Premier Brian Pallister is calling on Manitobans to pen special letters of thanks in honour of the 200th anniversary of the Selkirk Treaty.

Pallister said Monday he will deliver the letters during a bicycle trip in honour of the occasion. He’ll make the 160 kilometre trek from June 16 to 18 between the original and current settlements of Peguis First Nation.

The premier said the letters are to show appreciation to Chief Peguis for providing food and shelter to settlers who arrived in Manitoba from Scotland and Ireland between 1812 and 1815. Lord Selkirk signed a treaty with five indigenous leaders in 1817 to grant land, which included St. Peter’s in East Selkirk to Chief Peguis.

“The legacy of an extraordinary friendship between Lord Selkirk and Chief Peguis laid the foundation for what would later become Manitoba,” Pallister said.

“The story of Manitoba is one of centuries of compassion, friendship and partnership between indigenous Manitobans and those who arrived after them. That partnership is the bedrock on which our strong and beautiful province was built.”

Earlier this year, Pallister also put out a call to Manitoba school divisions and organizations to submit letters for the project.

Manitobans are asked to submit their letters by April 15 by emailing or by mailing them to:

Premier’s Peguis Tour

Manitoba Legislative Building

450 Broadway

Winnipeg, MB R3C 0V8