Treaties in Manitoba

Starting in 1701, in what was to eventually become Canada, the British Crown entered into solemn Treaties to encourage peaceful relations between First Nations and non-Aboriginal people.

Over the next several centuries, Treaties were signed to define, among other things, the respective rights of Aboriginal people and governments to use and enjoy lands that Aboriginal people traditionally occupied.

Treaties include both historic Treaties made between 1701 and 1923 and modern-day Treaties known as comprehensive land claim settlements.

Between 1871 and 1921, the Crown entered into Treaties with various First Nations that enabled the Canadian government to actively pursue agriculture, settlement and resource development of the Canadian West and North. Because they are numbered 1 to 11, the treaties are often referred to as the "Numbered Treaties." The Numbered Treaties cover Northern Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and parts of the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and British Columbia.

In Manitoba there are seven Treaties with First Nations (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10), although five Manitoba First Nations are not signatory to any Treaty with Canada (Birdtail Sioux, Sioux Valley, Canupawakpa, Dakota Tipi and Dakota Plains).

Under the Numbered Treaties, the First Nations who occupied these territories gave up large areas of land to the Crown. In exchange, the Treaties provided for such things as reserve lands and other benefits like farm equipment and animals, annual payments, ammunition, clothing and certain rights to hunt and fish. The Crown also made some promises such as maintaining schools on reserves and providing teachers or educational help to the First Nation named in the Treaties. Treaty No. 6 included the promise of a medicine chest.

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