An essay using the Canada in the Making
It's said that the road to hell is paved with
good intentions. Was this the case with the treaties made between European colonial
administrations and the Canadian government when dealing with Aboriginal peoples?
This essay will require you to examine the motives behind treaty documents and
government acts and to examine the documents in order to determine whether government
or colonial negotiators lived up to the promises they mouthed.
suggested that Europeans wanted only to seek a peaceful coexistence with Aboriginal
peoples; others have argued that Europeans wanted only one thing - space to grow,
at any cost. This is an essay requiring that you:
- Describe the historical
events surrounding a treaty,
- Decide what the motives were behind
the treaty, and
- Make an argument on whether or not the treaty
accomplished what it was intended to accomplish.
You should write
the essay from a particular perspective. For example:
officials/the Canadian government bargained from a position of strength, and had
no intention of honouring its promises in the long run. The Aboriginal nations
involved had little choice but to accept.
- At the time the treaty
was negotiated, Europeans had only a weak foothold on the continent, and negotiated
in the hopes of finding peace/gaining allies. The Aboriginal nations involved
hoped to use a more friendly European power to stave off a less friendly on. Both
intended to honour the treaty.
You may find it useful to
conduct your research in groups.
Choosing a Document
a significant treaty or government act from one of the following sections of the
1. 1499-1779: From First Contact to the Peace and Friendship Treaties
2. 1763-1791:The Royal Proclamation, 1763, and Québec Act, 1774
3. 1764-1836: Pre-Confederation Treaties I
4. 1811-1867: Pre-Confederation Treaties II
5. 1867-1870: The British North America Act, 1867, and Sale of Selkirk Treaty
6. The First Five Numbered Treaties
7. The Indian Act, 1876
8. Numbered Treaties Six and Seven
9. Last of the Numbered Treaties
10. The Williams Treaties and Land Transfer Agreements
11. The Aboriginal Rights Movement
12. Constitutional Reforms and Crises
to avoid treaties which were minor - for example, one settled between a private
person and a band and intended to obtain land for a building.
paper should be _____________ words long. It should contain:
title page with the title, your name, the course name, your teacher's name and
the date submitted.
A clear introduction with a thesis statement.
Proper citation (footnotes/endnotes or APA/MLA style, as determined
by your teacher).
effort to use primary sources to support your arguments. These can be found on
the Canada in the Making Web site.
Note on Sources
Primary sources represent the most authentic resources that
historians can draw upon. The documents that you will be using below may be digitized,
but are still considered primary sources. Try to use the sources available on
the "Canada's Constitutional History" portion of the Canada in the
Making Web site to strengthen your arguments.
For tips on how to use
primary sources, go to the "Using Primary Sources in Your Work" page.
Secondary sources are works that interpret or analyze an
historical event or phenomenon. Generally the author is at least one step removed
from the event. Although not as authentic as primary sources, secondary sources
are still valuable.
Possible Sources of Information Online
It is important to choose sources that are produced by reputable institutions
or individuals. Such information is more likely to give you a balanced, neutral
view and be prepared or reviewed by experts.
in the Making: Canada's Constitutional History
Canada in the Making: Aboriginals: Treaties and Relations
The Canadian Encyclopedia Online
Resources Canada: The Atlas of Canada
and Northern Affairs: The Historic Treaty Information site
Archives of Canada: Pride and Dignity