Translation of original BC treaties

Law, Humanities

The first-ever translation of the original Douglas Treaties, also known as the Vancouver Island or Fort Victoria treaties, into the local Indigenous languages is a key element in a historic event in Victoria this weekend.

Hosted by the Songhees First Nation and the University of Victoria’s Department of History and Faculty of Law, over 300 people will come together on Feb. 24, 25 and 26 from local First Nations and the campus and wider communities to explore the significance, misunderstandings, impacts and repercussions of the Douglas Treaties.

The conference organizers commissioned the Lekwungen and SENĆOŦEN translations of the treaties. Read the campus article for more on the translations and upcoming symposium (which has already reached capacity).

The Indigenous versions of the treaties—which have never before been available in the local languages—will be presented this weekend in a ceremony at the Songhees Wellness Centre to the Royal BC Museum to be kept in perpetuity alongside the English versions.

The three-day gathering is one of four signature series events by UVic to mark Canada’s 150th anniversary. More info on UVic's Canada 150

This conference was funded, along with local sponsorship, by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

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Media contacts

Dr. John Lutz (UVic Department of History) at

Tara Sharpe (University Communications + Marketing) at 250-721-6248 or

Erik Lambertson (Corporate Communications, Royal BC Museum) at 250-387-5051 or

In this story

Keywords: colonialism, Indigenous, history, law, community, languages and linguistics, reconciliation, Canada 150, research

People: John Lutz, Hamar Foster

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