We Are All Treaty People

Using Treaty to Address Inequities in Saskatchewan Standards of Living

  • Published - 16/06/2020
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  • Posted By - OTC
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If we needed a reminder of the importance of truth and reconciliation in Canada and Saskatchewan, the current situation in the United States is sadly providing it to us. The American troubles demonstrate that historical wounds and racism do not just go away. Healthy societies and sustainable living standards cannot be built upon systems designed to reflect a belief in the superiority of one group of humans over another. In Canada too, we need to examine our historical past in order to build a promising future for all.

Five years ago, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released their report on the horrors and long-lasting impacts of Indian Residential Schools, along with 94 Calls to Action to initiate change in Canada. The Calls to Action touched many Canadians in ways that previous reports had failed to do. Thousands of residential school Survivors from across this country courageously shared personal stories that had often been buried for years. Perhaps Canadians responded this time because these were stories of children. Those children are now men and women – parents, grandparents and great-grandparents – kookums and mushums. But these Survivors were once innocent children who fell victim to a system designed to steal their Indigenous identity and replace it with racist ideals of “civilization” and “progress.” 

The Office of the Treaty Commissioner (OTC) works to facilitate Treaty implementation in Saskatchewan. Treaties were entered into in Saskatchewan as a series of nation-to-nation agreements to work together for shared prosperity. They were agreed to through ceremony and were intended to last “as long as the grass grows, the sun shines and rivers flow.” The spirit and intent of Treaties were of kinship, mutual benefit and shared management of these lands.

Read the whole post on Wellness Wednesday on the Saskatchewan Index of Wellbeing