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1899 and After

Celebrating the Legacy of Treaty 8

Article Feature By Brian Calliou

   
"The camp here at Stony Point is growing daily, every trader had his canvas spread and his wares exposed to catch the dollars from the Indian as he gets paid. Ice cream parlors and restaurants are also established.."

first nations gathering to meet treaty 8 partySo reported the Edmonton Bulletin in the summer of 1899 on the carnival like setting surrounding the negotiations of Treaty 8. That same festive atmosphere will again visit Lesser Slave Lake this summer during a centennial anniversary commemoration of the signing of Treaty 8.

Why celebrate 100 years after the signing? Treaty 8 was a major historical event in Canada. The legacy and significance of the treaty for First Treaty 8 Nations has been passed down from generation to generation through oral histories. First Nations Elders and leaders view it as the basis for the 'Nation to Nation' relationship between First Nations and Canada. They also state that 'through the knowledge of the Elders, Treaty 8 First Nations view the treaty as sacred, whereby solemn promises were made to share the land and resources in a peaceful manner.' All Canadians need to learn more about the special legal and historical relationship with Canada's first Peoples to better understand the demands and claims made by the First Nations.

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Reprinted from with permission from Brian Calliou and  Legacy: Alberta's Heritage Magazine. 

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