Aboriginal Title and the Royal Proclamation of 1763: Origins and Illusions
175 Pages Posted: 30 Dec 2019
Date Written: December 7, 2019
Some legal historians have argued that the law of Indigenous rights in Canada is a modern invention, stemming from the Calder decision in 1973. In this essay, I consider the origins of Indigenous rights in 18th and 19th century law, focusing on Aboriginal title and the Royal Proclamation of 1763. My conclusion is that the modern law is in fact grounded in ancient doctrines of common law that evolved in British North America from the early days of settlement. These doctrines were recognized and affirmed in the Royal Proclamation of 1763 and were applied in a series of leading 19th century cases.
Keywords: Aboriginal rights, Indigenous rights, Royal Proclamation of 1763, History of Indigenous Canadian peoples, Aboriginal title
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