Answer: Long before the arrival of settlers to Turtle Island (North America), many Indigenous nations existed, unabated, throughout their traditional territories. The rights that the people, their families, communities and nations had at that time, forms the basis for the modern day interpretation of Aboriginal Rights.
Aboriginal Rights are those rights that existed historically prior to the settlement of Canada. These rights are constantly being interpreted and defined through the courts and through agreements. Also, these Aboriginal rights may, or may not, be addressed in the Treaties.
Such rights include the right to self-government, the right to maintain and preserve Indigenous culture and languages and much more. In some cases, it may include land-use, settlement, economic development and harvesting on lands that may be subject to Aboriginal title or remain unceded.
Treaty rights, are those rights, entitlements, benefits and protections that were addressed when the Crown and First Nations signed the treaties. These may include hunting, fishing, trapping, harvesting, housing, health care, education, annuities and other sources of revenue, mineral rights, forestry rights, and so on. Each treaty may reference various specific and non-specific rights. Also, each First Nation may have their own interpretation of treaty rights which may differ from the interpretation of the Crown.
Section 35 of the Constitution Act of Canada recognizes and affirms both Aboriginal and Treaty Rights. These rights may be in flux, or even open to interpretation, but one thing is clear — they cannot be ignored.