free exercise of their religion, of their customs and of freedom of trade with the English. In the context of the time, the free exercise of their customs referred to non-interference by Europeans in their lifestyle, local government and justice system. There would be no imposition of laws, taxation or military service, as under the French regime. Freedom of trade had always meant exemption from any duties or legal restrictions imposed on colonists, and was never limited to the fur trade but extended to all commercial activities.
The terms of the treaty were respected during the early years of British rule. In time, the provincial and federal governments again infringed on the Huron-Wendat's rights.
Sioui Case (1990)
In May 1990, the Supreme Court of Canada took notice of the Murray Treaty of Longueuil in the R. v. Sioui case. The Sioui brothers took their case about Indigenous rights to the courts, arguing that the treaty protected their right to use certain lands for ceremonial purposes. The Supreme Court found that the brothers were justified in their argument and overturned the convictions. The Sioui case ruling transformed understandings of treaty interpretations in Canada.