Great Britain’s Claims of Ownership Of Native Peoples Lands

Posted on January 10th, 2020 by in History Read 2448 Times.

The jurisdiction of the government of Canada was fraudulently established by great Britain”s claim of ownership of native peoples lands based on fur trading agreements between Britain and France.

Fur Trade Companies of the French and British colonial empires that had claimed exclusive rights to trade for furs with the Natives, never lawfully acquired the land from the Native People through trade or agreement that the Natives were giving up any rights to the land.

The European colonists could not claim any legitimate authority over the lands beyond the small limited areas on which they lived and kept their livestock.

The control of international trade that was disputed between the monarchies was never a justification for claiming the ownership of lands inhabited and maintained by Native People.

Hudson Bay Company, in particular, claimed ownership of much of what is today known as Canada colonial territory, based on a fur trading monopoly recognized by the British Kingdom, without ever acquiring any consent from the Native People to be able to take over as the legal authority and owners of the land.

Granted by King Charles II of England on May 2, 1670, the Royal Charter gave an exclusive trading monopoly over the entire Hudson Bay drainage basin to “the Governor and Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson Bay.”

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Serving as the original articles of incorporation of Hudson’s Bay Company, the Royal Charter also sets forth the framework of the Company’s governance — by a Committee of seven, headed by the Governor and Deputy Governor — as well as the frequency of elections and meetings. In it, the King names his “dear and entirely beloved cousin” Prince Rupert as the Company’s first Governor of the territory which shall henceforth be known as “Rupert’s Land.”

In 1857, a British parliamentary select committee investigated the Hudson’s Bay Company. In the course of its hearings, the committee often directed its attention to Rupert’s Land’s First Nations.

When granted, the Charter stated that the Company was to control all lands whose rivers and streams drain into Hudson Bay — an area comprising over 1.5 million square miles, stretching from Labrador in the east as far west as the Canadian Rocky Mountains and well south of the present United States/Canada border.

In 1868, the Rupert’s Land Act paved the way for the surrender of most of Hudson’s Bay Company’s lands to the British Crown and their subsequent transfer to Canada.

Despite an obvious polarization between supporters and opponents of the company on many issues, a consensus emerged on the fate of Rupert’s Land’s indigenous citizens in what all presumed to be the inevitable European settlement of the Plains and adjacent woodlands.

Hudson’s Bay Company officials and their opponents shared the paternalistic assumption, based on 19th-century liberalism, that the Native peoples would be unable to cope with the onslaught of a supposedly superior, modern and educated population.

Without consulting the objects of their concerns, the participants at the committee’s hearings agreed that it was the task of the state and church to protect the aboriginal nations and educate them into the new order.

On this point, the committee’s report was an important omen for the subsequent history of western Canada’s Native inhabitants.

Although it is widely assumed that the royal charter that granted the land to the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1670 encompassed the entire territory, international law supports the argument that the company only had sovereignty over the relatively small portion it actually possessed and controlled.

Court cases in the following centuries involving continuing aboriginal claims to the land reflected the government’s view that the Indians had no sovereignty rights.

Latter 20th-century rulings, however, have held that the Hudson’s Bay Company never had the rightful sovereignty to return the land to the British government, which in turn gave it to Canada.

The key question is whether the Crown gained sovereignty of the land in 1670 or later in a series of treaties signed between Canada and the aboriginal nations from 1871 and 1921.

The problem of aboriginal claims is further complicated by the fact that the aboriginal nations that occupied the land involved in the treaties were not the same ones that occupied it in 1670 when the British initially claimed sovereignty.

In 1868, the Rupert’s Land Act paved the way for the surrender of most of Hudson’s Bay Company’s lands to the British Crown and their subsequent transfer to Canada. The Deed of Surrender outlined the compensation HBC was to receive from the Canadian Government in return. It was signed in November 1869, and the transfer to Canada followed on July 15, 1870 — effectively ending the Charter’s monopoly exactly 200 years after the initial grant.

In 1869 – 1870, the Hudson’s Bay Company sold most of Rupert’s Land, as well as the North-Western Territory, to the newly formed Canadian Government, pursuant to the Rupert’s Land Act 1868. This is the largest purchase of land in Canada’s history. Control was originally planned to be transferred on December 1, 1869, but due to setbacks caused by the Red River Rebellion, the government assumed control on July 15, 1870.

Canada then created the Province of Manitoba and the North-West Territories from Rupert’s Land and the former North-Western Territory, which comprised the region’s northwest of Rupert’s Land and to the north of the Colony of British Columbia.

The transaction was actually three-cornered. On November 19, 1869, the Company surrendered its claim to the lands under its letters patent back to the British Crown, which was authorized to accept the lands by the Rupert’s Land Act.

By Order-in-Council dated June 23, 1870, the British government admitted the territory to Canada, under s. 146 of the Constitution Act, 1867, effective July 15, 1870.

The Government of Canada then paid the Hudson’s Bay Company for the lands, on the terms set out in the Order-in-Council. The Company retained its most successful trading posts, one-twentieth of the best farmland in the region, and was compensated £300,000 ($1.5 million) for the remainder of the land.

On May 29, 1970, two supplemental charters were signed marking the transfer of HBC’s headquarters from London, England to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Aside from the incorporation of HBC, all previous provisions regarding land, trading monopolies, and resource extraction were officially revoked.

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Tags: british, colonial empire, colonist, constitution act, fur trade, great britain, hudson bay company, letters patent, manitoba, north west territory, order-in-council, red river rebellion, rupert's land, rupert's land act, sovereignty. Want to see all the Tags?

1 thought on “Great Britain’s Claims of Ownership Of Native Peoples Lands

  1. Pingback: Political Economies, Dispossession and Lost Commons: Land and property reforms in the Hawaiian Kingdom, Britain, Canada and Chile – Lit by Imagination

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