As Long as This Land Shall Last: A History of Treaty 8 and Treaty 11, 1870–1939


558 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-55238-063-7
DDC 346.7104'32'08997




Reviewed by J.R. Miller

J.R. (Jim) Miller is Canada Research Chair of History at the University
of Saskatchewan. His latest works are Reflections on Native-Newcomer
Relations: Selected Essays and Lethal Legacy: Current Native
Controversies in Canada.


When it was first published in 1975, As Long as This Land Shall Last was
hailed for expanding knowledge of Treaty 9, which covered northern
portions of the three most westerly provinces, and Treaty 11 in the
western part of the Northwest Territories. Its author, an Oblate
missionary, was praised for his pioneering work in tracing the
background to these important agreements of 1899–1900 and 1921.
Fumoleau’s devotion to the Dene people to whom he had ministered for
many years enabled him to recover the oral history of treaty-making,
something that few other investigators of the 1970s could have
accomplished, thereby greatly enriching understanding of the treaties.
As Long as This Land Shall Last showed clearly and conclusively that
Canada had made many oral promises during treaty-making on which it
later reneged.

Father Fumoleau’s valuable work has now been reissued by the
University of Calgary Press in a handsome, more usable edition. The text
of the original is unchanged, but it has been republished on better
paper with a larger font. Also added are some illustrations and a brief
chronology of events relevant to the treaty areas from 1973, when
Fumoleau finished his manuscript, to 2003. Students of the North and of
treaties with the First Nations would have welcomed a more ambitious
scholarly apparatus for this new edition, such as a thorough
introduction that explained developments since 1973 and assessed the
impact of Fumoleau’s scholarship on later writings on the same
subjects, not to mention an updated bibliography. Nonetheless, readers
will be grateful for this attractive and readable new volume.


Fumoleau, René., “As Long as This Land Shall Last: A History of Treaty 8 and Treaty 11, 1870–1939,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 30, 2024,