There were a number of activities going on Monday to honour the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation.
In Ottawa, Assembly of First Nations Chief Shawn Atleo used the opportunity to call for a “resetting” of the relationship between Indigenous communities and the federal government.
Over the past year, relations between the Harper government and a number of First Nations groups have been strained largely due to the government’s Bill C-45, a bill that affects land and water rights, which some say has been pushed through without proper consultation.
Nevertheless, the AFN Chief said Monday was a day to build on the positive tone the Royal Proclamation set and to look toward the future.
“The 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation is about reflecting and focusing on the work we must do today to act on our commitments to one another to drive change together,” he says.
Chief Atleo participated in a public reception at the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa Monday evening before leaving for London, England for an event at the Canadian High Commission on Oct. 8.
While overseas, he will also deliver a keynote address at Oxford University on Oct. 9.
A delegation from the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations also marked the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation in London, England with a ceremony at the Canadian memorial in Green Park on Monday morning.
This was followed by a brief reception at Canada House in Trafalgar Square followed by a pipe ceremony.
The FSIN delegation includes more than thirty chiefs, veterans, elders and leaders representing various parts of Saskatchewan and Canada.
Delegation members say it is important to remind people that the treaties entered into in the 18th and 19th centuries are international and living agreements that must be honoured today.
The Idle No More Movement marked the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation with a day of global action.
In Saskatchewan this included events in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert.
In Saskatoon Idle No More supporters met at the University of Saskatchewan bowl, in Regina at the Cornwall Centre and in Prince Albert at city hall.
People were asked to organize their own events at the community level.
The Royal Proclamation was officially declared by the British government on Oct. 7, 1763 and is considered by many as the first recognition by the Crown of the inherent rights of First Nations people to territories in North America.
Many also agree that it later paved the way for the treaty agreements signed between Canadian First Nations and the Crown.