Solemn Words and Foundational Documents
In Solemn Words and Foundational Documents, Jean-Pierre Morin unpacks the complicated history of Indigenous treaties in Canada. By including the full text of eight significant treaties from across the country—each accompanied by a cast of characters, related sources, discussion questions, and an essay by the author—he teaches readers how to analyze and understand treaties as living documents.
The book begins by examining treaties concluded during the height of colonial competition, when France and Britain each sought to solidify their alliances with Indigenous peoples. It then goes on to tell the stories of treaty negotiations from across the country: the miscommunication of ideas and words from Crown representatives to treaty text; the varying ranges of rights and promises; treaty negotiations for which we have a rich oral history but limited written records; multiple phases of post-Confederation treaty-making; and the unique case of competing treaties with radically different interpretations.