Close to 200 students and teachers from around the province attended a treaty summit in Prince Albert on Thursday.
The purpose of the event was to give youth a better sense of what the treaties mean and how they relate to their everyday life.
Clayton Tootoosis is a youth activist from the Onion Lake Cree Nation.
He said there are too many misconceptions among the public about what the treaties actually are:
“You know there’s a lack of information in regards to treaty. A lot of First Nations understand treaty, but our settler allies don’t really understand treaty to what it is. They understand it in a western concept, where it’s written. But in reality, when treaty is interpreted, it’s interpreted in oral tradition — not the actual written word.”
Other students at the event said not enough is taught about the treaties in school, but they believe the Idle No More movement is helping spread information about them.
Renee Bell, a teenager from the Wahpeton Dakota First Nation, said she wishes more details about treaties could be learned in school.
“I’ve learned quite a bit at school. But I’d like to learn more about my ancestors, and how they made the treaties, and how they came up with making them, and what they thought while they were making them, and what they went through.”
Elder Gladys Wapass-Greyeyes of the Thunderchild First Nation also attended the event.
She said kids have to realize that when treaties were signed, they were about getting along, having good relationships and sharing the land in good faith.
The one-day event was hosted by the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations.