POLICY FOR LAND USE BY MUNICIPALITIES SITUATED IN TREATY 2 TERRITORY
In 1871, First Nations gathered at Manitoba House to enter into Treaty 2, in which the First Nations agreed to share their lands with the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland for peaceful and friendly “immigration and settlement”. The agreement was made by a representative of Queen Victoria, and, pursuant to the Constitution of Canada 1982, is carried on today by the Queen in Right of Canada and the Queen in Right of the provinces. The federal and provincial governments have the responsibility to protect the honour of the Crown in fulfilling all the Crown’s duties and obligations.
This is intended to be a guide for municipalities who wish to carry on activities within the Treaty Two Boundaries. The map of the territory, showing the boundaries as they appeared in 1872 and the same boundaries today. If there is any doubt as to whether any parcel of land is within Treaty 2 Boundaries, please contact the First Nations in Treaty 2 Territory offices.
Pursuant to Treaty 2, each First Nation had agricultural lands set aside for their exclusive use and benefit, commonly called “reserves”. Governments and businesses who wish to carry on activities within these lands or affecting these lands or interests should contact the appropriate First Nation government. This is intended to deal with the Collective Rights of All First Nations in Treaty 2 Territory. Collective rights are not just the sum of the rights of individual First Nations, but rather deal with those rights that are exercised collectively.
Education about Treaties has been notoriously lacking in the Canadian educational system. In fact, a “culture of denial” has been created. Slowly, through the persistent efforts of First Nations across Canada and gradually through rulings of the Supreme Court of Canada, a new culture is emerging, one based on the Rule of Law, and one which understands that working with First Nations in Treaty 2 Territory within the law is good for everyone, including businesses.
First Nations in Treaty 2 Territory are collectively ready to work together with municipalities to ensure southwestern Manitoba has a sustainable environment and a successful economy.