By Craig Benjamin, Campaigner for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Today, October 7th, is an important moment to reflect on Canada’s long unfulfilled promise to respect the land rights of Indigenous peoples.
Two hundred and fifty years ago today, on October 7th, 1763, King George of England formally proclaimed that even as the British Crown asserted its control over North America, Indigenous peoples’ lands would continue to be protected for their use.
The Royal Proclamation of 1763 set out a clear commitment that non-Indigenous peoples’ access to the lands of Indigenous peoples would only take place if the Indigenous nations “should be inclined” to sell or cede their lands to the Crown.
The Proclamation is not merely an historic document.