by Jake Cardinal
(ANNews) – This past weekend saw the annual Treaty No. 6 Recognition Day on August 23. This day commemorates the signing of Treaty No. 6 between the Plains, Wood Cree, Nakota, Saulteaux and Dene people and the Crown at Fort Carlton on August 23, 1876.
Treaty No. 6 Recognition Day is planned in partnership by the City of Edmonton, through its Indigenous Relations Office (IRO), and the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations. Treaty No. 6 Recognition Day is one of a range of initiatives shared between the City and the Confederacy.
Edmonton was founded in Treaty No. 6 territory and Treaty No. 6 Recognition Day recognizes Edmonton’s connection with the First peoples of this land.
In a speech given by Grand Chief Billy Morin, he stated, “Treaty, today, stands for territory. From the Athabasca River in the North, to the Red Deer River in the south; from the Rocky Mountains in the West, to the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border in the East; we share this territory with everyone.
“Treaty stands for Ancestors. Our mutual ancestors started this story 7 generations ago. We are thankful for every generation that has come before us to keep this story going.
“Treaty stands for you. You and I are ultimately responsible for the next chapter in this story to move forward together for the next 7 generations to come.”
The working relationship between the organizations was formalized through the Memorandum of Cooperation and Dialogue in 2012. Some of the objectives and agreements made in the Memorandum include recognizing the cultural impact of Indigenous peoples within Treaty 6 territory and pledging to continue “on-going dialogues and cooperative effort around shared issues and interests that affect the long term well-being of all people that call Edmonton their home.”
Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson also released a video with a few remarks, “With our partners at the Confederacy of Treaty 6 First Nations, the City of Edmonton is most proud to continue commemorating this day as of course, our city was founded on Treaty 6 territory.
“But reconciliation — true reconciliation — requires action. So, it is my hope that all Edmontonians take the opportunity today to practice self-reflection, to educate themselves on what being Treaty people really means, and to listen to our Indigenous neighbours and friends so that together we can build a move just and equitable society.”
We here at Alberta Native News hope you celebrated the day and continue to stay safe and healthy.
Happy Treaty 6 Recognition day.
Jake Cardinal is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter.