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Welcome to the wiki-environment for Mapping Land Theft - An interactive map showing Crown lands expansion during the years 1680-1903 as published by the Department of Indian Affairs Canada in the Indian Treaties and Surrenders volumes I & II (1680-1890)[1] and volume III (1890-1903)[2]. These volumes, published in the years 1905 and 1912 respectively, contain original documents describing land treaties and surrenders between the Crown and First Nations. The map is a spatial-historical inquiry into the land dispensation in Canada: a mapping of Indigenous lands and of the myriad ways – from consent to coercion and theft - that these lands were transferred to Canada. It is a spatial accounting of Canada's historical colonial behaviour. Using the dates of each treaty and land surrender and an interactive timeseries application, the map animates the progression of Crown expansion in a format inspired by Saunt's (2014)[3] Interactive Map of the Loss of Indian Land in the US.

Mapping Land Theft is a collaborative project that hopes to build a community of contributors to complete the map, transcribe the documents, and continue to build this Wiki environment with more analysis, contexts and perspectives. See the How to Contribute page to learn more.

Contexts and Frameworks

The “colonial relationship” can be understood in spatial terms, in which maps have a special role. Pasternak (2017: 22)[4] writes that “settler states claim authority through taking up Indigenous space”.  Goeman (2013: 18)[5] discusses how “maps exert political control by manipulating the representation of space into a language of normativity.” To Goeman, the map objects made by colonial states and the mapping processes are instruments of power: “The development of modern nation-states depended on sending out official mapmaking expeditions as a state tool to find information that would enable the assertion of political force over territories and all contained within.” Goeman also points out that “these colonial maps were instrumental in treaty making and creating national boundaries; they are still used to regulate and determine spatial practices. Dispute of these maps was not uncommon, and tribal leaders would often draw on their own geographical interpretations to dispute the treaties. Native scholars, researchers, and mapmakers who now have more access to the archive are also using maps and documents as sources for land reclamation.”

Thus one arena of conflict between colonial power and Indigenous peoples is the map (Oliver 2011[6], Sparke 1998[7]). Brealey (1995)[8] described the 'cartographic encirclement' of the first nations in BC from 1793-1916, by which maps served to “inscribe and transmit the terms of reference” for a politics of displacement of Indigenous peoples. Bryan and Wood (2015: 74)[9] take up the now infamous assertion by Nietschmann that “more Indigenous territory has been claimed by maps than by guns. This assertion has its corollary: more Indigenous territory can be reclaimed and defended by maps than by guns.” Disputing Nietschmann, they argue that the map cannot have “transcendent outcomes”. They believe that it can “provide instead a distinct way of seeing the world and aligning the forces needed to conform reality with maps.” For colonial power, Bryan and Wood argue, “It's about maps and guns. It's about weaponizing the map.”

A map and signatures for treaty 5 from the source documents. Some of the treaties and surrenders included maps, however, most documents use only written descriptions of the subject lands.

Manuel (2017: 70)[10] wrote that “Indigenous peoples, from enjoying 100 percent of the landmass, were reduced by settlers to a tiny patchwork of reserves that consisted of only 0.2 percent of the landmass of Canada”, noting that this was “in simple acreage, the biggest land theft in the history of mankind.” This project aims to account for, analyze, map, and reveal how this land theft occurred.

Hill (2017: 240)[11] concludes that “it was unscrupulous land thefts, policy impositions, and governance interference that created an unreconciled relationship between the Crown and the Haudenosonee.” Further, Hill writes that “there cannot be reconciliation without an equitable accounting for lands and monies illegally and unethically seized.” Monture, director of Six Nations' Land Claims Research Office from 1975-2002, has done much of this detailed accounting for Six Nations, reporting that (https://uwaterloo.ca/architecture/lecture-series/philmonture) when the detailed, documented claims were presented to the Crown, the Crown simply stopped accepting claims from Six Nations[12].

