We Are All Treaty People

MCC Sask Treaty Land Acknowledgment installation

  • Published - 24/04/2020
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  • Posted By - OTC & MCC
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The Mennonite Central Committee Saskatchewan installed a Treaty Land Acknowledgment in the Saskatoon office as an expression of commitment to live as Treaty people and to build on their peacebuilding work with Indigenous neighbours.

“We want to reflect on a regular basis about what it means to live as Treaty people, what it means to live in covenantal relationship with one another on the land we share,” said Amanda Dodge, MCC program director.

The Treaty Land Acknowledgment installation event was held on Mar. 6. The day began with a smudge and prayer service among staff, with reflection own personal histories with the land and sense of home.

About 30 guests came to the program to hear from speakers and be part of this step in the reconciliation journey.

“The speakers inspired us and equipped us to live as Treaty people and move together along the path of reconciliation,” said Amanda.

“They shared ancient, traditional ways that can move us forward now. They shared their personal stories. There was recognition of the injustices that have been perpetuated, yet overall, there was an optimistic spirit about where we’re at and where we’re going. Together we laughed, cried, and were inspired.”

MCC executive director Eileen  Klassen Hamm unveiled the Treaty Land Acknowledgment and read its words reaffirming the treaty relationship aloud.

“The Treaty Land Acknowledgement plaque is meant to be a daily touchstone for us as we enter this building, a visual reminder of our commitments and opportunities as Treaty 6 people, to live well on this land, to ensure that everyone, that everyone is benefitting from its abundant resources,” she said.

People at the event reflected personal histories and connection to the land, while they shared a special loaf of bread with the phrase, “We Are All Treaty People” on it.  This act invoked the Christian tradition of breaking bread together and the Indigenous tradition of acknowledging one’s relationship to place, Amanda said.

Immediately following the program, there was a potluck feast that included the traditional foods of both Indigenous and Mennonite communities, as it is common in both traditions to celebrate and connect with one another over food.