The First Nations and Treaties map of Ontario was created by the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation and distributed to school boards in June 2014 to increase awareness among educators and students about treaties in Ontario. Providing schools with a copy of the map supports the vision of Ontario’s First Nation, Métis and Inuit Education Policy Framework, which is, “to increase the knowledge and awareness about First Nation, Métis, and Inuit cultures, histories, traditions, and perspectives for all students in Ontario.” (pg. 7)
All Ontarians should have opportunities to explore the histories, cultures, perspectives and contributions of the Indigenous peoples of Canada. To support this learning in schools, the Ontario government has worked in collaboration with First Nations, Métis and Inuit partners to create a suite of curriculum-linked resources and information tools for educators. The First Nations and Treaties map complements these resources.
The development of the map also celebrated the 250th anniversary of the Treaty of Fort Niagara by drawing attention to the importance and impact of treaty relationships in Ontario. The Royal Proclamation of 1763 formalized the ground rules for treaty-making across what is now Canada. On August 1, 1764, the Treaty of Fort Niagara renewed and extended the series of Crown commercial and military alliances with the First Nations of northeastern North America. Many of these First Nations upheld this alliance by supporting Britain in the War of 1812, ensuring the survival of British North America.
Ideas for using this map in the school and classroom
There are a number of ways you can use this map to raise the profile of Ontario treaties in your community. These include but are not limited to:
This map is intended for educators to help them support increased knowledge and awareness about treaties in Ontario in a variety of curriculum areas. It provides a general illustration of treaty areas for information purposes. It has been developed using a number of publicly available resources. For more information, please see the disclaimer/information note on the map.
With these examples as a starting point, educators can support students in engaging and culturally-sensitive learning opportunities in the class, school and broader community.