Seventy treaties were signed between First Nations and the Canadian Crown between 1701 and 1923. An additional 25 'modern' treaties have been signed since 1975. Collectively, these legally binding documents define the rights of Indigenous peoples and their relationship to the Canadian government, including any land and financial agreements, and rights to self-governance.
"The treaty that we have, and all of the treaties [in Canada] have been broken promises," explains Carl Quinn, 66, of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation.
Within less than a decade of Treaty 6 being signed, a pass system was introduced, whereby residents of the reserves could only leave them with a permit issued by the local Indian agent responsible for imposing government policy on the reserves. This system would last for 60 years, only ending during World War II.