First Nations Treaties honoured at the Legislature

On May 13, 2013, the Manitoba government acknowledged the contribution of First Nation people to the province on “Honouring the Treaties Day,” an annual event which began in 2010 and coincides with Manitoba Day.

“While treaties were nation-to-nation agreements with the Crown, the land which we shared is the very basis of this province and I, for one, commend this government for recognizing this fact,” said Frank Whitehead, MLA for The Pas.

The day began with a Sunrise Ceremony on Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation. The festivities continued in the Legislative Rotunda with a procession led by Elder and Veteran Joseph Meconse, an opening prayer by Elder Charlie Nelson, a song by Young Nation Drum group, a description of the pipe ceremony and water song by Elder Peter Atkinson and a water ceremony conducted by Sherry Copenance.

Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Minister Eric Robinson, Swan Lake Chief Francine Meeches and Treaty Commissioner James Wilson spoke. Minister Robinson also acknowledged the seven Elders who were awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba. They are:

  • Treaty No. 1 – Wayne Scott (Swan Lake First Nation)

  • Treaty No. 2 – Harry Bone (Keeseekoowenin Ojibway Nation)

  • Treaty No. 4 – James Cote (Waywayseecappo First Nation)

  • Treaty No. 5 – Elder William G. Lathlin (Opaskwayak Cree Nation)

  • Treaty No. 5 Adhesion – D'Arcy Linklater (Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation)

  • Treaty No. 10 – Elder Joe Hyslop (Northlands Denesuline First Nation)

  • Dakota Nations – Doris Pratt (Sioux Valley Dakota Nation)

Whitehead added, “As former Chief of Opaswayak Cree Nation, I know firsthand the importance of upholding our treaties. Our First Nation has become very successful over the past thirty years because we have stood together and worked to protect our rights and traditions.”

Both Minister Robinson and MLA Whitehead delivered statements in the Legislative Assembly honouring this day.

Minister Robinson's statement can be viewed above. Frank Whitehead’s Member’s Statement can be seen in full here.