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Empire by TreatyNegotiating European Expansion, 1600-1900$
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Saliha Belmessous

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199391783

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199391783.001.0001

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The Acquisition of Aboriginal Land in Canada

The Acquisition of Aboriginal Land in Canada

The Genealogy of an Ambivalent System (1600–1867)

Chapter:
(p.101) 5 The Acquisition of Aboriginal Land in Canada
Source:
Empire by Treaty
Author(s):

Alain Beaulieu

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199391783.003.0005

For more than a century after the conquest of New France, the system for acquiring native land in Canada was ambivalent, characterized by two distinct methods: unilateral dispossession and land treaties. Focusing on the colonies of central and eastern Canada, this chapter discusses the factors that led to the implementation of this differentiated system, from the beginning of the French colonization of America to the creation of Canada in 1867. The “genealogical” perspective adopted here recognizes the existence of legal norms while also taking into account their variability, mutations, and interchangeability depending on the context. Such an approach highlights the detours, improvisations, and tinkering done in the development of fictions intended to legitimate the appropriation of Aboriginal lands.

Keywords:   Aboriginal lands, Aboriginal rights, Royal Proclamation 1763, Indian reserves, land treaties, dispossession, subjecthood, Canada

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