Treaty Celebrations are getting underway at Montreal Lake Cree Nation.

The Woodland Treaty Day Celebrations are set to officially kick off Thursday with opening ceremonies and a meal in the early evening. Events Coordinator Roger Bird told MBC Radio News the celebrations are being held to mark the signing of Treaty Six by Montreal Lake Cree Nation 134 years ago.

“Treaty was signed across the north end of the lake here in Montreal Lake,” he said.

Bird said dignitaries representing a range of organizations including the Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC), Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) are set to be on hand along with people representing the Government of Canada and provincial government. Bird said the foods which will be served as part of the meal will be familiar ones.

“Our supper is made up of traditional foods, we’ve got moose meat, we’ve got fish from our lake here,” he said.

A range of events are planned as part of the festivities, which are set to go until Sunday. Bird said their will also be speakers on hand who will be talking to those in attendance about Treaty at Senator Allen Bird Memorial School on Friday.

“We’ve got Elder Allan Joe Felix from Sturgeon Lake, our own senator, former chief as well, Nolan Henderson will be doing a presentation,” he said.

The Treaty Day celebrations will also be paying respects to the late Harold R Johnson, who was a member of the First Nation. Johnson who was a well known author and former lawyer passed away in 2022. Bird explained the Harold Johnson Memorial Fish Derby came about after organizers found out he would regularly host a derby to mark Treaty Days.

“Harold hosted a fish derby in Molanosa on the Montreal Lake side and they had a fish derby on this Treaty Day on Feb. 11,” he said.

Overall Bird said events like these Treaty Day celebrations are important ones as they give younger people the chance to hear and learn about Treaty from a range of people, which is something he said he appreciated when he was younger.

“Its important for our young people to learn and understand why it is we have whats called Treaty and some of the benefits of being a Treaty person here,” he said.