Modernizing Treaty Annuities – Frontier Video

Video, Aboriginal Futures, Joseph Quesnel

Historically, Indigenous leaders at the time of treaty signing knew all too well that their traditional means of livelihood were changing with the arrival of settlers and the disappearance of the bison herds on the Prairies. They were realists who cared about their people. For millennia, Indigenous peoples had sustained themselves on hunting, fishing, trapping, and trading. In their treaty-making, the Crown offered annuities to Indigenous communities that were ceding their land, rather than pay a substantial up-front cost. The idea of annual gifts was already a tradition within Indigenous communities and was politically useful for nurturing the relationship between the Crown and Indigenous peoples. The first annuity payments were made in three treaties with the Mississaugas on Lake Ontario in 1818. This was a means for removing the burden off of British taxpayers and offload it as an annual cost to the colonists.  (14 minutes)