“A brisk fall day with just the right amount of wind made the perfect setting for the historic raising of the Métis Nation and Treaty 6 flags at Saskatoon’s City Hall plaza.
Since its beginnings in 1882, Saskatoon has benefitted from a long relationship with both First Nations’ and Métis communities. The raising of the Treaty Six Territory and Métis Nation-Saskatchewan flags at City Hall acknowledges the spirit of the Treaties and this historic partnership.
“The raising of these Aboriginal flags has the potential to build a solid bridge between the City, Aboriginal governments, and all residents of Saskatoon,” said Mayor Donald Atchison.
“It is a symbolic act that recognizes Treaty rights for all Canadians while recognizing Aboriginal history in the development of the city, province, and country.”
That tradition of Treaty and cooperation continues more than a century later, and includes the City and First Nations establishing the first urban reserve in Canada on Muskeg Lake Cree Nation Treaty Land Entitlement land. Urban reserves have since provided economic growth and employment opportunities for all citizens of Saskatoon.
“We must acknowledge that treaties are the thread that runs through our everyday lives, First Nations or not,” Tribal Chief Felix Thomas commented. “This flag raising symbolizes the reciprocal relationship that the Treaties intended, and will further improve quality of life by promoting inclusion of all. We are all Treaty people.”
The ceremony, held in Civic Square, hosted dignitaries including Vaughn Solomon Schofield, Saskatchewan’s Lieutenant-Governor, Mayor Atchison, Métis Nation-Saskatchewan President Robert Doucette, Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Chief Perry Bellegarde, Saskatoon Tribal Council Tribal Chief Felix Thomas, Onion Lake First Nation Chief Wallace Fox and Treaty Commissioner George E. Lafond. They were drummed in by the Whitefish juniors and a procession of dancers.
Elders Gladys Wapass-Greyeyes, Maria Linklater,
Nora Cummings, Mike Maurice and A.J. Felix
pray before the Treaty 6 and Métis Nation-Saskatchewan
flags were raised at City Hall. Veteran James Whitehead
of the Peter Chapman First Nation raised the Treaty 6 flag.
(Photo by John Lagimodiere)
By John Lagimodiere
Of Eagle Feather News
Volume 16 Number 11
Eagle Feather News
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