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Williams Treaty Displayed at Main branch – Wednesday, November 7

Web banner for Indigenous progams and collections. Shows the book covers of three Indigenous books.

Treaties Recognition Week is celebrated the first week of November and it recognizes the importance of treaties and increases awareness of treaty relationships. On Wednesday, November 7, Library and Archives Canada will be displaying the Williams Treaty 1923 – a handwritten treaty between the King and the Chippewa Chiefs and Headmen of Christian Island, Georgina Island and Rama – at OPL's Main branch (120 Metcalfe Street) from 10 am to 7 pm.  An archivist from Library and Archives Canada will be on site throughout the day to explain the treaty and answer questions. Everyone is welcome!


About the Williams Treaties


The signing of both of the Williams Treaties in 1923 marked the last historic land cession treaties in Ontario. The treaties involve three large parcels of land and implicate a total of 12,944,400 acres (more than 20,000 square kilometers) in southcentral Ontario.


At the time, settlers were already using the land. The Chippewa of Lake Simcoe and the Mississauga of the north shore of Lake Ontario signed the treaties, which provided a one-time payment for the Indigenous signatories.


They were the only treaties at the time in which First Nations apparently surrendered their hunting and fishing rights. The First Nations, who had also signed earlier Pre-Confederation treaties, contend they did not agree to give up these rights when they signed the treaties. This clause in the treaty devastated the traditional economy and brought the process, terms, interpretation and implementation of these treaties into question.


The Williams Treaty First Nations are now the Alderville First Nation, Beausoleil First Nation, Chippewas of Georgina Island, Chippewas of Rama, Curve Lake First Nation, Hiawatha First Nation, and Mississaugas of Scugog Island.


In 1992, the seven First Nations initiated the Alderville litigation, which went to court in 2012. In September 2018, the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the seven First Nations reached a negotiated settlement agreement that resolves the litigation.



Williams Treaty, 1923

Between his Majesty the King and the Chippewa Chiefs and Headmen of Christian Island, Georgina Island and Rama

Handwritten manuscript

Library and Archives Canada, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development fonds, e002996465, 469, 473

© Government of Canada



what a great idea ! sorry I missed seeing them but this web post was informative.I did not know about the Williams Treaties.

Colleen Glass