Treaty renewal ceremony first of its kind in 150 years, organizers say
An event held Sunday commemorating the signings of Treaties 1 and 2 could be the first of its kind.
“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time a ceremony like this has happened in 150 years,” Elaine Bishop, an organizer with We Are Treaty People Celebration.
We Are Treaty People Celebration came as a response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action.
“It’s a responsibility of settlers to help newcomers understand we’re living on treaty land.”
Sunday’s ceremony included settlers walking into the Kapabamayak Achaak Healing Forest in St. John’s Park’s. Bishop said the walk symbolized the origins of Treaties 1 and 2.
“It recognizes Indigenous people were here first and they welcomed those who came in from the four directions,” she said.
The commemoration also implemented other aspects of the original Treaty negotiations from 1871 including a feast, as well as sacred pipe and water ceremonies.
Bishop said these types of renewal ceremonies should be held annually.
“Treaty is an ongoing relationship,” she said. “It just doesn’t go away because you don’t remember it.”
A virtual event took place on Sunday afternoon replicating the morning’s ceremony and continuing the celebration.