One of Canada's longest unresolved issues is the historical and present-day failure of the country's governments to recognize treaties made between Aboriginal peoples and the Crown. Compact, Contract, Covenant is renowned historian of Native-newcomer relations J.R. Miller's exploration and explanation of more than four centuries of treaty-making. The first historical account of treaty-making in Canada, Miller untangles the complicated threads of treaties, pacts, and arrangements with the Hudson's Bay Company and the Crown, as well as modern treaties to provide a remarkably clear and comprehensive overview of this little-understood and vitally important relationship.
Covering everything from pre-contact Aboriginal treaties to contemporary agreements in Nunavut and recent treaties negotiated under the British Columbia Treaty Process, Miller emphasizes both Native and non-Native motivations in negotiating, the impact of treaties on the peoples involved, and the lessons that are relevant to Native-newcomer relations today. Accessible and informative, Compact, Contract, Covenant is a much-needed history of the evolution of treaty-making and will be required reading for decades to come.
It should become a workhorse volume for both undergraduates, who can debate its arguments and learn from its insights, and for more advanced scholars, who will, one hopes, plunge into the myriad possibilities for futher research that this work stimulates.
‘This is an ambitious book, the first history of treaty making in Canada intended for the general reader as well as for academic historians.’
'It is a superior text for students of Aboriginal history at all levels and a valuable complement to Miller's earlier survey, Skyscrapers Hide the Heavens.'