Into Relevance: Treaty Words Matter


  • David Newhouse Trent University



Treaties and Treaty-Making, Treaty rights, Robinson-Huron Treaty, Robinson-Superior Treaty, Anishinaabe Nations


Rebuilding Indigenous economies is a long, complex, and arduous set of tasks. It involves the creation of new institutions that can harness Indigenous innovation and creativity and channel Indigenous ideas and values into actions that improve the quality of Indigenous lives, enabling us to participate effectively in the world we find ourselves in. Treaties were one such institution.


Canada. (2019). Implementation of Modern Treaties and Self-Government Agreements. July 2015–March 2018 Provisional Annual Report.

Canada. (1969). Statement of the Government of Canada on Indian Policy. Ottawa: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, online:

Canada. (1996). Final Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. Ottawa: The Commission, online:

Indian Chiefs of Alberta. (1970). Citizens Plus. Reproduced in Aboriginal Policy Studies (2011) 1(2), 188–281.

Canada. The Robinson Treaty Made in the Year 1850 with the Ojibewa Indians of Lake Huron Conveying Certain Lands to the Crown.

Canada. The Robinson Treaty Made in the Year 1850 with the Ojibewa Indians of Lake Superior Conveying Certain Lands to the Crown. Robinson-Superior-Treaty.pdf

Forester, Brett. (2023). “Ontario Says Cost of ‘Colonization Infrastructure Relevant in Treaty Annuity Trial”, CBC News (February 1), online:

Fine, Sean. (2023). “Ontario Says It Doesn’t Owe First Nations Seeking Compensation for Broken Treaty”, The Globe and Mail (February 2), online:

Indian Tribes of Manitoba (1971). Wahbung: Our Tomorrows, online:

Powell, Betsy. (2023). “Northern Ontario First Nations Claim Up to $150 Billion Over ‘Flagrant Disregard’ of 1850 Treaty”, The Toronto Star (March 24; updated March 29), online:

Robinson Huron Treaty Litigation Fund. v. Canada (Attorney General), 2018 ONSC 7701.