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Treaty 6 Plans Moving Ahead

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      MAY 1976      v06 n05 p40  
This year marks the One-Hundredth year since the signing of Treaty Number Six and numerous activities and projects are planned.

There will be two major week-long commemorations, one at Beardy's Reserve near Duck Lake and another at Onion Lake Reserve near Lloydminster. These two sites were chosen because of their priximity to the original Treaty negotiating sites.

On August 23, 1876, the representatives of the Canadians Government entered into a Treaty with the Plains and Woods Cree Tribes at Fort Carlton near present day Duck Lake, Saskatchewan. On September 9 of the same year, other tribes negotiated part of Treaty 6 at Fort Pitt near present day Lloydminster.

Treaty 6 takes in an area of central Alberta and Saskatchewan. There are 19 Bands in Alberta and 31 Bands in Saskatchewan who signed this Treaty. In Saskatchewan alone, there are over 21,000 Indians belonging to this Treaty.  This represents almost half of the total Indian population of Saskatchewan. 121,000 square miles of Indian land were ceded in Treaty 6.

Beardy's Band will host the Saskatchewan Indian Summer Games, which are open to all Indian children under the age of 14. As well as track and field, the games will include boys and girls softball, boys soccer, boys and girls basketball and boys and girls volleyball.

Provincial play-offs will be held in six districts with the winner of each district participating in the Summer Games. The Summer Games are set for Beardy's Reserve from August 23 to the 28, with August 22 to be a camping date.

Onion Lake commemorations are set from August 8 to the 14th.

Also during the Summer Games, plans are being made for a ceremony Commemorating the Treaty signing by inviting representatives of the Canadian Government to attend part of the Games. Invitations have been sent out to the  Prime Minister, the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, the Governor General of Canada, and others Members of Parliament and Cabinet Ministers. At the time of this writing, nothing definite has been firmed up.

The week-long Treaty commemoration planned for mid-August at Onion Lake will be much more traditional in nature and will consist of a, Pow-wow, traditional. Indian Summer Games plus also visits from visiting dignitaries. Bands near the Saskatchewan border in Alberta have also expressed their wishes to join in with Onion Lake on their Treaty commemorations.

Some projects planned for the year also include film record to be made by the Audio-Visual Department of the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural College - this will be a film record on the events in Onion Lake and Beardy's, as well as the Saskatchewan Indian Summer Games. The Music Department plans to develop a musical re-enactment of the Treaties which will be sent around to the Indian schools in the province. The Curriculum Studies Department of the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural College is planning text book material on the Treaties to be developed in the course of the year and will be including it in future curriculum for Indian schools. The Communications Department is planning to prepare a special magazine dealing with Treaties, their implications and the importance placed on them by Indian people.