Treaty 7 was an agreement between Queen Victoria and several, mainly Blackfoot, First Nation band governments in what is today the southern portion of Alberta. It was concluded on September 22, 1877. The agreement was signed at the Blackfoot Crossing of the Bow River, at the present-day Siksika Nation reserve, approximately 100 km (62 mi) east of Calgary. Chief Crowfoot was one of the signatories to Treaty 7.
Treaty 7 is one of 11 Numbered Treaties signed between First Nations and the Crown between 1871 and 1921. The treaty established a delimited area of land for the tribes (a reserve), promised annual payments and/or provisions from the Queen to the tribes and promised continued hunting and trapping rights on the "tract surrendered". In exchange, the tribes ceded their rights to their traditional territory, of which they had earlier been recognized as the owners.
Another signing on this treaty occurred on December 4, 1877 to accommodate some Blackfoot leaders who were not present at the primary September 1877 signing.
In 1977, Prince Charles, as a member of the Canadian Royal Family, visited Alberta to attend celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the treaty signing. Britain had transferred whatever jurisdiction over "Indians and lands reserved for the Indians" it may have had to the Province of Canada in the 1840s. This authority devolved to the federal government at Confederation in 1867 and would have applied to the area of the North-Western Territory and Rupert's Land that came into the Canadian Confederation a short time later including the part that became Alberta in 1905. The British Government in an exchange of letters at the time of the transfer of the NWT sought assurances that Canada would provide the Crown's obligation to First Nations.
List of the Treaty 7 First Nations
- Bearspaw First Nation (Stoney First Nation/Nakoda)
- Chiniki First Nation (Stoney First Nation/Nakoda)
- Blood Tribe (Kainai Nation) (Blackfoot)
- Piikani Nation (Blackfoot)
- Siksika Nation (Blackfoot)
- Tsuu T'ina Nation (Sarcee)
- Wesley First Nation (Stoney First Nation/Nakoda)
- Indian and Northern Affairs Canada: Treaty 7 text
- Alberta Online Encyclopedia Website: Treaty 7: Past and Present
- Treaty 7 Tribal Council
- Article on Treaty #7