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National Treaty Gathering - Summary -

National Treaty Gathering - Summary -

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Published by Sheila North Wilson
The National Treaty Gathering 2013 was held in Onion Lake First Nation this year hosted by Okimaw Wallace Fox and his community/staff. Here is the summary of the four day gathering.
The National Treaty Gathering 2013 was held in Onion Lake First Nation this year hosted by Okimaw Wallace Fox and his community/staff. Here is the summary of the four day gathering.

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Published by: Sheila North Wilson on Aug 30, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Onion Lake Cree Nation, Treaty No. 6 Territory, hosted an historic National Treaty Gathering(Gathering) from July 14
18, 2013 with the theme,
Our Future Depends on Unity
This gatheringevolved from the Treaties 1-11 Gathering held annually for the last 8 years. Over one thousand peoplefrom across northern Turtle Island were in attendance. Of those registered approximately 70 were Chiefsand Proxies, 240 were Elders, 120 were Youth and the remainder were observers from various Nations.The Gathering was live streamed via UStream on the Internet and reached thousands more peopleglobally.Ceremonial foundations of lighting the sacred fire set the spirit and intent of the Gathering and thisspiritual strength was carried forward into the meeting proceedings. A beautiful song heralding the procession of the Treaty Dakota Awareness horse riders from the Treaty 2 territory as they walked the perimeter of the meeting arbour provided blessings for the business of the Gathering. The procession of horses was immediately handed over to the Grand Entry inside the arbour led by Elders, the oskapewiswalkers, and youth carrying Indigenous
Eagle Staffs and Numbered Treaty banners. Chiefs andProxies entered the arbour as the finale in the procession demonstrating the protective circle for the Eldersand youth. Eagle Staffs identifying each Nation were prominently placed at the front of the meetingarbour. The ceremonial opening of the Gathering ignited a spiritual awakening of the People andfacilitated dialogue on the Treaty, nation to nation relationship, and Nation-building.On the opening day of the meetings, on hand were the Treaty Dakota Awareness Riders and theOskapewis walkers calling forward the spirit of unity through words and actions of moving across theterritories and landing at the Gathering. A respected woman Elder explained the inherent teachings of theTreaty and how we are all related to one another and to the land. The Honorable Senator Lillian Dyck wasin attendance to provide encouraging remarks. Chiefs and proxies also brought messages of welcomeholding the spiritual tobacco in their left hand as this protocol had been introduced by the host chief,Okimaw Fox.A highlight of the second day was the impassioned speech of Grand Chief Derek Nepinak relaying theconcept of the National Treaty Alliance and the need to return to our original governance structure(s) asthese had been displaced by the imposed
 Indian Act 
. The introduction of the Treaty Alliance conceptcreated considerable dialogue and provided an opportunity for people to break off into discussion forumsfor youth, women, Elders and Chiefs. The forums consisted of a facilitator and recorders to take notes of the discussions so information could be included within a report of action directives at the end of theGathering. During each forum, participants discussed questions related to: the concept of the NationalTreaty Alliance, the meaning of Treaty sovereignty, renewing the Treaty relationship, land and resources,

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