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L'nu & Indigenous Studies

Indigenous Land: Reserves

Indigenous Awareness Canada. (2015, August 19). Reserves vs Reservations [Video]. YouTube.



"According to the Department’s Indian Land Registry System, the current surface area of all reserve land in Canada is approximately 8,866,668 acres. Canada has a total acreage of approximately 2,467,265,689 acres.

As of 2017, only 0.36% of Canada’s land mass has currently been set aside as reserve status. This number has increased due to ongoing settlement of Specific Claims called Treaty Land Entitlements. Many First Nations had a shortfall when the Reserves were first surveyed and the outstanding Treaty land debt is known as Treaty Land Entitlement.

The combined landmass of the ALL First Nation reserves in Canada is smaller than the landmass of the Navaho Reservation in the United States. The Navaho Reservation has a land mass of 17,544,480 acres; 2 times the area of ALL Canadian Reserves combined."

From the Indigenous Awareness Canada's webpage What is the difference between a Reserve and a Reservation?

Canada’s Residential Schools: Reconciliation

Quotes from The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Volume 6  [emphasis added]

The Royal Proclamation of 1763 and the Treaty of Niagara of 1764 (pp. 34-38)

The history of Treaty making in Canada is contentious. Aboriginal peoples and the Crown have interpreted the spirit and intent of the Treaties quite differently. Generally, government officials have viewed the Treaties as legal mechanisms by which Aboriginal peoples ceded and surrendered their lands to the Crown. In con- trast, First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples understand Treaties as a sacred obligation that commits both parties to maintaining respectful relationships and sharing lands and resources equitably.

Indigenous peoples have kept the history and ongoing relevance of the Treaties alive in their own oral histories and legal traditions. Without their perspectives on the history of Treaty making, Canadians know only one side of this country’s history [...] (p. 34).

The Royal Proclamation was ratified by over 2,000 Indigenous leaders who had gathered at Niagara in the summer of 1764 to make a Treaty with the Crown (p. 35).

Honouring Indigenous spirituality (pp. 102-112)

To take the territorial lands away from a people whose very spirit is so intrinsically connected to Mother Earth was to actually dispossess them of their very soul and being; it was to destroy whole Indigenous nations. (Comment by Survivor and Anishinaabe Elder Fred Kelly, p. 103)

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