The Treaty Relationship and Reconciliation in Canada

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Peter Wall Seminar Room 307

6331 Crescent Road

Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z2

Canada

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The final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Indian Residential Schools recommended a number of ways that Canadians and their governments can work toward reconciliation, including by renewing treaty relationships with Aboriginal people based on mutual recognition, respect, and shared responsibility. Treaties are foundational to the formation of Canada and continue to be made in the present, yet many non-Aboriginal Canadians are unaware of their importance. What does it mean to say that we are all treaty people? In this talk I take my research on contemporary treaty negotiations as a starting point to identify the essential components of the treaty relationship for First Nations, past and present. While First Nations see treaties as a means to share the land and enter into political relationships based on equality, governments have approached treaties as land deals that extinguish First Nations’ rights and title. This discrepancy must be addressed before reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians can occur.

Dr. Carole Blackburn is a Wall Scholar and Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at UBC. Her research focuses on the intersections between Aboriginal rights and title, treaty making, and reconciliation. Her forthcoming book, “Uncertain Futures: Aboriginal Rights, Self-Government and Treaty Making in Canada” will be published by UBC Press.

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Peter Wall Seminar Room 307

6331 Crescent Road

Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z2

Canada

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