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Enduring Promise & Obligation

Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre was proud to participate in this year’s National Treaty Gathering #1-11, in Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan, August 11-14, 2014. The theme of the gathering was Enduring Promise and Obligation.

Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan

Day one of the event included a pipe ceremony, flag raising and blessing of the grounds. In the afternoon a Sweat Lodge ceremony was offered, followed by a feast. In the early evening an academic forum took place with the topic of discussion being research, knowledge and the continuum of inherent rights.

The honouring of Ovide Mercredi, National Treaty Alliance Spokesperson, was the focus of the morning on day two. The rest of the day included discussions on law keeping, governance, peacekeeping, and medicine, as they relate to the structures of First Nations lodges, clans and societies.

On day three the honouring of the Dakota/Lakota Nations took place. The Dakota/Lakota Nations have endured many challenges the past two centuries. Yet, they have long contributed to the strengthening of Treaty Nations’ positions in Canada.

Treaty issues continued to be deliberated throughout the gathering and an in depth, historical presentation on the Robinson Treaties, Douglas Treaties and Williams Treaties of Upper Canada was also conducted on day three.

A highlight on the last day was a forum entitled: The Next Generation’s Perspectives on Moving Forward.  Panel members included Tim Catcheway, Colby Tootoosis, Rita Merric and 18 year old Colin Starblanket. When asked about his perspective on moving forward as First Nations within Canada, Colby Tootoosis stated, “Perseverance alone won’t change the current system. It has to be a collective revolution that’s facilitated by the people themselves to come up with solutions and alternatives.”

Dennis Whitebird at the MFNERC booth