Government of Canada and Treaty One Nation Commemorate Signing of Treaty No. 1
Today, representatives from Parks Canada and Treaty One Nation gathered at Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site to mark the 149th commemoration of Treaty No. 1 and begin the countdown to the Treaty 150 commemoration which will take place on August 3, 2021.
Chiefs, knowledge keepers, other local community members and Parks Canada staff shared in a smudge and flag-raising ceremony. The newly designed Treaty One Nation Flag represents the seven Treaty No. 1 communities as-a-whole and was raised for the first time today in front of the Lower Fort Garry Visitor Centre. The flag’s design represents the sacred accords, with the sun at the centre of the flag, the green representing the grass, the blue for the rivers and the red circle for the people. The seven rays, or tipis, around the sun signify the seven First Nation communities.
Annual Treaty Commemoration Day events are typically open to the public; however, this year the event was held privately to ensure adherence to public health guidelines related to COVID-19. Next year’s Treaty 150 commemoration at Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site will take place over several days and is anticipated to be open to the public. Commemoration events will include a pow-wow, knowledge-sharing and cultural activities. Parks Canada and Treaty One Nation will publicly share details as they are available.
“The Government of Canada is committed to reconciliation and renewed relationships with Indigenous peoples, based on a recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership. The annual commemoration of the signing of Treaty No. 1 between the Anishinaabe and Muskegon Cree peoples and the Government of Canada is an opportunity to pause and remember the historical significance of that meeting. It is also an opportunity to reflect on how we can build a stronger, more fair Nation-to-Nation relationship going forward.” Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change (Canada Water Agency) and Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South
Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site was the location where Treaty No. 1 was negotiated in 1871. This treaty was the first of the 11 numbered treaties that helped establish Western Canada. Treaty No.1 one was made with the understanding that the Treaty would be in place for “as long as the sun shines, the grass grows and the river flows”.
With the countdown to Treaty 150 now underway, the Canadian government continues to work closely with the Treaty No.1 First Nations to advance reconciliation efforts, while increasing Indigenous history and perspectives at Lower Fort Garry and other Parks Canada places. Treaties remain critical agreements that guide the relationship between the Government of Canada and First Nations in Western Canada. Canada is committed to honouring the intent of these treaties.
The seven First Nations that are represented in the Treaty No. 1 Legacy Flag Installation are: Peguis First Nation, Sagkeeng First Nation, Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, Roseau River Anishinaabe First Nation, Long Plain First Nation, Sandy Bay Ojibway First Nation and Swan Lake First Nation.