Treaties Recognition Week 2022: Recommended Watching and Reading
Treaties Recognition Week is the first full week of November every year. Treaties Recognition Week began in 2016 in Ontario. Together, let's learn more about treaties.
What are treaties?
Treaties are agreements made between the Government of Canada, Indigenous communities, and the provinces and territories, that define ongoing rights and obligations on all sides. The first historic treaty signed between Indigenous communities and the British Crown was in 1701 for the British Colonies of North America. Between 1701 and 1923, 70 treaties were negotiated between Indigenous communities and the Crown (who were represented as either British North America or Canada). The first modern treaty, also known as comprehensive land agreements, was signed in 1975. Since then, another 25 modern treaties have been signed. The most recent modern treaty signed was with the Cree Nation in 2018.
Treaties cover rights, benefits and obligations for all signatories. What these rights look like may vary from treaty to treaty. While some treaties include defining reserve boundaries and annuities paid to First Nations communities (among others), others may include defining self-government, consultation and participation requirements, and ownership of lands (among others).
While a lot of Canada is covered under various treaties, there are some areas of Canada where no treaties currently exist. Below, you can check out various resources available at the library and beyond to learn more about treaties.
Resources at the Library
Watch a replay of these recent programs that were hosted recently by the library.
Talking Treaties in Tkaronto (online program no longer available)
"Ange Loft reflects on treatymaking and upkeep in what is now known as Toronto, through the lens of three main agreements: the Dish with One Spoon; the Covenant Chain and 1764 Treaty of Niagara; and the 'Toronto Purchase' with the Mississaugas of the Credit."
"Researchers Victor Lywtwn and Dean Jacobs provide a history and overview of the Dish with One Spoon from an Anishinaabe perspective."
Here are three books that talk about treaties. Please note that if an author or illustrator is Indigenous, their nation is in brackets next to their name. Summaries are from the TPL website. Interested in reading some more? You can check out our Treaties Recognition Week booklist with more recommended reads, and films too.
Treaty Words : For As Long As Rivers Flow by Aimée Craft (Métis & Anishinaabeg), illustrated by Luke Swinson (Anishinaabeg)
"Accompanied by beautiful illustrations by Luke Swinson and an author’s note at the end, Aimée Craft affirms the importance of understanding an Indigenous perspective on treaties in this evocative book that is essential for readers of all ages."
Treaty # by Armand Garnet Russo (Swampy Cree)
"A treaty is a contract. A treaty is enduring. A treaty is an act of faith. A treaty at its best is justice. It is a document and an undertaking. It is connected to place, people and self. It is built on the past, but it also indicates how the future may unfold. Armand Garnet Ruffo’s TREATY # is all of these."
"In this new edition of Charlie Angus's award-winning and bestselling book, he brings us up-to-date on the unrelenting epidemic of youth suicides in Indigenous communities, the Thunder Bay inquiry into the shocking deaths of young people there, the powerful impact of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's final report, and how the Trudeau government's commitment to Indigenous communities continues to be stymied by decades-old policy roadblocks."
You can read the following blog posts by TPL staff to learn more about treaties:
- Remembering the Toronto Purchase and Its Settlement : June 8 : Snapshots in History
- Wampum : Not Museum Artifacts but Original Treaties!
- We Are All Treaty People
Resources outside the library
Outside of the library, there are also many resources you can access to learn more about treaties. You can:
- Learn more treaties on the Government of Ontario website. On their website, they have an interactive treaty map of Ontario as well as many videos featuring Indigenous peoples talk about treaties. They have even linked to events (both virtual and in-person) happening throughout the province.
- Learn more about historic and modern treaties on the Government of Canada's website.
- Check out interactive maps showing treaty boundaries, Indigenous languages and traditional territories of Indigenous communities, on Whose Land and Native Land websites.
- Watch Trick or Treaty? directed by Alanis Obomsawin for free on the National Film Board of Canada website.
- Watch videos from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation's Truth and Reconciliation Education Week 2021, that discuss treaties, featuring Elder Harry Bone and Commissioner Loretta Ross, and more. The video is also available in French.