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Numbered Treaties

Numbered Treaties

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Initiated as a nation building attempt after Confederation, the Canadian government negotiated a series of treaties with native peoples across Canada that would allow them rights to natural resources and the lands necessary to build a national railway that would link the country together. These treaties covered most of Canadian lands and delineated whom the government recognized as a "Treaty Indian" or later a "Status Indian." Signing of these treaties took place over a span of 50 years from 1871 to 1921. Eleven numbered treaties were signed in total in which, the Aboriginal People had to agree to accept settlement on reserves. Most also included reserve land based on the number of Native peoples in a settlement, as well as agreements for schooling, agricultural equipment and training, gifts, and annuities. Although these treaties covered most of Canadian soil, they did not include all Aboriginal peoples. The Inuit people never entered into treaty talks and First Nations peoples in most of the northern expanse of James Bay and British Columbia were not approached for treaty negotiations or settlements. The Métis were also omitted from these treaties, their presence and claims to the lands largely ignored until later.

 

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