Treaty 3 celebration tour to make southern stop tomorrow

By Allan Bradbury
Staff Writer

Seven Generations Education Institute’s (SGEI) Fort Frances campus will be abuzz tomorrow, July 20, as members of Treaty 3 communities gather to celebrate the anniversary of the treaty’s signing.

Gary Allen is the CEO of the Treaty 3 Investment Group and has been part of organizing the events.

“I think it’s important because we are all treaty people, no matter where you live in the district,” Allen said. “It’s about recognition, education, and understanding. We have this partnership between municipalities and First Nations. Everything that we do, health, education, economics, we’re all tied in together, we want to recognize that special relationship.”

The festivities at SGEI kick off with a pancake breakfast sponsored by the Kiwanis Club at 8 a.m. with opening protocols beginning at 9 a.m. Over the course of the morning, there will be a variety of presentations from elders and community members who will talk about the history of Treaty 3.

Elder Don Jones from Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation (Red Gut) and Elder Agnes Kabatay will help with the opening protocols followed by remarks from Chief Brian Perrault of Couchiching First Nation.

The rest of the morning will be spent with remarks from other chiefs in the region as well as presentations on the history of Treaty 3.

Lunch at the event will be sponsored by Flint House and municipal leaders and representatives from the provincial and federal governments will also be on hand including Fort Frances mayor Andrew Hallikas among others who are unconfirmed.

The afternoon will also see a mini powwow with host drum Aazhiwe Giizhik. Hosted by Andrew Easton and Ethan Adams. All dancers are encouraged to register for honorarium.

The sacred Treaty 3 documents will be on hand for viewing as well as the Treaty 3 medal.

There will also be lots of activities for kids as well, including face painting, rock painting/decorating, mural painting, bouncy castles and more.

This event is the second in a series of regional events across Treaty 3 territory. The first was June 20 in Dryden to cover the eastern region. The Fort Frances event covers the southern region The next will be August 23 in Sagkkeeng First Nation- Fort Alexander, MB will cover the western region and the northern event will take place September 6 at SGEI’s Kenora campus.

Sept. 27 is actual anniversary of the signing of Treaty 3 and an event is being planned to take place at Northwest Angle which was the original site for the signing of the treaty. Many dignitaries and officials have been invited including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ontario and Manitoba premiers Doug Ford and Heather Stefanson, and members of Parliament and provincial parliament and relevant government ministers. Organizers are still waiting on RSVPs from those invited.

“We’ve had a really good response, I believe,” Allen said. “With municipal leaders, and First Nations leaders to come and welcome people to our events to understand and continue to work together on things that are common interests. We all have the same issues that we deal with on a daily basis. How do we work together to make this whole region a better place? I think that’s very important, to continue the process of growth for our region and for our young people and for our adults to continue on this road together, and that’s what we’re doing.”