These accounts and experiences are found across the Canadian colonial relationship with Indigenous lands. The Algonquins of Barriere Lake, Pasternak (2017: 8)[4] writes, have faced “the full arsenal of brutal and brazen colonial violence for attempting to define and exercise their self-determination outside of federal policies and legislation. The armory used against them includes a spectrum of weapons, most notably criminalization, financial servitude, and subjection to arcane legislation to abolish the band's customary government.” Coulthard (2014: 4)[13] summarizes two centuries of Canadian policy as a “colonial relationship” which “depended heavily on the deployment of state power geared around genocidal practices of forced exclusion and assimilation.”  Simpson (2014: 21)[14] lists a series of techniques “occupying, treating, forceful elimination, containment, assimilation, the coterminous logics and practices and languages of race and civilization” that are used to “sustain dispossession and occupation.”  Lawrence (2012: 5)[15] summarizes the colonial process as a “juggernaut of colonial settlement” that “consumed” Indigenous lands. Specific measures have been documented at length, from the residential school system, to the 1927 law making it “illegal for any person to accept payment from an Aboriginal person for the pursuit of land claims” (cited in Bryan and Wood 2015: 55)[9], to the dozens of “coups d'etat in Fourth World Canada”, in which the traditional governing authorities of First Nations were overthrown, whether in Six Nations in 1924 (Hill 2017: 215)[11] or in Barriere Lake in 1995 (Pasternak 2017: 170)[4]. These detailed historical investigations must be compiled and mapped into a national-scale study so that the history of Canadian land can also be analyzed from broader perspectives.

Coulthard (2014)[13], Simpson (2014)[14], Simpson (2011)[16], Turner (2006)[17], Alfred (2009)[18], Maracle (1996)[19], Lawrence (2012)[15], Saul (2014)[20], Manuel (2015[21], 2017[10]), among others, have articulated a concept of Indigenous resurgence: that in Canada, First Nations are developing a paradigm centered on territory and sovereignty and moving away from the colonial paradigm of gradual extinguishment of rights.

The anti-colonial theoretical frameworks deployed by these scholars inform the proposed historical inquiry. Several detailed studies of land encroachment on specific First Nations (e.g. Pasternak (2017)[4], Monture (2017)[12], Hill (2017)[11], Richardson (2008)[22]) reveal, at a finer resolution, the theoretical framework in which the Mapping Land Theft project will proceed at a coarser, national scale.

Indexes

The Indexes at the beginning of the source documents have been transcribed and uploaded to this wiki here: Index Table. The information has also been added to each treaty's page by treaty number.

