BC Social Studies Lesson Plans

Royal Proclamation of 1763

Grade 9


Royal Proclamation of 1763

Big Idea

Disparities in power alter the balance of relationships between individuals and between societies.

Essential Question

How does the Royal Proclamation impact land claims in BC?

Learning Standards Content

Students are expected to know the following:

  • the continuing effects of imperialism and colonialism on indigenous peoples in Canada

Curricular Competencies

Students are expected to be able to do the following:

  • Assess the significance of people, places, events, or developments, and compare varying perspectives on their historical significance at particular times and places, and from group to group (significance)


Core Competencies

I can explain why Aboriginal land claims in BC are complex and controversial.

I can consider different perspectives on the Royal Proclamation of 1763.

I can refute biased opinions with arguments based on the principle of fairness.

First People's Principles of Learning

• Learning involves recognizing the consequences of one's actions
  • Explain that one of the major issues in BC today is the settlement of land claims by First Nations. Unlike most of the rest of Canada, First Nations people in BC have, with a few exceptions, never made treaties or agreements about how the lands they have traditionally lived on were to be used or developed. As a result, there are many Aboriginal claims to land in BC that have never been resolved.
  • Show the BC Treaty Commission video What’s the deal with treaties? (21:22).


Part 1: Evidence

  • Explain that part of the reason has to do with the Royal Proclamation of 1763 and disagreements over whether or not it applies to BC.
  • Ask: Why have Aboriginal land claims in BC have been so complicated and controversial and why do they remain so to this day?
  • Note that the Royal Proclamation:
    • set out the core elements of the relationship between First Nations and the Crown
    • established the recognition of First Nations rights in Canada
    • laid the foundation for the treaty process
  • Provide students with access to the UBC Indigenous Foundations article Royal Proclamation, 1763 and have them work with a partner to complete the handout “Royal Proclamation: Analysis”.


Part 2: Perspective

  • Show the short video Fast Facts about the Proclamation of 1763 (3:00).
  • Provide students with access to the U.S. History website The Royal Proclamation of 1763 and copies of the handout “Royal Proclamation: Perspectives”.
  • Divide students in to three groups and assign each group one of the following perspectives:
    • Settler
    • Chief Pontiac
    • King George III
  • Have each group complete their assigned perspective using information from the video and the website.
  • Then have each group present their perspective to the rest of the class so that everyone will have information about all three perspectives.


Part 3: Significance

  • Explain that the Province of British Columbia has maintained that the Royal Proclamation does not apply to B.C. since it had not yet been settled by the British when the Proclamation was issued in 1763.
  • Have students read the handout “Royal Proclamation and British Columbia” to find historic reasons for and against the Royal Proclamation being relevant to BC.
  • Debrief by creating a T-chart on the board to record the reasons for and against.
  • Point out that there are complex reasons for the lack of treaties in BC, but one of the most important is the failure of successive governments in BC to recognize Aboriginal land title, as set out in the Royal Proclamation.
  • Many arguments for not recognizing Aboriginal title to land in BC were made by Trutch. Students should note that his reasons were inaccurate, racist, and unfair. Explain that they now have an opportunity to make counter arguments for each of Trutch’s reasons for denying Aboriginal title and not making treaties.
  • Provide students with the handout “Does the Royal Proclamation Apply to BC?” Read aloud the first reason and counter arguments as an example. Have students work in small groups to come up with counter arguments for each of Trutch’s reasons.
  • Modern day land claims are much more complicated than they would have been if they had been negotiated before significant settlement and development took place. Use the BC Treaty Commission’s Interactive Map to explore current treaty negotiations.

Hall, A. 2019. “Royal Proclamation of 1763.”  The Canadian Encyclopedia



“The Royal Proclamation of 1763.” 2012. Indigenous Corporate Training, Inc



"The Royal Proclamation of 1763." 2021. USHistory.org https://www.ushistory.org/us/9a.asp


“Treaties in Canada: Education Guide.” [n.d.] Historica Canada.


Download Complete Lesson Plan

.pdf .docx

Rate this Curriculum

Last Reviewed

February 01, 2023

Produced by JES

curriculum developers