Earlier this month, First Nations, Metis, and Northern Affairs Minister Don McMorris proclaimed May 21–27 as Treaties Recognition Week. Mary Musqua-Culbertson, Treaty Commissioner of Saskatchewan, said that the idea of Treaties Recognition Week came from a class of fifth grade students.

“So, the Grade 5 students at Ecole Lumsden Elementary School came up with this idea; it was all theirs. They started doing the advocacy with their teacher Justin Freitag, and he did a really good job,” said Musqua-Culbertson. “We had various Chiefs who supported it, like Sweetgrass Chief and Council, Chief Connie Big Eagle from Ocean Man, and Chief Tammy Cook-Searson from Lac La Ronge Indian Band; we had a lot of support coming from leaders.”

Treaty Recognition Week was chosen to be held on the week following the May long weekend due to Queen Victoria’s connection to the creation of treaties. “It was Queen Victoria that began the numbered treaties, and the majority of them were negotiated during her reign as Queen, so the connection to those Crown promises is very evident and needs to be educated about, so this is a very perfect time to go ahead and declare this week as Treaties Recognition Week,” explained Musqua-Culbertson.

Those wishing to take part in Treaty Recognition Week or want to learn more can visit the Office of the Treaty Commissioner website at www.OTC.ca.