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.