Treaty Signings

Modern treaties are nation-to-nation relationships between Indigenous peoples, the federal and provincial Crown and in some cases, a territory.

These treaties enable Indigenous peoples to rebuild their communities and nations on their own terms.

The first modern treaty came into effect in 1975, and the latest modern treaty to come into effect was in 2016.

Modern treaties define the land and resource rights of Indigenous signatories, and are intended to improve the social, cultural, political, and economic well-being of the Indigenous peoples concerned.

Also known as comprehensive land claim agreements, modern treaties are generally signed where Indigenous title and rights have not been settled.

To date, 26 modern treaties have been concluded between the Crown and Indigenous peoples, covering over 40 percent of Canada’s land mass.

More modern treaties will be signed in the coming years; more than 70 Indigenous groups are currently negotiating modern treaties with the Government of Canada.

Modern treaties address such matters as:

  • Ownership and use of land, water and natural resources, including the subsurface
  • Management of land, water, and natural resources, including fish and wildlife
  • Harvesting of fish and wildlife
  • Environmental protection and assessment
  • Economic development
  • Employment
  • Government contracting
  • Capital transfers
  • Royalties from resource development
  • Impact benefit agreements
  • Parks and conservation areas
  • Social and cultural enhancement
  • The continuing application of ordinary Indigenous and other general programming and funds
  • Self-government and public government arrangements


Modern Treaty Timeline

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