This land is in Mi’kma’ki, which is protected by the Peace and Friendship Treaties of 1725, 1749, 1752, and 1760-61. Signed by representatives of the Mi’kmaq people and the British crown, these treaties recognize and formalize terms for an ongoing relationship between settlers and Indigenous peoples of and on this land. Because they have never been undone or superceded, these treaties are still alive and need to be respected.
What does respect for such a treaty look like? First, it might be important to figure out just what a treaty is: when we should all take some time to read and discuss the texts of these treaties.
“A treaty is a formal agreement between two or more nations which recognizes specific rights and obligations set out within the context of the treaty. Basically, treaties are meant to define the relationship between the signatories.” – Cape Breton University
Because such treaties concern all of us, every citizen of this country should become familiar with the territorial treaties that govern the areas where they live and play. If we understand that these treaties are binding and continual, then we can each and all understand a little bit more about what our rights and responsibilities under these treaties are.