Treaty Pages

Treaty Pages
Volumes 1 & 2 Volume 3
Treaty # (page link) Date Polygon Transcription Treaty # (page link) Date Polygon Transcription
1 1781/05/12 281 1851/05/22
2 1790/05/19 282 1889/09/02
3 1792/12/19 283 1890/05/12
3.5 1793/04/01 284 1890/05/19
3.75 1795/10/24 285 1890/04/31
4 1793/01/14 286 1881/01/04
4.25 1796/05/20 287 1890/07/29
4.5 1680/05/29 288 1890/09/29
5 1798/05/22 289 1890/07/25
6 1796/09/07 290 1890/05/23
7 1796/09/07 291 1890/12/29
8 1797/08/21 292 1890/12/29
9 1798/01/15 293 1891/01/05
10 1798/02/05 294 1891/04/13
11 1798/06/30 295 1891/04/13
12 1800/09/11 296 1882/02/06
13 1787/09/23 297 1891/07/23
13a 1805/08/02 298 1891/09/07
14 1806/09/05 299 1880/06/12
15 1809/11/14 300 1876/12/22
16 1815/11/17 301 1886/08/13
17 1816/08/05 302 1888/12/11
18 1818/10/17 303 1891/01/11
19 1818/10/28 304 1891/12/23
20 1818/11/05 305 1892/03/22
21 1819/03/09 306 1892/04/28
22 1820/02/28 307 1892/04/28
23 1820/02/28 308 1892/04/28
24 1820/7/20 309 1892/04/28
25 1822/07/08 310 1888/03/05
26 1822/10/14 311 1888/11/27
27 1819/05/31 312 1891/03/18
27.25 1822/11/28 313 1891/03/18
27.5 1825/04/26 314 1891/10/17
28 1826/04/12 315 1892/06/09
28.5 1826/08/04 316 1888/05/05
29 1827/07/10 317 1892/05/30
30 1830/04/19 318 1892/06/02
31 1831/04/19 319 1892/05/11
32 1831/06/06 320 1892/06/28
33 1830/06/06 321 1892/05/05
34 1831/06/06 322 1892/05/19
35 1833/08/13 323 1891/12/02
36 1833/11/18 324 1892/08/06
37 1834/02/05 325 1892/09/22
38 1834/02/08 326 1890/05/12
39 1835/03/26 327 1890/05/10
40 1835/04/02 328 1890/05/19
40.5 1835/12/15 329 1889/08/30
41 1835/12/23 330 1893/01/02
41.5 1835/01/20 331 1856/09/04
42 1836/02/02 332 1892/12/04
42.5 1836/03/10 333 1893/01/14
43 1836/03/01 334 1893/02/23
44 1836/05/25 335 1893/03/29
45 1836/08/09 336 1892/10/03
45.2 1836/08/09 337 1893/06/17
45.5 1836/08/09 338 1893/06/20
46 1836/09/20 339 1893/06/09
47 1836/10/25 340 1893/05/09
48 1839/02/08 341 1893/06/14
48.5 1837/04/03 342 1893/09/04
49 1838/06/15 343 1892/09/18
50 1841/01/18 344 1893/10/21
51 1843/04/15 345 1894/01/24
52 1834/11/03 346 1892/11/02
53 1844/06/03 347 1893/10/17
53.5 1843/08/18 348 1894/01/24
54 1845/02/20 349 1889/08/05
55 1845/04/29 350 1894/03/27
56 1846/07/11 351 1894/02/13
57 1847/06/01 352 1894/03/17
58 1848/02/12 353 1894/04/16
58.5a 1847/01/12 354 1894/06/12
58.5b 1849/02/13 355 1894/04/10
58.5c 1849/02/13 356 1894/11/05
58.5d 1849/02/13 357 1893/08/03
58.5e 1849/02/13 358 1894/10/22
59 359 1894/10/09
60 1850/09/07 360 1894/08/13
61 1850/09/09 361 1894/12/05
65 1831/05/18 362 1895/04/10
65.5 1843/01/04 363 1895/05/27
66 1852/06/17 364 1895/07/15
66.25 1848/01/18 365 1894/04/21
66.5 1851/03/06 366A 1895/04/10
67 366B 1895/06/06
68 1850/11/08 367 1895/09/02
68.5 1852/07/28 368 1894/09/21
69 1852/08/25 369 1895/08/13
70 1852/12/03 370A 1895/09/12
71 1853/07/19 370B 1899/05/18
71.5 1854/05/10 370C 1906-09-20
72 1854/10/13 371 1895/11/06
74 1834/04/19 372 1895/12/10
75 1855/04/10 373 1894/09/02
75.5 1856/01/31 374 1895/12/19
76 1856/06/05 375 1895/09/14
77 1856/06/19 376 1896/05/16
78 1856/06/24 377 1896/04/21
79 1857/02/09 378 1896/04/15
80 1857/01/16 379 1895/10/24
80.5 1857/01/19 380 1882/10/17
81 1856/07/04 381 1781/05/09
82 1857/02/09 382 1895/10/09
83 1857/04/09 383 1897/06/23
84 1839/02/08 384 1897/08/16
85 1857/07/21 385 1897/02/11
86 1857/07/21 386 1897/06/07
87 1843/11/29 387 1897/08/31
88 1842/05/17 388 1897/06/06
89 1842/08/03 389 1896/06/26
90 1843/07/12 390 1897/08/23
91a 1859/06/09 391 1897/09/11
91b 1859/06/10 392 1897/12/18
91c 1859/06/11 393 1896/09/26
92 1859/07/05 394 1898/01/14
93 1861/08/16 395 1898/06/04
94 1862/10/06 396 1898/06/04
95 1862/09/26 397 1898/05/31
96 1848/01/18 398 1898/05/31
97 1863/02/27 399 1898/05/24
98 1862/11/06 400 1898/05/24
99 1826/08/03 401 1898/06/08
100 1841/03/13 402 1898/05/21
101 1842/03/08 403 1898/06/04
103 1865/08/16 404 1898/10/12
104 1856/04/21 405 1898/08/13
105 1865/09/21 406A 1898/10/29
