The Royal Proclamation of 1763 and the Pre-Confederation Treaties
The Royal Proclamation issued by King George III on October 7, 1763 created systems of government in areas previously controlled by France and provided for the protection of First Nation territories by establishing First Nation ‘hunting grounds’. No European settlement, occupation, or infringement would be permitted in these ‘hunting grounds’ without the consent of the Crown.
The Proclamation recognised First Nation occupation and use of territories not already treated. This document was the first major reason for the Treaties of the Pre-Confederation and Post-Confederation eras in Canada. It also established the ‘Trust Relationship’ between the Crown and First Nations by stating that only the Crown could ‘purchase’ the land from the First Nations.
Several Treaties were entered into after the Royal Proclamation of 1763 and before Confederation in 1867. These include the Upper Canada Treaties, the Robinson Treaties, the Douglas Treaties, and the Selkirk Treaty.