Relations between Canada and First Nations in the West (1867-1900): The Numbered Treaties, Indian Act, and Loss of Aboriginal Autonomy

Chris Allard


This paper examines the relationship between the Government of Canada and First Nations during and after the first seven numbered treaty negotations (1867-1900). During this time, the government viewed First Nations as impediments to economic, political, and social development in western Canada. In order to secure land for newcomers and gain control of the West, the government negotiated treaties and passed legislation to control and assimilate the Aboriginal population (1876 Indian Act). As this paper explains, unjust government actions and broken government promises only made the relationship between First Nations and Canada more contentious during the late 19th century.

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