Indigenous Land Agreements

In this gathering, participants will learn about relationships between Indigenous peoples and the land, and how these relationships factor into treaty agreements, land claims and rights. Participants will also come to understand the differing land agreements the government has negotiated with First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples.  The following websites, books, and articles informed the development of this gathering.

To view any of the resources listed below, click on the highlighted title.


The following websites provide information on Land Agreements in Canada.


  • Hatt, K. (1986). North-West Rebellion Scrip Commissions, 1885-1889. In F. L. Barron and J. B. Waldram (Eds), 1885 and After: Native Society In Transition (pp. 189-204). Regina, SK: Canadian Plains Research Center.

Hatt discusses treaty and scrip as two distinct mechanisms for extinguishing claims to lands held by Native people after the annexation of Manitoba and the North-West. The author describes the North-West Rebellion scrip commissions, criteria used to define a scrip commission, the legislative basis for the commission, land claims for River Lot Frontage, the claims of the “rebels”, Métis withdrawing from treaty status, scrip for Métis who were not children of Métis, land scrip and money scrip, and scrip for Métis living outside areas ceded by treaty.

  • Tough, F. (1999). Métis Scrip Commissions: 1885-1924, In K. Fung (Ed.), Atlas of Saskatchewan (pp. 62). University of Saskatchewan Bookstore: Saskatoon, SK.

This document provides facts and figures on Métis Scrip Commissions from 1885 to 1924 and explains Métis identity and historical roles in the fur trade.  The document provides descriptions of terms used for Métis self-identification, allocation of scrip, enfranchisement of treaty “Indians” for scrip, and the purpose and outcome of issuing scrip. The document also provides figures of data statistics on scrip applications and grants from 1880-1931.


  • Cardinal, H. & Hildebrandt, W. (2000). Treaty Elders of Saskatchewan: Our Dream is that Our People Will One Day be Clearly Recognized as Nations. University of Calgary Press: Calgary, AB.

Cardinal and Hildebrandt describe the treaty-making process between the Canadian government and First Nations in Saskatchewan from the perspectives of First Nations Elders who are keepers of oral tradition and history. Although Cree words are used to describe First Nations concepts, the book also relies on accounts by Saulteaux, Dene, and Assiniboine Elders, and presents an understanding of treaties based on spiritual foundations and beliefs. 

  • Purich, D. (1992). The Inuit and Their Land: The Story of Nunavut. Toronto, ON: James Lorimer & Company.

Purich illustrates the realities and history of Inuit people in the North West Territories and describes the Inuit people’s efforts to reform the region as the new territory of Nunavut.  The book also details Inuit land claims, land agreements, economic obstacles, and efforts for self-government. 

  • The Office of the Treaty Commissioner. (1998). Statement of Treaty Issues: The Five Treaties in Saskatchewan. Author: Saskatoon, SK.

This report on Saskatchewan treaties, released by the Office of the Treaty Commissioner in 1998, outlines the knowledge and understanding of treaties according to the viewpoints of First Nations leaders, Elders, and treaty experts. Documentary and oral history sources make up the basis of the report. However, the oral history of First Nations people is acknowledged as an important component of understanding the formation of treaties, past and current issues surrounding discussions on the treaty relationship, and treaties as a bridge to the future.  The appendices identify schedules and participants of the exploratory treaty table meetings and treaty Elders’ forums that make up the basis of the report, and basic data on the five numbered Saskatchewan treaties: 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10.