Numbered Treaties (1871-1921)
With the purchase of the Rupert's Land charter from the Hudson's Bay Company in 1869 and the creation of the Province of Manitoba in 1870, the Dominion of Canada undertook the conclusion of a series of treaties between 1871 and 1921 so as to secure Aboriginal title in the Northwest.
Modelled on the 1850 Robinson Treaties, eleven treaties were negotiated to encompass all of the Prairies, northern Ontario and the Peace River and Mackenzie River valleys.
The Numbered Treaties are largely responsible for the agricultural and settlement expansion across the Canadian Prairies, the construction of the transcontinental railway and the affirmation of Canadian sovereignty throughout the Northwest Territories.
Much like its southern neighbour, the United States of America, the new Dominion of Canada believed that its future lay in its expansion across North America. To address aboriginal claims to the land, the Crown negotiated eleven treaties between 1871 and 1921.
The James Bay Treaty (also known as Treaty No. 9) was one of the last numbered treaties to be signed in Canada. Even though 100 years have passed, there is still little agreement between the parties as to what it means today.