Mi'kmaq Treaties on Trial: History, Land, and Donald Marshall Junior

Mi'kmaq Treaties on Trial: History, Land, and Donald Marshall Junior

by William C. Wicken


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Mi'kmaq Treaties on Trial: History, Land, and Donald Marshall Junior by William C. Wicken

In 1725-6 the British colonial government of Nova Scotia signed a treaty of friendship and peace with the local Mi'kmaq people. This treaty explicitly acknowledged the co-existence of Mi'kmaq and British law - but much of its meaning stemmed from its complex negotiation, which was influenced by the history of aboriginal-European relations in Acadia prior to 1726. William Wicken argues that after 1749 a more forceful British military presence led officials to re-interpret the treaty in the light of its own interests.

From 1994 to 1996, the author was an expert witness for the defence at the Marshall trial, during which the Supreme Court of Canada integrated aboriginal perspectives on treaty-making into current interpretations. Dr Wicken was one of the historians who gathered and presented the historical evidence to the court.

This timely and original work intersperses close analysis of the 1726 treaty with discussions of the Marshall case, and shows how the inter-cultural relationships and power dynamics of the past, have shaped both the law and the social climate of the present. The author argues that the treaties must be viewed in their historical context, and that of the oral tradition of Mi'kmaq people, to be properly understood.

Current high-profile legal cases involving aboriginal rights lend this work a special significance among the legal and academic communities, where it is destined to spark debate. It is of particular relevance to history and native studies students.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802076656
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date: 04/13/2002
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.94(w) x 8.78(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

William Wicken is an associate professor in the department of history at York University.

Table of Contents

Part 1The Mi'kmaq in 1726
25 November 1993, Halifax, Nova Scotia19
1.The Mi'kmaq and Land25
2.The Mi'kmaq Polity40
Part 2The 1726 Treaty
Article of Peace and Agreement: Annapolis Royal 172661
Reciprocal Promises Made by Captain John Doucett: 172663
21 November 1994, Antigonish, Nova Scotia66
3.The Genesis of the 1726 Treaty: The Wabanaki--New England War of 1722-172571
4.The Languages of Communication88
5.The 1726 Treaty and Utrecht99
6.Establishing Laws, Establishing Relationships118
7.British Politics and Treaty Making140
Part 3Renewing the 1726 Treaty
Treaty of Peace and Friendship163
February 1996, Halifax, Nova Scotia165
8.The Founding of Halifax: Re-interpreting the 1726 Treaty169
9.The 1760-1761 Treaties191
Part 4The 1726 Treaty in History and Law
27 June 1996, Antigonish, Nova Scotia213
September to November 1999225
Glossary of Names237
Glossary of Places241
Illustration Credits295
Illustrations through Text
Contemporary map of the Atlantic regionxiii
Treaty of 1726, dated 4 June 1726, showing Aboriginal signatures22
Typescript copy of the Aboriginal signatures23
Reciprocal promises made by the British to the Mi'kmaq65
Aboriginal signatures on the 4 June 1726 treaty155
Andrew Alex, put'us, with Mi'kmaq wampum belts223

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