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Treaty Roundtable Forum

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      FALL 1995      p06  
April 5 & 6, 1995, Regina, Sask.

In the true Spirit and Intent of the Canadian Numbered Treaties as negotiated and signed by our Forefathers, this gathering of Treaty Elders, Chiefs and Councils and Technicians was called by the FSIN Chief Blaine Favel.

The opening of Treaty Roundtable Forum was done in the traditional protocol of the pipe ceremony. Within this sacred circle, our Elders reminded our leaders of our forefather's worldview, in the need to prepare our next generations and learn to live and walk our First Nations values. They also echoed their oral teachings from our Forefather's Treaty perspective and advised the present leadership not to forget the Elder's role in First Nations Society.

The significance of the Roundtable forum were as follows:

• to provide open dialogue to current Treaty territory issues and concerns at the grassroots, regional and national levels,

• to re-establish a process/forum to move forward with the treaty implementation agenda, and identifying representation from the "Numbered Treaty Areas",

• and to establish "Numbered Treaty locations and a schedule of follow-up meetings, to ensure a united national Treaty position.

The rationale of why a Treaty Roundtable Forum were discussed
as follows:

• to determine specific concerns and issues where there can be unified effort and action on clarifying and implementing our Treaty Rights,

• to discuss suitable political arrangements (i.e. alliances, protocol agreements, etc.) to govern joint action and communication,

• and refocus on the large group of inherent rights which were silent during the Original Treaty negotiations (i.e. Self-government, Judicial systems, Natural Resources, and Revenue Sharing ,etc.) which need to be discussed and resolved with the Crown.

This will require unity and harmony from all Treaty territories.

In closing, the following exchange of ideas at the Treaty Roundtable Forum are highlighted in "concept" format to give you, the reader, a general conception of what was discussed by our own Treaty Elders and leaders.

• "To Treaty First Nations, when we operate as Bands, we are like the lame buffalo of old. We lose the protection of the herd and easily fall prey to the wolves. And the vision is clear today - the full realization of coming to the edge of the Buffalo Jump, in hand with our future generations, if and when we continue to over-graze in one area of the Federal Government's buffalo pound of regional pilot projects, proposals, transfer agreements, etc., which decays our sacred trust of the Treaties."

• "The need for our political and education leadership to return to the sacred circle of the pipe for guidance and strength to work in unity and harmony amongst our First Nations and the Non-First Nation governments in respect of the Spirit and Intent of the Treaties."

• "The time has come to make a unified stand for our people; the Crown has been given plenty of time to correctly manage and address our Treaty grievances. In our own Treaty territories, it is also time for us to stop reacting to the Crown's hidden agendas and negotiating with the minor government ministers. In mutual respect, we must discuss face to face with the Crown's top Cabinet Ministers about the Treaty implementation process."

• "For far too long, and often too often, the Federal and Provincial governments understanding and implementation of the Treaties are done without First Nation involvement and consent."

• "When we observe our surroundings carefully, we see how the Federal/Provincial governments are predetermining our Treaty Rights. They are digging in their heels on the control of how First Nations will implement the Treaties on their own agenda.