"On the Great Island, both the English and the French sought alliances with the Nations on the East Coast. Most Indian Nations allied with the English because they promised to protect the Indian lands. A surrender took place in 1759 on the Plains of Abraham as France surrendered by the Articles of Capitulation of Quebec which did not include any Indian Nation during negotiations.
Following France's capitulation, the Indian Allies demanded the English remove their forts from Indian lands. When they refused, the Ottawa Chief Pontiac and force them into the Ocean.
Consequently, King George III put forth the Royal Proclamation on October 7, 1763 to outline the process and basis by which England would relate with the Indian Nations.
The Royal Proclamation is significant in that:
a) In the preamble to the Proclamation, aboriginal rights were recognized and confirmed. The Indians are referred to as 'The Indian Nations';The Royal Proclamation was presented to the Indian Nations by the Royal Majesty in the form of a binding offer to protect Indian lands (as defined by the Royal Proclamation) and to protect Indian Nations generally. This offer of protection became formally binding on Britain as it was accepted and relied upon the Indian Nations. This became the basis for the Treaty process and established the legal Trust Obligations of Britain to the Indian Nations."
b) A general prohibition was placed on the governors of the colony from issuing grants to land which had not been ceded by the Indian Nations;
c) A territory called Indian country was set aside which includes lands west of the Alleghenies but leaves out Rupertsland, Ontario and Quebec. Within the boundaries of Indian country, a prohibition was placed on settlement 'until the Crown's further pleasure be known';
d) A licensing system was established to provide for trade with the Indians.
- by Rosallee Tizya, from the country of Uuntat - the Gwich'in Nation, north of the Arctic circle. Rosalee is past Executive Director of the United Native Nations based in Vancouver, B.C. and is a commissioner of the Canadian Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.
The Royal Proclamation of 1763 had its status elevated significantly when its guarantees were formally appended to the Canadian Constitution during the Trudeau effort in 1982 (by the Constitution Act, 1982).
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