The Beardy’s and Okemasis Cree Nation celebrated its Treaty Day Tuesday.

Festivities began with the grand entry of dignitaries in the morning and ended with a fireworks display at night.

Band councilor Kevin Seesequasis says this year’s event has particular significance.

“One-hundred-and-forty-two years to the day, actually, on Aug. 28, Chief Beardy signed an adhesion to Treaty 6, just halfway between Beardy’s and Fort Carlton,” he says. “So, today we’re honouring that and recognizing his contribution to our nation.”

Seesequasis adds the traditional handing of a five dollar bill by an RCMP officer to each band member also has special importance on Beardy’s.

“You know it’s especially important because for 48 years the Crown withheld treaty payments to our people and that resulted in a lot of hardship for our community. So, it was two years ago that the federal government rectified that and awarded the nation $4.5 million.”

The Beardy’s First Nation is located about 80 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon.

(PHOTO: A traditional dancer at the grand entry of Beardy’s Treaty Day. Photo by Fraser Needham)