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The Making of Treaty #8 in Canada's Northwest
Virtual Museum of Canada The Making of Treaty #8 in Canada's Northwest
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The Peoples, Their Places
*Precursor: Focus 1899*The People, Their Places*1899 and After*

 

 

 

Lesser Slave Lake

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In today's contemporary society there are many issues surrounding the Treaty#8 agreement made over one hundred years ago. With the passage of time many things have changed in the political climate the economy and technology. Still the issue that many treaty signers considered at the time of the treaty commission is on the minds of First Nations People today: How does this agreement affect myself and my people?

Treaty #8 HouseMany books have been written on the subject of contemporary issues surrounding Treaties. They outline certain questions about the validity of such agreements. Some of these questions are:

  • Should treaty payments of five dollars ( a fair sum of money in its time) have factored in the phenomena of inflation?
  • As reserve sizes were based on the number of people in a band, should they take into account that many reserves are now too small for their growing numbers and cannot accommodate a growing population of First Nation peoples?
  • Development and industry in many northern communities has chased away or endangered the health and well being of fish and wild life. So have treaty promises to protect the traditional hunting and gathering way of life of First Nations Peoples been upheld?
  • According to Native Elders only six inches of top soil was being made available to settlers for farming. So how does extensive exploration and exploitation of mineral resources represent an honorable practice?
  • Have First Nation individuals been politically or socially disadvantaged or confined in any way to reserves?
  • To what level of education and by what means does the promise of free education to First Nations represent?
  • Are land entitlement issues being dealt with in a fair and honorable way?
  • And finally, have the treaties promises been upheld by the government?