Treaty 4 and 6 boundary signs coming to Saskatchewan highways
- EFN Staff | November 14, 2021
Saskatchewan highways will soon be the first in Canada to have signs indicating treaty territory boundaries.
"Acknowledging the territories that we are on and accepting they are the foundation of Saskatchewan and Canada is so important to the Treaty relationship and reconciliation,” Treaty Commissioner Mary Culbertson said in a news release.
“It may be a small step, but the signs will be here for a long time. The people who worked on this are looking forward to the Government of Saskatchewan support. This action will start conversations and these discussions lead to education, knowledge and change," Culbertson said.
The Ministries of Government Relations and of Highways are coordinating the work, in partnership with the Office of the Treaty Commissioner (OTC). The signage will follow provincial highway standards, with the final design being overseen by the Treaty Commissioner. Highways will then co-ordinate the manufacturing and installation of the first sign, planned for winter-spring 2022.
“The Government of Saskatchewan is proud to work in partnership with the Office of the Treaty Commissioner to support and invest in this first-in-Canada initiative,” said Don McMorris, Minister Responsible for First Nations, Métis and Northern Affairs.
“The treaty boundary signage will help further treaty awareness and education in our province and support our work toward reconciliation,” he said.
Culbertson called the project, "the start of a much-needed public recognition of the Treaty Territories in Saskatchewan.
"The path to reach this point was long and involved conversations about our history and the desire of our Knowledge Keepers, who wanted to see these signs. It marks the beginning of a process being undertaken to one day ensure every border driven past in these territories will have a demarcation. We want everyone to know they are here because of Treaty.
The signs on major highways will delineate the two largest Treaty territories in Saskatchewan, Treaty 4 and Treaty 6.
Culbertson said the goal is to mark all the boundaries of all the treaty territories but there is no time frame for the others yet.
The Government of Saskatchewan and the OTC will work together to determine the exact location and composition of signs, and to ensure that the proper protocols and ceremony are observed prior to any installation.