Solemn Words and Foundational Documents: An Annotated Discussion of Indigenous-Crown Treaties in Canada, 1752-1923
In Solemn Words and Foundational Documents, Jean-Pierre Morin unpacks the complicated history of Indigenous treaties in Canada. By including the full text of eight significant treaties from across the country—each accompanied by a cast of characters, related sources, discussion questions, and an essay by the author—he teaches readers how to analyze and understand treaties as living documents.
The book begins by examining treaties concluded during the height of colonial competition, when France and Britain each sought to solidify their alliances with Indigenous peoples. It then goes on to tell the stories of treaty negotiations from across the country: the miscommunication of ideas and words from Crown representatives to treaty text; the varying ranges of rights and promises; treaty negotiations for which we have a rich oral history but limited written records; multiple phases of post-Confederation treaty-making; and the unique case of competing treaties with radically different interpretations.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 280 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.8in x 9.0in
"Jean-Pierre Morin’s book is a solid contribution to enhancing appreciation of the fundamental place treaties have in Canada, the issues connected with their history and interpretation, and some of the ways through which we might honour them appropriately."
Carl Benn, Ryerson University
Canadian Historical Review
"Solemn Words and Foundational Documents heeds the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call for a better understanding of treaties in what is now Canada. Using a case-study approach, Morin provides students with important and accessible information about the treaties themselves, their continued significance, and the relationship between oral and written historical sources. Aimed at senior undergraduate students, the discussion questions, format, and perspectives included in the text make for a valuable pedagogical tool."
Lianne C. Leddy, Wilfrid Laurier University
"In order for reconciliation to occur, Canadians need to better understand how we came to live on Indigenous land, and Morin’s important new book helps to do just that. Historical documents related to treaty history are often scattered across archives and hard to access. This book brings together the treaties themselves, along with related documents and a sharp analysis. The result is a valuable book that will be read by students, scholars, and the general public who are increasingly coming to realize that still today, we are living in treaty relationships with First Nations."
Alison Norman, Trent University
Author InformationJean-Pierre Morin is Adjunct Research Professor in the Department of History at Carleton University.
Table of contents
Introduction: Reading a Treaty and Overview of Treaties Addressed by Chapter
1. 1752 Peace and Friendship Treaty
2. 1760 Huron-British Treaty
3. 1805 Treaty 13 (Toronto Purchase)
4. 1850 Robinson-Huron Treaty
5. 1852 Saanich Treaty
6. 1871 Treaty 1
7. 1899 Treaty 8
8. 1923 Williams Treaty
Appendix 1: Cast of Characters
Appendix 2: Glossary of Terms
Subjects and Courses