In order to interpret and implement a treaty between the Crown and Canada’s First Nations, we must look to its spirit and intent, and consider what was contemplated by the parties at the time the treaty was negotiated, argues Aimée Craft. Using a detailed analysis of Treaty One – today covering what is southern Manitoba – she illustrates how negotiations were defined by Anishinabe laws (inaakonigewin), which included the relationship to the land, the attendance of all jurisdictions’ participants, and the rooting of the treaty relationship in kinship. While the focus of this book is on Treaty One, Anishinabe laws (inaakonigewin) defined the settler-Anishinabe relationship well before this, and the principles of interpretation apply equally to all treaties with First Nations.
Aimée Craft practices law at the Public Interest Law Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and has worked with many Indigenous peoples on land, resource, consultation, human rights, and governance issues. She holds a BA, an LLB, and an LLM. She is active in the Canadian Bar Association, the Indigenous Bar Association, and is a Speaker for the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba.