Proposal Title

SESSION 1.1: A Fresh Look at the History of the Vancouver Island Treaties

Presentation Type

Individual paper

Location

IB 1015

Start Date

4-5-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

4-5-2019 10:30 AM

Disciplines

Canadian History

Abstract

Despite the abundant scholarship on the Vancouver Island Treaties, many misconceptions persist about the history of those treaties. It is possible that I will not be able to develop one central argument for my presentation, but I will defend several arguments that do not exist at present in the literature, or that contradict the existing literature. My paper will argue that a careful examination of the evidence will show that the idea to negotiate agreements with Indigenous people on Vancouver Island originated with the top governors of the HBC (not with the British Colonial Office, and not with James Douglas), despite the fact that the HBC normally did not concluded treaties with Indigenous people. They sought those treaties for several expedient reasons, not because they (or personnel in the Colonial Office) believed the indigenous people of Vancouver Island had enforceable land rights. While I will agree that the Vancouver Island Treaties were, first and foremost oral agreements, I will also argue that it was to be expected that the HBC would look to the New Zealand Land Company (not Canada) when it sought to render the agreements in writing (in fact, I will identify the particular New Zealand land deed that was the basis of the written version of the Vancouver Island Treaties). I will argue that the evidence suggests that all of the parties understood that the agreements involves land surrenders.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
May 4th, 9:00 AM May 4th, 10:30 AM

SESSION 1.1: A Fresh Look at the History of the Vancouver Island Treaties

IB 1015

Despite the abundant scholarship on the Vancouver Island Treaties, many misconceptions persist about the history of those treaties. It is possible that I will not be able to develop one central argument for my presentation, but I will defend several arguments that do not exist at present in the literature, or that contradict the existing literature. My paper will argue that a careful examination of the evidence will show that the idea to negotiate agreements with Indigenous people on Vancouver Island originated with the top governors of the HBC (not with the British Colonial Office, and not with James Douglas), despite the fact that the HBC normally did not concluded treaties with Indigenous people. They sought those treaties for several expedient reasons, not because they (or personnel in the Colonial Office) believed the indigenous people of Vancouver Island had enforceable land rights. While I will agree that the Vancouver Island Treaties were, first and foremost oral agreements, I will also argue that it was to be expected that the HBC would look to the New Zealand Land Company (not Canada) when it sought to render the agreements in writing (in fact, I will identify the particular New Zealand land deed that was the basis of the written version of the Vancouver Island Treaties). I will argue that the evidence suggests that all of the parties understood that the agreements involves land surrenders.