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The federal government is seeking the views of groups of Treaty First Nations on how the historic treaties and treaty issues can be understood in contemporary terms.These discussions allow the parties to develop a common understanding of the issues and consider ways to move into a relationship oriented to the future.In addition to building these partnerships, settling specific claims helps economic development on Aboriginal lands and in surrounding communities.

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Over the next several centuries, treaties were signed to define, among other things, the respective rights of Aboriginal people and governments to use and enjoy lands that Aboriginal people traditionally occupied.

Treaties include historic treaties made between 17 and modern-day treaties known as comprehensive land claim settlements.

The Crown could purchase land from a First Nation group that had agreed to the sale at a public meeting of the group.

Several treaties were signed after the Royal Proclamation and before Confederation in 1867.

Claims are accepted when it is determined that Canada has breached its lawful obligation to a First Nation.

In , announced January 7, 1998, the Government of Canada affirmed that both historic and modern-day treaties will continue to be key elements in the future relationship between Aboriginal people and the Crown.

To date, the federal government has settled 15 comprehensive claims with Aboriginal people in Canada.

Specific claims arise when there is an outstanding historical grievance between a First Nation and the Crown that relates to an unfulfilled obligation of a treaty or another agreement, or a breach of statutory responsibilities by the Crown.

These include the Upper Canada Treaties (1764 to 1862) and the Vancouver Island Treaties (1850 to 1854).

Under these treaties, the First Nations surrendered interests in lands in areas of what are now Ontario and British Columbia.

Since many important treaty provisions are of direct interest to them, provincial governments will also have an important role in this process.

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