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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

An Ethic of Mutual Respect

The Covenant Chain and Aboriginal-Crown Relations

Over the course of a century, until the late 1700s, the British Crown, the Iroquois, and other Aboriginal groups of eastern North America developed an alliance and treaty system known as the Covenant Chain. Bruce Morito offers a philosophical rereading of the historical record of negotiations, showing that the parties developed an ethic of mutually recognized respect. This ethic, Morito argues, remains relevant to current debates about Aboriginal and treaty rights because it is neither culturally nor historically bound. Real change is possible, if efforts can be shifted from piecemeal legal and political disputes to the development of an intercultural ethic based on trust, respect, and solidarity.

240 pages

Table of Contents



1 The Historical Context

2 Structure and Function of the Covenant Chain Treaty Relationship

3 Reputation and the Role of Key Agents

4 The Transcultural, Transhistorical Ethic of the Covenant Chain


Notes; Bibliography; Index

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