Treaties are commitments recognized by the highest law in Canada, the Canadian Constitution Act. We all need to work together through Treaty commitments to achieve harmony between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous People. This is what the Moccasin Identifier aims to do.

We Are All Treaty People

But what does this mean?

Following in the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Final Report, the Moccasin Identifier teaches Treaties to restore harmony between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous People; as Treaties are the foundation for the Indigenous-Crown relationship and the non-indigenous presence in Canada.

As stated by the office of the Treaty Commissioner, the treaties are an integral part of the fabric of our Constitution. They form the bedrock foundation of the relationship between the Treaty First Nations and the Government of Canada. It is from the treaties that all things must flow in the treaty relationship. They represent the common intersection both historically and politically between nations. They created a relationship which is perpetual and unalterable in its foundation principles. The treaties are the basis for a continuous intergovernmental relationship.”

Treaties are negotiated agreements that define the rights, responsibilities and relationships between Aboriginal groups and federal and provincial governments. The treaty system was a means by which the Crown gained sovereignty, without military intervention, over the west in order to open it up for settlers. In return for pledging allegiance to the Crown the chiefs and their communities received promises (each Treaty is different) in exchange for the majority of their land. The Constitution Act 1982 reaffirmed and upheld all historic treaties made between 1701 and 1923, as well as modern land claim settlements.

Through the power of education in school settings and public places, the Moccasin Identifier aims to change the world, one child at a time, by teaching Treaties.

As stated by Senator Murray Sinclair, “It was education that got us into this, and it will be education that gets us out.”

Area Identified as our Traditional Territory

The Mississaugas of the Credit came to view the territory they occupied and used in Southern Ontario as their traditional territory.  In the 1800s several detailed and consistent geographical descriptions of what was by then considered the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit were outlined in written documents. One such description was provided to the Governor General by Chiefs Joseph Sawyer and John Jones in 1844:

The extent of county owned and possessed by the River Credit Indians from time immemorial, extended as far down as the river Rouge then up the said river Rouge to its source, thence Westerly along the dividing ridge between Lake Huron and Ontario to the head water of the Thames thence Southernly to Long Point on Lake Erie, thence down Lake Erie, Niagara River, and lake Ontario to the place of the beginning.