106 1784/10/25 406B 1989-11-11
107 1866/12/13 407 1898/12/09
108 1867/03/26 408 1899/07/01
109 1865/08/19 409 1897/10/11
110 1868/07/07 410 1899/01/13
111 1867/07/09 411 1899/01/26
112 1869/05/17 412 1742/03/08
113 1869/06/25 413 1794/02/26
113.5 1869/08/04 414 1899/05/13
114 1868/07/04 415 1894/05/03
116 1786/05/15 416A
116.5 1869/08/04 416B
117 1868/08/14 417
118 1841/11/08 418
119 1871/05/05 419
120 1866/06/26 420
121 1870/01/20 421
122 1870/09/03 422
123 1871/04/26 423 1899/07/19
124 1817/07/18 424 1899/09/08
124.1 1875/08/23 425 1899/08/14
124.2 1875/08/30 426 1899/07/18
124.3 427 1899/10/31
124.4 428 1890/06/21
125 1871/08/21 429 1900-01-03
126 1872/01/18 430 1900-01-08
127 1872/01/17 431 1894/05/31
128 1870/12/05 432 1900-03-05
129 1873/03/07 433
130 1872/05/20 434 1900-05-12
131,132 435 1900-05-25
133 1867/04/15 436 1900-05-09
134 1873/09/10 437 1900-04-07
135 1874/09/21 438 1900-09-10
136 1873/08/19 439 1900-07-18
137 1859/04/07 440 1900-12-05
138 1870/04/07 441 1900-10-17
140 1874/11/25 442 1900-12-20
141 1874/11/27 443 1900-12-29
142 1874/07/15 444 1901-06-10
143 1875/01/14 445 1901-07-19
144 1875/05/17 446 1901-04-26
145 1875/08/07 447 1900-07-20
146 1875/08/20 448 1901-03-21
147 1875/08/26 449 1901-03-21
148 1839/06/17 450 1901-09-25
149A 1875/09/24 451 1901-10-03
149B 1875/09/28 452 1901-11-26
149C 1876/09/07 453 1892/03/04
149D 1876/09/07 454 1901-12-16
149E 1876/08/04 455 1902-01-20
149F 1876/07/26 456 1902-03-29
150 1875/09/29 457 1902-03-29
152 1779/08/02 458 1902-05-21
153 1874/03/24 459 1902-07-07
154 1876/08/31 460 1902-10-17
155 1876/09/01 461 1902-05-12
156 1877/01/18 462 1902-07-24
157A 1876/09/09 463 1902-11-07
157B 1877/08/09 464 1902-10-30
157C 1877/09/25 465 1902-10-29
157D 1878/08/19 466 1902-10-29
157E 1878/08/29 467 1903-01-08
157F 1878/09/03 468 1902-12-26
157G 1878/09/18 469 1902-06-16
157H 1879/07/02 470 1902-08-29
158 1876/02/10 471 1902-08-27
159 472 1903-01-30
160 1876/06/28 473 1903-01-16
161 1887/03/13 474 1902-12-01
162 1877/08/20 475 1903-06-18
163 1877/09/22 476 1903-04-20
164 1871/09/24 477 1903-07-20
165 1872/01/17 478
166 1877/15/11 479
167 1877/12/21 480 1903-08-24
168 1878/01/15 481 1903-10-24
168.5 1878/02/18 482 1903-11-27
169 1879/03/20 483 1902-03-07
170 1876/06/28
171 1879/05/09
172 1879/08/29
173 1880/02/19
175
176 1880/08/20
177
178
179 1880/04/27
180 1881/01/08
182 1881/04/30
183 1881/03/07
184 06/10/1881
185 1881/07/27
186 1881/01/28
187 1877/12/21
188 1809/11/19
189 1882/02/14
190 1806/05/02
191 1840/10/07
192 1882/01/30
193 1840/02/21
194 1837/08/29
195 1882/04/25
196 1882/09/06
197 1882/08/17
198 1882/12/15
199 1882/11/13
200 1882/12/21
201 1882/12/08
202 1884/02/07
203 1884/02/01
204 1884/02/04
205 1883/07/25
206 1867/06/20
207 1883/05/31
208 1883/05/08
209 1883/12/28
210 1883/09/28
211 1883/12/24
212 1883/05/01
213 1885/01/14
214 1885/01/17
215 1879/05/07
216 1879/05/07
217 1885/04/29
218 1885/05/06
219 1885/09/14
220 1885/09/29
221 1885/11/04
222 1885/10/07
223 1885/10/07
224 1887/05/14
225 1886/07/18
226 1886/07/05
227 1841/06/21
228 1840/10/09
229 1841/09/14
230 1840/11/26
231 1844/03/08
232 1844/06/02
233 1848/12/20
234 1842/03/12
235 1867/03/08
236 1886/12/16
237 1886/09/09
238 1886/08/02
239 1725/12/15
240 1887/06/11
241 1887/11/09
242 1885/07/10
243 1887/04/27
244 1887/05/14
245 1887/09/22
246 1887/10/11
247 1886/12/04
248 1888/12/04
249 1888/01/05
250 1888/01/17
251 1885/05/06
252 1888/02/16
253 1888/02/16
254 1887/11/05
255 1882/04/28
256 1874/06/13
257 1887/12/26
258 1888/06/29
259 1888/08/29
260 1888/07/06
261 1886/10/08
262 1888/12/01
263 1889/01/18
264 1888/12/27
265 1889/02/11
266 1855/05/27
267 1889/05/17
268 1888/05/15
269 1889/06/06
270 1889/06/26
271 1889/06/04
272 1889/06/04
273 1888/11/19
274 1889/07/31
275 1887/12/26
276 1889/08/23
277 1889/08/23
278 1890/01/08
279 1890/03/14
280 1890/03/18
280.5 1820/05/09
Appendix. Seeds Sault St. Louis and Caughnawaga Reserve 1874/06/09



