Statement on 150th Anniversary of Treaty No. 1

From: Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

“August 3 marks the 150th Commemoration of Treaty No. 1; the first of the 11 Numbered Treaties made in Western Canada. In 1871, approximately 1,000 community members gathered at Lower Fort Garry, in Manitoba, to witness the Crown, Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, Long Plain First Nation, Peguis First Nation, Roseau River Anishinaabe Nation, Sagkeeng First Nation, Sandy Bay Ojibway First Nation, and Swan Lake First Nation enter into this historic Treaty.

Honouring the Treaty relationship, based on the affirmation of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership is key to advancing lasting reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. The inherent and Treaty rights of Indigenous People have been hindered by colonial practices, policies and systemic racism, the effects of which are still felt today. The Government of Canada is committed to continuing the work to identify and remove those barriers and ensure the relationship between Canada and Indigenous Peoples is one that is based on the recognition and implementation of Indigenous rights.

Treaties will last “as long as the sun shines, the grass grows and the river flows” and this year’s 150th Commemoration has additional significance as they will take place in Lower Fort Garry as well as at the Kapyong Barracks, which is the site of a future urban reserve and part of a resolution to an outstanding litigation between the Government of Canada and the Treaty One Nations.

In 2019, the Government of Canada and the Treaty One Nation signed a Comprehensive Settlement Agreement for the former Kapyong Barracks land in Winnipeg. Once developed, this urban reserve will be home to residential and commercial space, sports and recreation facilities and community spaces. The redevelopment of this land will be an significant and beneficial landmark project for the Treaty One First Nations.

As we celebrate the 150th Commemoration of Treaty No. 1, we also look forward to continued work with Treaty partners to honour the Treaty relationship and celebrate our ongoing, collaborative work with the Treaty One First Nations. The Government of Canada remains committed to building renewed relationships with Indigenous Peoples, and working together to enhance mutual understanding, respect and honouring the Treaties and agreements as we work in partnership on the path to self-determination.

We know the issues that communities have faced given COVID-19 restrictions, and wish the Treaty One First Nations, safe and healthy celebrations that take into consideration public health guidelines.”

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