The True Spirit and Original Intent of Treaty 7 is based on the testimony of over 80 elders from the five First Nations involved in Treaty 7 - the Bloods, Peigans, Siksika, Stoney, and Tsuu T'ina. Their recollections highlight the grave misconceptions and misrepresentations between the two sides, due in part to inadequate interpretation and/or deliberate attempts to mislead. The elders consistently report that the treaty as they understood it was a peace treaty, t a surrender of land, and that they had agreed to share the land with the white newcomers in exchange for resources to establish new ecomies - education, medical assistance, and annuity payments. The book provides both a historical overview of Treaty 7 and an analysis of the literature on treaties generally and Treaty 7 specifically. It makes clear that different agendas, different languages, and different world views affected each side's interpretation of events. This review of the events and interpretations surrounding Treaty 7 takes place at a time when aboriginal and indigeus peoples all over the world are re-evaluating their relationships with imperial powers. It was undertaken in good faith in hopes that it will begin a dialogue that can alter the dominant discourse of Euro-Canadian society, which has been so damaging to aboriginal people.
The editors of this collection are academics, activists, and professional organizers. They share a common interest in the role of women, both in a historical and contemporary context.