  1. Canada Department of Indian Affairs. Indian Treaties and Surrenders, from 1680-1890. Ottawa: S.E. Dawson printer to the King’s most excellent majesty, 1905
  2. Canada. Indian Treaties and Surrenders from No. 281 to No. 483. CIHM/ICMH Digital Series = CIHM/ICMH Collection Numérisée. Ottawa: C.H. Parmelee, 1912.
  3. Saunt, C. (2014). West of the Revolution: An Uncommon History of 1776. WW Norton & Company.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Pasternak, S. (2017). Grounded Authority: The Algonquins of Barriere Lake Against the State. University of Minnesota Press. Winnipeg.
  5. Goeman, M. (2013). Mark my words: Native women mapping our nations. University of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis.
  6. Oliver, J. (2011). On mapping and its afterlife: Unfolding landscapes in northwestern North America. World Archaeology, 43(1), 66-85.
  7. Sparke, M. (1998). A map that roared and an original atlas: Canada, cartography, and the narration of nation. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 88(3), 463-495.
  8. Brealey, K. G. (1995). Mapping Them ‘Out’: Euro‐Canadian Cartography and the Appropriation of the Nuxalk and Ts'ilhqot ‘In First Nations’ Territories, 1793–1916. The Canadian Geographer/Le Géographe canadien, 39(2), 140-156.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Bryan, J., & Wood, D. (2015). Weaponizing maps: Indigenous peoples and counterinsurgency in the Americas. Guilford Publications.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Manuel, A. (2017). The Reconciliation Manifesto: Recovering the Land, Rebuilding the Economy. Toronto, ON: James Lorimer & Company.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Hill, S. M. (2017). The Clay We are Made of: Haudenosaunee Land Tenure on the Grand River. University of Manitoba Press. Winnipeg.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Monture, P. (2017). “A Global Solution for the Six Nations of the Grand River.” Presented as part of Treaty Lands, Global Stories. University of Waterloo School of Architecture. On Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_BqiOc8m2E/. Accessed October 1, 2017.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Coulthard, G. S. (2014). Red skin, White masks. University of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Simpson, A. (2014). Mohawk interruptus: Political life across the borders of settler states. Duke University Press.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Lawrence, B. (2012). Fractured Homeland: Federal Recognition and Algonquin Identity in Ontario. Vancouver, BC: UBC Press.
  16. Simpson, L. (2011). Dancing on our turtle's back: Stories of nishnaabeg re-creation, resurgence and a new emergence. Arbeiter Ring Pub
  17. Turner, D. A. (2006). This is not a peace pipe: Towards a critical indigenous philosophy. University of Toronto Press.
  18. Alfred, T. (2009). Wasase. University of Toronto Press. Toronto.
  19. Maracle, L. (1996). I am woman: A native perspective on sociology and feminism. Global Professional Publishing.
  20. Saul, J. R. (2014). The Comeback: How Aboriginals Are Reclaiming Power And Influence. Penguin Canada.
  21. Manuel, A. (2015). Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-Up Call. Toronto, ON: Between the Lines.
  22. Richardson, B. (2008). Strangers devour the land. Chelsea Green Publishing. Vermont.