- Describe the female Indigenous leader featured in this chapter and her accomplishments.
Answer: Koñwatsiˀtsiaiéñni (Mary Brant) was the sister of Joseph Brant (Thayendanega). As a matron of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, she had a great deal of influence in the community and had great diplomatic abilities. She used these abilities to lead the majority of the Haudenosaunee into an alliance with the British against the American Revolution. She was married to Sir William Johnson, which also gave her considerable influence with European colonizers. Her capacity to move between the two worlds also had an impact upon the Peace of Paris in 1783.
- Briefly discuss the nature of early treaties with the British and some of the challenges encountered in negotiating them.
Answer: Similar to prior treaties with the French, early treaties were referred to as “peace and friendship” treaties. However, the British insisted on written versions; another new component was that they would not interfere within these Indigenous territories. These treaties were aimed at living more harmoniously and guaranteeing the hunting, fishing, and lifestyle rights of First Peoples at the time. However, the British also attempted to garner Indigenous acknowledgment of British jurisdiction over Nova Scotia and Acadia. This was difficult to do because Indigenous people did not presume to speak for other groups. Additionally, differences in communication traditions such as written versus oral traditions often impeded the treaty process. By the same token, language issues emerged in translating what was intended by the treaties. Interpreters were not considered to be the authorities to speak for all, especially within different Indigenous groups. As such, there was suspicion and distrust that developed on both sides.
- Discuss the significant difference between early treaties and treaties negotiated after the Proclamation of 1763.
Answer: Early treaties did not deal with land transfers. After the Proclamation of 1763, its provisions took away the focus on peace and shifted it to land issues. The Crown’s purpose was to acquire land and to encourage First Peoples to sign land cessions. Through this cession process, Canada acquired approximately half of its land. Annuities also began to replace one-time cash payments. There are still debates as to whether the Proclamation simply recognized existing rights to land for First Peoples, or if it created it.