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Regina Urban Treaty Days honours 150 years since historic signing of Treaty 4

Many gathered to celebrate Regina Urban Treaty Days at the Gathering Place on Thursday to honour the historic signing of Treaty 4.

This year marks 150 years since the signing of Treaty 4 in Fort Qu’Appelle, Sask. The Regina/Treaty Status Indian Services (RT/SIS) executive director said 150 years is a big milestone and is proud to commemorate the history of her people.

“When we’re looking at addressing truth and reconciliation, that’s what we’re looking at is how we can come together as a community and celebrate our differences,” Natasha Kennedy said. “As well as the importance of upholding those treaty rights and our treaty responsibilities and creating an environment for all citizens to participate in.”

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The event kicked off on Thursday with a pipe ceremony followed by traditional games, powwow demonstrations, vendor booths and even neckbone eating competitions.

Lorne Carriere from Piapot First Nation said it’s important for people to learn where they come from, especially with the relationship between the Crown and Indigenous people.

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“The treaties are the basis of our relationship with the Crown, and our land base is the very important part,” he said.

An RT/SIS staff member from the Muskowekwan First Nation said the annual urban treaty day event brings out the community to come together and that’s what she looks forward to the most.

“I think it’s a benchmark to show that the First Nation people are in existence, and they’re here,” Dorothy Lafontaine said. “We’re here to continue doing the work we do within the agency.”

The first day of Regina Urban Treaty Days ends with a community round dance. The last day is where treaty annuity payments will be distributed by Indigenous Services Canada. The day will be filled with a talent show, dance competitions, karaoke, a community barbecue, live entertainment and fireworks to end the two-day celebration.

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