The silver Covenant Chain is the symbol of the relations between the British, the Six Nations Confederacy, and the nations of the Great Lakes. This thesis begins with an examination of the differences between authority structures in the European and Indian nations in the 17th to 20th centuries. It is then demonstrated that, at least for the first two hundred years of relations, the British used Iroquois conventions in their treaty making. The nature of the Covenant Chain as a mutual protectorate, a compact, is examined, as is its extension to the western nations through the Treaty of Niagara in 1764. From that point, the thesis is a study of evolutions in various fields. In treaty procedure and content, in criminal law, in government, in land matters, and in respect of the border between Canada and the United States, respect for the original promises contained in the treaties establishing the Covenant Chain has all but disappeared. Historically, the governments of Canada and its colonial predecessors have either through ignorance or deliberately broken the original promises in their assumptions of power and control over the lands and lives of the Indian nations. Yet those nations have maintained a consistency in their own positions that is both historically and legally accurate.