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Government of Canada and Treaty One Nation Commemorate Signing of Treaty No. 1

Press Release

From: Parks Canada

Flag-raising signifies lead-up to Treaty 150 Commemorations in 2021

August 3, 2020                           St. Andrews, Manitoba                Parks Canada Agency

Parks Canada is committed to a system of national heritage places that recognizes and honours the contributions of Indigenous peoples, their histories and cultures, as well as the special relationships Indigenous peoples have with traditional lands and waters.

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 in August 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.

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, Parks Canada is excited to continue working 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.

Everyone in Manitoba is invited to learn more about Indigenous history at Manitoba’s national historic sites – including Lower Fort Garry, The Forks, Riel House and Prince of Wales Fort (near Churchill). These historic sites now offer limited visitor access and basic services. Visit the Parks Canada website for more information.

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Quotes

“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

“As we once again commemorate the sacred Treaty No. 1 made 149 years ago in August 1871, we are reminded of the commitment of our Chiefs to a forever and ongoing relationship described in writing ‘for as long as the sun shines, the grass grows and the rivers flow’. In outlining the important relationship with the Government of Canada, we continue to strive to advance Inherent and Treaty Rights, especially in the lead up to Treaty 150 next year.”

Chief Dennis Meeches,
Spokesperson, Treaty One Nation

Quick facts

  • Treaty No. 1 was made on August 3, 1871, between the Anishinaabe and Muskegon Cree peoples and the Government of Canada. A Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque commemorating this Treaty has been placed outside the west gate of Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site. In collaboration with Treaty One Nation, the text on this plaque is being reviewed to reflect a more accurate representation of the Treaty No. 1 signing.
  • On August 3, 2017, the Treaty No. 1 Legacy Flag Installation was unveiled at Lower Fort Garry to honour the creation of Treaty No. 1 and highlight the connection of the Treaty One Nation to the national historic site. This permanent feature includes each First Nation’s flag, as well as the Canadian flag and the Union Jack. The Legacy Flag Installation is located in an area just outside the Fort’s stone walls and is open for free public viewing year-round.
  • 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.
  • The health and safety of visitors, employees and all Canadians is of utmost importance. Parks Canada is following the advice and guidance of public health experts in resuming visitor access and services. Visitors should follow the advice of public health experts, including necessary hygiene practices and physical distancing of two metres from others, as well as observe travel restrictions. The Parks Canada website provides detailed information on what locations are open, what visitors can expect, how to prepare for a visit and what services may be available. Visitors are asked to plan ahead by checking the website before they travel.

Associated links

Contacts

Moira Kelly
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
819-271-6218
[email protected]

Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency
855-862-1812
[email protected]

Ellen Paulley
Public Relations and Communications Officer, Manitoba Field Unit
Parks Canada
204-984-1758
[email protected]

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