client work Naskumituwin (Treaty)
client Historica Canada
run time 1 minute
project type Advertisement / PSA
director Shane Belcourt
The James Bay Treaty, also known as Treaty 9, is one of several controversial treaties with Aboriginal peoples in Canada. It was signed in 1906 and described the purchase of Cree and Ojibwe lands and resources covering most of what’s known today as Ontario. It contained provisions for payments, the creation of reserves and other rights including education, hunting, fishing and trapping. The process began with a petition from Indigenous leaders who were concerned about non-Indigenous trappers and prospecters on traditional lands. The Cree and Ojibwe people wanted to protect their lands, resources and animals. The treaty that arose, however, was largely dictated by the Dominion and Ontario governments and the Indigenous people were left essentailly without a say in the details, which favoured non-Indigenous interests. The idea of “negotiations” was mostly rhetorical and largely unfair to the Indigenous people the treaty applied to, resulting in renewed distrust of non-Indegenous governments.