Time For Some Exercise…Of Our Treaty Rights!

On the 19th of November 1794, in London, England, “the Treaty of Amity, Commerce and Navigation” proposed by Mr. John Jay (Chief Justice of the United States at the time), was ratified and signed “between His Britannick Majesty; and the United States of America, by their President, with the Advice and Consent of their Senate” (fully ratified on 28 October 1795, and proclaimed on 29 February 1796).

There shall be a firm inviolable and universal Peace, and a true and sincere Friendship between His Britannick Majesty,
His Heirs and Successors, and the United States of America; and between their respective Countries, Territories, Cities,
Towns and People of every Degree, without Exception of Persons or Places.

Treaty of Amity Commerce and Navigation, between His Britannick
Majesty; and The United States of America, by Their President, with
the advice and consent of Their Senate. 1794

Commonly referred to as “The Jay Treaty”, it contains a number of what today we would call “free trade” agreements for the US and the state of Canada. That merchants of both sides could freely trade goods across the imaginary line, that merchants of both sides would have unimpeded access to the Mississippi, and some important stipulations affecting people of Indigenous Nations – particularly, the right to cross the border freely, and without impediment, in both directions!

First border crossing to celebrate the "Jay Treaty" of 1794, in 1928.
First border crossing to celebrate the “Jay Treaty” of 1794, in 1928.

At 11:45, Sat. 20 July, we gather to exercise this right by walking across the Rainbow Bridge from Canada to the US for the 97th time! There will be a pause at the centre point of the bridge to hold ceremony as we are met by our relatives crossing from the US side. After the ceremony, everyone will walk to the US side and join together for a gathering and celebration at Hyde Park, 3200 Pine Ave., Niagara Falls, NY (some shared transportation will be available).

There will be Dance Specials, Vendors, Social Songs and more – everyone is welcome to this family-friendly celebration!

Frank McNaughton will M/C and Guest Speakers Diane Hill, Courtney Skye & January Rogers will both entertain & educate!

97th Annual Jay Treaty Border Crossing (poster)

ARTICLE 3. (excerpts)

  • It is agreed that it shall at all Times be free to His Majesty’s Subjects, and to the Citizens of the United States, and also to
    the Indians dwelling on either side of the said Boundary Line freely to pass and repass by Land, or Inland Navigation, into
    the respective Territories and Countries of the Two Parties on the Continent of America (the Country within the Limits of
    the Hudson’s Bay Company only excepted) and to navigate all the Lakes, Rivers, and waters thereof, and freely to carry
    on trade and commerce with each other.
  • No Duty of Entry shall ever be levied by either Party on Peltries brought by Land, or Inland Navigation into the said
    Territories respectively, nor shall the Indians passing or repassing with their own proper Goods and Effects of whatever
    nature, pay for the same any Impost or Duty whatever.
  • As this Article is intended to render in a great Degree the local advantages of each Party common to both, and thereby to promote a disposition favourable to Friendship and good neighbourhood, It is agreed, that the respective Governments will mutually promote this amicable Intercourse, by causing speedy and impartial Justice to be done, and necessary protection to be extended, to all who may be concerned therein.

Read more about the treaty here: https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/jays-treaty

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