We Are All Treaty People

Treaty 10 Flag design explained

  • Published - 17/08/2018
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  • Posted By - OTC
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A sunny day on the English River First Nation’s La Plonge, Treaty 10 was celebrated with the raising of the flag.

The OTC emailed with the designer of the Treaty 10 Flag, Arliss Coulineur

Why did you decide to take on the design?
“It was something that I felt was needed after participating in our community's flag raising ceremony during the Canoe Lake Cree First Nation pow wow. I was working with Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools as a First Nations Métis Inuit Education Consultant. In my role, I would visit school to discuss First Nations ways of knowing. Educating the youth of Saskatoon is very important to better understand our perspectives with life. Many times I had addressed the importance of Treaty 6 and what it meant to be treaty. During those visits, I would be asked to share the significance of the Treaty 6 flag and the song. As I sat with A.J. Felix, Traditional Fire Keeper for Treaties 1-11 and Delia Opekokew, one of the main organizers of the Treaty 10 Gathering, in a tipi I pondered the question, why do we not have a treaty flag of our own? I consulted with them both and was asked to develop a concept.”

Why is it significant for you?
“The significance of this flag is that it is something that we can says is ours. It is raised in the air to symbolize that there was a commitment and agreement made between the territorial people and the Crown. This flag honors those chiefs and the negotiations they put forth for future generations that signed in 1906 and 1907. It symbolizes the way of life for our people. It also has a hidden reminder that treaty was signed with an X for many of the chiefs that signed. The sacred circle shows that this is a continuous process that will not end.”

How does it feel to see it raised (at the Treaty 10 gathering this summer)?
“I was very honored and privileged to be asked to raise this symbolic flag as it will be right beside the major flag flags of treaty and those of the provincial and Canadian flags. My son was there to witness it all. It was for my children and their children's children. It is definitely a legacy that the whole people of the territory have ownership to. I had my mosom Augustin Coulineur in my heart that day. This recognizes the work and drive he instilled in me to accomplish this for all.”