What Are Treaty Rights?


Question: What Are Treaty Rights?

Answer: First Nations signed treaties with British and, later, Canadian governments before and after Confederation in 1867. Although these treaties differed, they usually provided for certain rights and payments.

Some of the older treaties, for example, included payments for ammunition, annuities, triennial clothing allowances (for Chiefs and Councillors), hunting, fishing and other benefits.

Your rights as an individual treaty Indian depend on the precise terms and conditions of your First Nation’s treaty. Your First Nation council or DIAND office is the best place to learn more about the rights and benefits to which you may be entitled.

You should know, however, that if you live in Manitoba, Saskatchewan or Alberta, your right to hunt, trap and fish, except for commercial purposes, is guaranteed by the Natural Resources Transfer Agreements of 1930.

Other rights are guaranteed by the Constitution Act of 1982, as well as by treaties.

Registered Indians who live in the Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories are free to fish and hunt in all seasons throughout the territories.

For further information, contact the Yukon Regional Manager of Lands and Trust Services, DIAND or the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) – Department of Renewable Resources.