Royal Proclamation of 1763

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Download Post Card of the Royal Proclamation of 1763

Royal Proclamation of 1763

On October 7, 1763, King George III of England issued a Royal Proclamation for the administration of British territories in North America. The Royal Proclamation of 1763 set out the core elements of the relationship between First Nations and the Crown, established the recognition of First Nation rights in Canada, and laid the foundation of the treaty-making process. Download a PDF Post Card of the Royal Proclamation of 1763]

"The Royal Proclamation of 1763 was issued October 7, 1763, by King George III following Great Britain's acquisition of French territory in North America after the end of the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War, in which it forbade settlers from settling past a line drawn along the Appalachian Mountains. The purpose of the proclamation was to organize Great Britain's new North American empire and to stabilize relations with Native North Americans through regulation of trade, settlement, and land purchases on the western frontier. The Royal Proclamation continues to be of legal importance to First Nations in Canada and is significant for the variation of indigenous status in the United States. It also ensured that British culture and laws were applied in Quebec, which was done to attract British settlers to the province." (, 2013)

History of the Royal Proclamation of 1763

"From 1756 to 1763, as the Seven Years' War (also known as the French and Indian War) continued throughout North America, the newly created Indian Department and its superintendent general, Sir William Johnson, began to prepare for future relations between Britain and its First Nations allies. Johnson realized that the encroachment of settlement onto First Nations lands would ultimately lead to future conflict, especially as several colonies pushed their borders west beyond the Appalachian Mountains into unsettled lands." (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC), 2013)

"Over 150 years of European competition and conflict came to an end with the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1763. Through this agreement, France ceded much of its North American possessions, making Britain the primary European power throughout much of North America. To demonstrate British authority, officials in London recommended that King George III officially issue a proclamation announcing the new administrative structure for British North America, as well as establish new procedures and protocols for its relations with First Nations people." (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC), 2013)

"On October 7, 1763, King George III issued a Royal Proclamation establishing a new administrative structure for the recently acquired territories in North America. He also established new rules and protocols for future relations with First Nations people." (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC), 2013)

Important Parts of the Royal Proclamation of 1763

"The Proclamation has two significant parts. First, it defined the land west of the established colonies as "Indian Territories", where First Nations people "should not be molested or disturbed" by settlers and where the Indian Department would be the primary liaison between the Crown and First Nations people; and second, in order to prevent any future abuse, the Proclamation prohibited colonial governors from making any grants or taking any land cessions from First Nations people and established a set of protocols and procedures for the purchasing of First Nations land." (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC), 2013)

Treaty Making and the Role of the Royal Proclamation of 1763

"Since its issuance in 1763, the Royal Proclamation has served as a basis of the treaty-making process throughout Canada. The protocols and procedures it established led to the orderly opening of the lands of Southern Ontario, and eventually Western Canada, as well as the establishment of the Indian Department's primary role as intermediary between First Nations people and the Crown. While its intent was to slow the uncontrolled western expansion of the colonies and regulate the relationship between First Nations people and colonists, the Royal Proclamation also became the first public recognition of First Nations rights to lands and title." (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC), 2013)

"After Confederation in 1867, the principles established by the Proclamation continued to guide the treaties of Western Canada and the development of the Department of Indian Affairs. Between 1871 and 1921, the Crown entered into treaties with various First Nations that assisted the Canadian government to actively pursue agriculture, settlement and resource development in the Canadian West and the North." (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC), 2013)

Read more about the Crown-First Nation Relationship.

Read the Royal Proclamation of 1763.

250th Anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763

"In 2013, Canada commemorates the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763. The Royal Proclamation is a foundational document in the relationship between First Nations people and the Crown and laid the basis for Canada's territorial evolution." (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC), 2013)

This commemoration marks a unique opportunity to recognize an important event in Canadian history.

"Since first contact and the issuance of one of our founding constitutional documents, the Royal Proclamation of 1763, the evolving Crown–First Nations relationship has helped shape modern-day Canada. …We cannot undo the mistakes of the past, but we can learn from them and affirm that they will not be repeated. In this year, the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, and with next year being the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763, it serves as an appropriate time to reinvigorate the Crown–First Nation relationships." (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC), 2013)