Royal Proclamation 1763

Category: Event
Date: 7 October 1763
Sub Category:Declaration
Alternative Names:
  • Royal Proclamation of Canada
  • Subject Matter:Recognition of Traditional Rights and Interests | Recognition of Native Title or Traditional Ownership
    Summary Information:
    The Royal Proclamation of 1763, issued by King George III, is considered a ‘defining document in the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in North America’ (Royal Commission, 10). The Proclamation came about as a result of the British acquisition of Quebec and sets out to identify the rules governing British dealings with Aboriginal people with particular reference to issues relating to land.
    Detailed Information:
    The Proclamation affirmed the doctrine of Aboriginal title stating clearly that transactions involving Aboriginal land had to be properly negotiated. Land was to be acquired by fair dealing only, through treaty or purchase by the Crown. Furthermore, Aboriginal people were not to be 'molested or disturbed' on their lands. The Proclamation depicts Indian nations as 'autonomous political entities, living under the protection of the Crown but retaining their own internal political authority' (Royal Commission, 10). It both safeguards Aboriginal rights and establishes a process to permit British settlement. 'While it is no longer viewed as the source of Aboriginal title […] the Proclamation represents the high water mark in acknowledging Aboriginal rights in the first phase of the relationship between the British and Canada’s Indigenous peoples' (Nettheim et al, 83).

    Related Entries

  • Robinson Treaties
  • Manitoulin Treaty of 1862
  • Legislation
  • Indian Acts
  • Constitution Act 1867
  • Constitution Act 1982
  • Policy/Strategy
  • White Paper on Indian Policy

  • References

    King George III (1763) Royal Proclamation 1763