Vancouver Island (Douglas) Treaties
(also known as the Douglas Treaties and the Fort Victoria Treaties)

Arising from a conference co-hosted by the Songhees First Nation and the University of Victoria in 2017 this website is a resource for people wanting to know more about the Vancouver Island Treaties, also known as the Douglas Treaties.

These were a series of fourteen agreements made between First Nations on Vancouver Island and James Douglas of the Hudson’s Bay Company, representing the British Crown (government) in the years 1850 to 1854. Although the written treaties only express the understanding of James Douglas they have been accepted as legal treaties. Each of the written treaties are short, only two paragraphs long, and they offer to protect Indigenous villages, fields, fishing and hunting rights, in exchange for a certain number of blankets with the catch that all the rest of the land and resources would belong to the settlers. Many descendants of the First Nations who were party to the oral agreements and who never saw the written agreements, say that what was written did not capture what was in fact agreed to.

This website collects or lists all the documents, oral histories and secondary sources we have been able to find to better understand the original, oral, Vancouver Island Treaties, the written Douglas Treaties (or Forms) version of the agreements and how they have been understood since they were made.