Treaty annuity payments
Treaty annuity payments are paid annually, on a national basis, to First Nations peoples entitled to receive annuities as a result of their bands signing certain historic treaties with the Crown.
COVID 19: Treaty annuity payment events postponed
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is postponing all treaty annuity payment events until further notice.
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What are treaty payments
Every year the Government of Canada makes treaty annuity payments to status Indians who are entitled to them through membership in bands that have signed specific historic treaties with the Crown.
Most treaty payments are made in cash during treaty payment events in First Nation communities and urban centers, on or off reserve. They are coordinated by Treaty First Nations and ISC regional offices.
The fulfillment of treaty provisions is a legal obligation of the Government of Canada.
Honouring treaty commitments
ISC is responsible for honouring the Crown's money-related treaty promises, which include most treaty annuities.
The fulfillment of the commitments made under the treaties is symbolic of the special relationship between First Nations and the Crown. The Government of Canada honours and respects these historical events and is committed to upholding the important place they hold for Indigenous peoples and all Canadians.
Depending on the terms of the specific treaty, possible treaty obligations may include:
- payment of individual treaty annuities
- provision of ammunition and twine for nets
- provision of a suit of clothing every 3 years for chiefs and band councillors
The obligation to provide ammunition, twine for nets and suits of clothing are usually satisfied by financial payments made directly to First Nations, instead of providing actual ammunition, twine and clothing.
Individual annuities that are not collected during a particular year will continue to accrue until collected.
Who is eligible
You are entitled to treaty annuity payments if you are a Status Indian (registered Indian) and a member of a First Nation that has signed one of the following treaties:
- The Robinson-Huron and Robinson-Superior Treaties (1850)
- Treaty No.1, Treaty No.2, Treaty No.3, Treaty No.4, Treaty No.5, Treaty No.6, Treaty No.7, Treaty No.8, Treaty No.9, Treaty No.10, and Treaty No.11 (together, these are known as the 11 "Numbered Treaties" from 1871-1921)
- Upper and Lower Cayuga Payments
The Upper and Lower Cayuga Payments are not treaty annuity payments. Rather, these funds are payments based on a decision in 1928 by the American and British Claims Arbitration Tribunal. These payments are $5 and occur every 2 years on odd years. For example, a payment occurred in 2019, and will occur again in 2021, 2023, 2025, and so on.
Consult the List of First Nations entitled to treaty annuities.
Other ways to receive treaty payments
If you are entitled to treaty annuity payments but are unable to attend treaty payment events held in your First Nation or an urban location, download and fill out the Treaty Annuity Payment Request form and mail it to your regional ISC office (addresses are shown on the form).
Make sure to include a photocopy of your Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS card) or Certificate of Indian Status (CIS card). If you cannot use your status card, a photocopy of one other piece of identification (which has your signature on it) may be substituted instead.
To find the dates and times of your First Nation's treaty payment event, ask your band office.
To learn more about the rights and benefits to which you may be entitled contact your band or regional office.
The CIRNAC regional office in the Northwest Territories disburses annuity payments for First Nation signatories of Treaties 8 and 11.