The One Arrow First Nation signed a formal reconciliation agreement with a number of local municipalities and community organizations on Thursday.

The event was organized by the Prairie Rivers Reconciliation Committee.

One Arrow First Nation Chief Tricia Sutherland said agreements like this one serve as an educational tool not just for non-Indigenous communities but also for Indigenous ones.

“The education needs to start with our communities also, not just expecting non-First Nations to know the history,” she said. “Most of our people don’t know the history also. We need to start with our young ones and teach them the true history.”

More than 20 groups, including the One Arrow First Nation, signed the agreement.

Municipalities that have signed on include Martensville, Warman, Corman Park, Rosthern, Osler and Aberdeen.

Affinity Credit Union, Carlton Trail College, Dakota Dunes Community Development Corporation, Federated Cooperatives Limited, Prairie Spirit School Division and Saskatchewan Polytechnic are also signatories.

Warman Mayor Sheryl Spence said working on reconciliation over the last few years and learning about the dark history of residential schools and the 60’s Scoop has been a stark eyeopener for many of the community’s residents.

“To be honest, many of us didn’t really know a lot about the history,” she said. “And when we started to hear about the history, we became very interested but also quite emotional that this had taken place and we were so completely unaware of what had happened in our history and we have lived through it.”

Saskatchewan Lieutenant Governor Russ Mirasty was also in attendance at the reconciliation signing.

PHOTOS: (Top, a number of municipalities and community organizations sign a reconciliation agreement with the One Arrow First Nation on Feb. 6 and bottom, the Almighty Voice Education Centre Students sing O Canada in Cree. Photos by Fraser Needham.)