“The treaties were entered into on a nation-to-nation basis; that is, in entering into the pre-Confederation treaties, the French and British Crowns recognized the Aboriginal nations as self-governing entities with their own systems of law and governance and agreed to respect them as such.” (source: RCAP)
The Royal Proclamation of 1763 was issued by King George III and is a document that set out guidelines for European settlement of Aboriginal territories in parts of North America. The Royal Proclamation was clear that lands did not become available for settlement – known as public lands – until after a treaty with Aboriginal inhabitants.
The Robinson-Huron Treaty was signed on September 9, 1850 on Whitefish Island in Baawating (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario). Lake Huron Anishinabek leaders, Chiefs and Principle Men entered into treaty with the Honourable William Benjamin Robinson on behalf of her majesty the Queen (the British Crown).
Treaties are the foundation of this country. They are recognized and affirmed in the Canadian Constitution, so they are part of the supreme law of the land. Because all citizens benefit from the Treaty, it is important for all citizens to know about the Robinson-Huron Treaty and its principles, intentions and content, both in the written and oral context.
Through the Treaty, the Lake Huron Chiefs and leaders of the Anishinabek signatory First Nations intended to protect the territory and establish relations. Contrary to what many Canadians believe, nothing has been given to our First Nations. In fact, it was our First Nations who agreed to share our resources with the newcomers, now Canadians.
The Robinson-Huron Treaty intended to provide economic benefits for the First Nations parties to the Treaty in perpetuity. Significant wealth has been and continues to be generated from resource development within the Treaty territory.