Through the Elikewake Compact, the Mi’kmaw, Wolastoqey, and Passamaquoddy nations ratified the Wabanaki Compact, 1725, with the British sovereign, generating an innovative treaty commonwealth that shaped constitutional law in North America. Treaties with the nations of the Wabanaki Compact created an alternative relationship to colonial narratives and myths about Indians and the wilderness. In two volumes, this book is written from a trans-systemic approach based on the traditions and perspectives of the Mi’kmaw nation through transcripts, oral history, stories, and guidance of the Mi’kmaw Grand Council. It examines the neglected structure and meaning of treaties from a trans-systemic perspective that incorporates both Indigenous and British legal traditions, and seeks to provide foundational perspective based on the law of nature, Indigenous law, and the law of nations.
Living Treaties aims to reveal another side of the treaties and their histories, focusing on stories from contemporary perspectives, both Mi'kmaw and their non-Mi'kmaw allies, who have worked with, experienced and indeed lived with the treaties at various times over the last fifty years. These authors have had experiences contesting the Crown's version of the treaty story, or have been rebuilding the Mi'kmaq and their nation with the strength of their work from their understandings of Mi'kmaw history. They share how they came to know about treaties, about the key family members and events that shaped their thinking and their activism and life's work.
With contributions from Mi'kmaw leaders, academic researchers, legal experts, non-Indigenous industry leaders, and other knowledgeable observers on all sides of the conflict, this title provides a respectful and realistic examination of Indigenous and non-Indigenous perspectives with the goal of encouraging dialogue and a shared search for lasting solutions.