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Indian Treaties - Essay Example

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Indian Treaties

Hence treaties between the aboriginal people and the crown establish a moral basis and a moral and constitutional basis of alliance between the people of the first nation and the sovereign institutions of Canada.
The treaties which they have made are right important to the Canadian natives because they perceive them to be sacred. The binding character and the sacredness of their treaties with the crown is not to be primarily found on the legalistic language or the signature marks which adorned the treaty documents. The sacredness of the aborigines treaties were rooted in what they referred to as the aboriginal languages (Canadian natives), at the time when they were negotiating the treaties with the crown, deliberations were usually accompanied with an exchange of some presents which were symbolically significant or by smoking a sacred pipe. On the side of the crown the basic principles of treating making was initiated by King George III. Most recently these treaties have been interpreted differently by different institutions such as the courts.
The discussion in this paper will include the literal approach, focusing on the written version of treaty presented by the Government of Canada; "spirit and intent" approach, focusing on the Indian understanding of the treaty terms and the oral account of the treaty; and the legal interpretation of treaties by Canadian and International courts. The writer will also suggest the mode of interpretation which it's perceives to be more accurate or correct.
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The binding character and the sacredness of treaties on the Aboriginal side is not to be found in the legalistic language or in the signature marks which adorns the documents of the treaty, (Bear 1991 p. 8) Instead these treaties forces are rooted in what is shown by the aboriginal languages during negotiations when treaty signing were accompanied by smoking of Calumet (sacred pipes) or with an exchange of symbolically significant presents like elaborately decorated belts of Wampum. The aboriginal's participants perceive these ceremonial conventions as the one raising the proceeding to highest level of diplomacy and law making (Denise 2000 p. 21).
Constitution interpretation of the treaties is one of the methods that are used for interpreting the Aboriginal treaties with the Crown In 1990, the Canadian Supreme Court argued that the treaties and statues that relates to the Indians should be construed and all the uncertainties surrounding it should be resolved within the Canadian constitution. The Canadian judiciary has most recently started to incorporate some new dimensions of understanding the nature and the effects of the Aboriginal treaty, (Getty et al 2000) For example in the Queen Vs Simon case, the judge was strongly, convinced that an offence was committed under the lands and forests acts of Nova Scotia. The issues before the Supreme Court was whether the 1752 treaty, the same treaty of the issue in Syliboy had a provision for a right of hunting that excluded the administration of the provincial law. The Chief justice argued that the judgment that was passed in the Syliboy case was a reflection of the prejudices and the biasness, (Harold 1969) He was categorical that that treaty was designed by parties which were competent, in this judgment the chief justice four principles that forms the modern ...Show more


Indian treaties (aboriginal treaties) in Canada are constitutionally recognized agreement between the aboriginals and the crown. Most of these treaties describes exchanges in which the aboriginals groups agrees on sharing some of their interest in the land hoping to be rewarded by kinds promises an payment from the crown officials…
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