This section of the Land Agreements module is about historical and current understandings of treaties in Saskatchewan and the relationship between the treaty parties that make us all treaty people.
To begin, you may be wondering, what are treaties? The Treaty Essential Learnings: We Are All Treaty People, a resource created by the Office of the Treaty Commissioner, defines treaties as:
foundational agreements entered into for the purpose of providing the parties with a means of achieving survival and stability, anchored on the principle of mutual benefit. Treaties are solemn agreements between two or more nations that create mutually binding obligations.(1)
The solemn agreements were achieved through a Pipe ceremony and the terms that were ... negotiated [with the Pipe ceremony] thus became a covenant – an agreement that involved First Nations, the Crown, and the deity [the Creator].(1)
We all come to our understanding about treaties between First Nations peoples and settler Canadians from different places. Most educational institutions in Saskatchewan have not placed a great deal of value on related education, until more recently. And some of us do not come from Saskatchewan, or even from Canada. Is it any wonder why so few of us understand that even today, treaties are living agreements that make us all treaty people? Or, why we know so little about the history and status of treaties?
In this treaty module, you will have the chance to explore First Nations'/settler treaties in various formats. You will watch videos, complete surveys and quizzes, read text, access links and consider reflective questions.
(1). Office of the Treaty Commissioner. (2008). Treaty Essential Learnings: We are all Treaty People. p.10. Retrieved from: https://www.horizonsd.ca/Services/SafeandCaring/Documents/TELS.pdf