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Circles of Time

Aboriginal Land Rights and Resistance in Ontario

By David T. McNab
Subjects History, Indigenous Studies
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Paperback : 9780889203389, 288 pages, September 1999

Table of contents

Table of Contents for Circles of Time: Aboriginal Land Rights and Resistance in Ontario by David T. McNab

Foreword | Gary Potts


1. Introduction: Free and Full Possession of Their Lands: The Métis and the Treaty-Making Process in Ontario

Maps and Photos

2. We Hardly Have Any Idea of Such Bargains: Teme-Augama Anishnabai Title and Land Rights

3. A Paper Circle: The Reserves of the Assabaska First Nation

4. Wilderness and Extinction: The Lac La Croix and the Sturgeon Lake First Nations

5. Let Them Harvest Blueberries: The Magpie Negotiations and Agreement of 1987–89

6. A Failed Settlement?: The Manitoulin Island Negotiations of 1988–90

7. All in the Family: The Batchewana First Nation, Fishing and Land Rights, 1989–91

8. A Spirit of Mutual Respect: The Walpole Island First Nation and Aboriginal Title

Retrospect: Towards a Meeting Ground

Appendix A: The St. Anne Island Treaty of 1796


Select Bibliography



The origin of the events during the summer of 1990 in a little-known area of Quebec lies deep within the history of Canada. Resistance to government’s handling of land claims is not new, but the extreme and violent form of the response at Oka heralded a new approach by First Nations to the resolution of Aboriginal land and treaty rights in Canada.

Circles of Time documents the experiences of Aboriginal people, their history and recent negotiations in Ontario, and provides insight into the historiography of the treaty-making process, particularly in the last quarter-century. Controversial decisions such as the Temagami case and Oka are detailed, and McNab, who draws on archival sources that support oral history, provides a new perspective on land claims issues.

Such compelling background information will be invaluable to anyone endeavoring to understand the origin and the current controversies surrounding Aboriginal land and treaty rights, and will clarify the reasons for resistance. Above all, this book will remind us we must never forget that this history belongs to Aboriginal people. Turtle Island is their place, and their oral history can no longer be ignored.


"Anyone interested in the minefield that is native studies, and the `Indian industry' that has grown up around it, should read David McNab's book. ..a strong introduction to the contentious issue of aboriginal lands and resources. "

- David Calverley, Nipissing University, Ontario History