Treaty 2 – Nations enter into Treaties with other nations in which there is voluntarily something given up in order to gain something else. In this case, we might have given up the right to wage war so that we might enjoy peace. That is what “sovereignty means”.
There is another term we use that has special meaning. We talk about our Inherent Rights – those are the rights that were given to us as Original Peoples of this Land by the Creator.
But with each of our inherent rights come responsibilities. Those responsibilities are set out in our Original Instructions about how to live in a good way on our lands, in our territory, and with all other living beings.
If we wish to enjoy our inherent rights, we must protect those rights, protect our sovereignty, protect our freedom, speak our language – and fulfil our inherent responsibilities. No one else can do that for us.
We had all our rights, our sovereignty, our freedom the Day Before Treaty. The Treaty only recognized the rights we already had. The Treaty did not give us new rights.
The Day Before the Treaty, in our territory, we were sovereign, independent, self-sufficient people. The Crown had no rights in our territory, no right to exercise its sovereignty over our lands or our people.
The Day of the Treaty, we came to the Treaty table with a full pack. The Crown came to the table with an empty pack begging and asking.
We AGREED to share a portion of our lands for immigration and settlement with the Crown’s people, and the Crown agreed to compensate us for the use of the lands it would take up for that purpose and this has never been fulfilled to this day!
We CONSENTED to allowing the Crown to exercise its sovereignty over its people and the lands we were sharing with them, so long as the Crown did not interfere with our rights and lands not taken up and left natural. The Crown left the Treaty meeting with what we put in its empty pack.
The Crown could give us nothing, because we already had everything.
The Crown was grateful. The Queen (out of her bountiful benevolence) gave each of us some gifts. We asked for the Crown to send in one of their teachers and a school house for the teacher to work in because we wanted to know more about our new neighbours. We asked the Crown to let us have some medicines they had which we didn’t have.
The Day After the Treaty, we had everything we had the Day Before the Treaty. We had all our lands except those we agreed to share for immigration and settlement. We had the Crown’s agreement we would be compensated for the use of the land taken up for settlement. We had all the resources of our lands and waters which was never talked about during Treaty. We had our sovereignty. We had our freedom. And we had a medicine chest and a school house.
Then what went wrong?
Last modified: May 2, 2020