Treaty 2 Territory – Friday, March 18, 2022 – The Care and Protection of the Natural World circle ventured to the southwest of T2 territory to spend time with our most gracious hosts David & Maggie Neufeld. They live close to the Turtle Mountain and invited us out to discuss our proposed land/treaty relationship sharing program. On Wednesday night the Neufeld’s graciously invited us to a get together with around a dozen local landowners interested in hearing what we have to say about our project.
The proposed project has multiple related goals:
First, we propose to create a network of landowners who are interested in rebuilding the Treaty relationship and are willing to share with our people their land for the purposes of ceremony, medicine/food harvesting or fishing/hunting.
Secondly, we propose that our people who are willing to partake in the program be willing to undergo an introductory land-based learning program that promotes safety and an understanding of our Natural Laws. The program will be suitable for experienced and less experienced alike to give us a chance to impart traditional and western concepts of conservation. Access to our traditional lands has become difficult as we lose lands to private ownership. It is imperative the Treaty relationship be rebuilt with the settler society to ensure access for future generations. Just as our rights need to be respected so do the landowners rights, that is the essence of Treaty.
The third purpose will be to start having conversations with settlers about the true history of Canada and a chance to rebuild the treaty relationship as was intended by our ancestors. To educate and start down a road of true reconciliation.
On Thursday we were invited to attend a meeting of the Turtle Mountain/Souris Plains Heritage Association. After CPNW Circle Keeper Ron Missyabit discussed the purpose and structure of the Government of First Nations in Treaty 2 territory we presented a timeline of the Indigenous experience from before the settler’s arrival to the current day.
The many attendees listened intently, engaged in intelligent conversation, and made us feel very welcome. We had everything from high school students to the more experienced members of the Association. Respected Elders in the community knowledgeable about our shared history. The press attended and public TV recorded the presentation.
We left after the presentation and photo ops concluded feeling positive in the knowledge that there are settlers interested in learning a history that has not been taught by the settlers education system.
The Treaty 2 flags were presented to the hosts and were a great hit with those in attendance with requests for us to return with more flags.
Shawn Gurke, Mapping/GIS Specialist Helper, CPNW
Ron Missyabit, CPNW Keeper
Last modified: March 28, 2022