Friday, August 7, 2015

Annual Native Parade Encounters Delay at Border- Could a Lack of Jay Treaty Reciprocity by Canada be to Blame?

Members of the Indian Defense League of America encountered delays in their annual cross-border parade, in celebration of the Jay Treaty right of native peoples to freely pass the U.S./Canada border. 

“The U.S. and Canadian countries put a border through the middle of our territory, and today is the day we exercise the right to remind them that we have (the freedom) to pass through our territory,” said Jill Claus of the Tuscarora Nation.

Read the full article at: 

Although the delays were reportedly due to heightened security for the Pan American Games, it may have also had something to do with the fact that Canada never ratified the Jay Treaty. As it currently stands, U.S.-born Indians are not extended a reciprocal right of entry to Canada under the Jay Treaty. While Canadian courts have recognized and protected an aboriginal right to freely pass the border, the right is based on a complex,10-factor test for determining whether aboriginal rights exist in a particular case; it is difficult to assert and not a practical means for native peoples in the U.S. to access Canada.

Native communities have existed in North America long before there was a border to cross, and native communities continue exist on both sides of the border. Without some form of Jay Treaty reciprocity by Canada, native communities will continue to be hindered in their attempts to maintain cultural, social, business, and family ties with their cross-border counterparts. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What do the Jay Treaty and the Iran Deal Have in Common?

Obama Hopes History Will Prove Him Right on Iran

In a thought-provoking article by George E. Condon Jr., White House correspondent for National Journal, the author points out that all the way back to our Founding Fathers, when Presidents have made controversial agreements with foreign governments in the face of harsh public criticism, those agreements have typically ended up on the right side of history; with hindsight vindicating their decisions and proving the critics wrong:

“The reality is that almost every president who has reached a major agreement with a U.S. foe has been viciously attacked, with treaty foes warning of dire consequences. But even as he is being battered over the Iran deal, Obama can take some solace from the fact all of those presidents were rewarded by sticking with the deal and ignoring popular disdain and stinging criticisms.

Some of the venom was captured earlier this year in "A Brief History of Hating Treaties," by reporter David H. Montgomery of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. He recalled the criticism of the Jay Treaty in 1796 that dealt with the issues left over from the Revolutionary War. George Washington was too revered a figure to assail, so the critics went after Washington's chief negotiator, John Jay. Montgomery cited one newspaper editor who wrote sentiments about Jay not too far away from today's Republican attitudes toward Obama, referring to Jay as "the arch traitor—seize him, drown him, burn him, flay him alive."

Seven years later, Thomas Jefferson was viciously attacked for agreeing to the Louisiana Purchase for $15 million. Then there was the 1842 Webster-Ashburton Treaty, again with Britain, which one congressman said was a collection of "errors, mistakes, blunders, concessions, explanations, apologies, losses, and mortifications." But history showed both Jay and Webster to be good treaties for the United States, and Jefferson was vindicated for doubling the size of the United States.”

Read the full article at:

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

For July 4th, scholars urge new look at forgotten US founder John Jay, justice, diplomat, spy

Who Puts the "Jay" in Jay Treaty?

Chief negotiator and namesake of the Jay Treaty, John Jay, is a founding father most Americans know very little about; at least when compared to his peers such as Washington and Jefferson. However, his influence was vast and lasting; reaching all branches of government, and nations worldwide:

"Jay was one of three contributors to the Federalist Papers, which helped define American government. He was president of the wartime Continental Congress, then served as secretary of foreign affairs, precursor to secretary of state, after the Revolutionary War ended. He was an essential diplomat whose peace negotiations with England, leading to the Treaty of Paris, vastly expanded U.S. territory. 

For his accomplishments heading a network of informants during the revolution, actions that helped inspire James Fenimore Cooper's novel "The Spy," the CIA's website calls Jay "the first national-level American counterintelligence chief." He also helped write the New York Constitution, was a founder of the New York Manumission Society and as governor signed legislation that phased out slavery in the state (Jay himself owned slaves). 

The founders bickered colorfully among themselves, but they agreed on the virtues of Jay. Noting his centrality in the talks with England, John Adams praised him as "of more importance than any of the rest of us." Alexander Hamilton turned to Jay first when conceiving the Federalist Papers, and George Washington thought so much of him that when he was forming his original Cabinet, he offered the first position — any position — to Jay, who chose the Supreme Court."

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Happy Birthday, Jay Treaty!

220 years ago on this day, June 24, 1795, the U.S. Senate consented to the Jay Treaty. The resolution passed by 20-10, the exact two-thirds vote required under the Constitution.

A copy of the resolution announcing the Senate's approval of the Jay Treaty:

The language of the resolution follows:

Resolved, (two-thirds of the Senate concurring therein,) That they do consent to, and advise the President of the United States, to ratify the treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation, between his Britannic Majesty and the United States of America, concluded at London, the 19th day of November, 1794, on condition that there be added to the said treaty an article, whereby it shall be agreed to suspend the operation of so much of the 12th article, as respects the trade which his said Majesty thereby consents may be carried on, between the United States and his islands in the West Indies, in the manner, and on the terms and conditions therein specified.

And the Senate recommend to the President to proceed, without delay, to further friendly negotiations with his Majesty, on the subject of the said trade, and of the terms and conditions in question.

Photo Source: George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, 1741-1799: Series 2 Letterbooks (Senate, June 24, 1795, Jay's Treaty, Letterbook 27, Image 52-53 of 227)

Please see also: Library of Congress, Primary Documents in American History: Jay's Treaty,

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Manitoba Firetruck Company Explores Jay Treaty Options to Provide After-Sales Service on Trucks Sold to U.S. Clients

Fort Garry Fire Trucks of Manitoba is exploring using its strong First Nations staff and the unique Jay Treaty opportunities enjoyed by North American First Nations people to freely access and work in the U.S. as part of the company's business-development activities. See article at:

Do you know of others who are utilizing the Jay Treaty to access the U.S. for business purposes? If so, we would like to highlight your story.