And at the end of the panel discussion, as I sat at the back of the room, soaking in the community spirit of honesty and trust, three people spontaneously stood in turn to share with the gathering.
I remember this guy in a fedora and green, green sweater. The lady sitting with him had the kindest face, but I could see her depth and strength in the way she listened (photo above by Lesley Farley.)Tears rolled down my face as this man spoke about the importance of grassroots community events and how we needed to talk and act together. I wanted to speak with them, but I missed getting their names.
This past summer at my cousins block party on Craigleith, I got the names of these people I had admired at a distance: Joan and Dan Bellegarde. I introduced myself and told them how I had been so encouraged by their presence at the blog launch. I hadn't been sure if I should keep blogging or if that tool had been exhausted. They said that the block party was just the sort of thing that I had been trying to do in my blog, and that I should keep going. We planned to meet later after school had started.
A few weeks back, the Bellegarde's and Michael and I met at Robin's donuts. Dan gave me this CD set to listen to and I have been processing it while driving, while doing dishes, while cooking, and now while reading the transcript.
Yesterday I posted AJ Felix's Opening Comments http://treatywalks.blogspot.ca/2012/10/aj-felix-opening-comments.html and tomorrow I will post Interim Chief Morley Watson's Welcoming Remarks.
Overview of the Forum
Treaty Governance Office
The objective of the Forum is to promote dialogue amongst our Leaders and Elders on Treaty and Inherent rights and to receive direction on how to move forward.
We will look at the history of Treaties and the Treaty relationship in Saskatchewan from the point of view of First Nations Leadership.
We will look at clarifying the roles and responsibilities of First Nations and representative organizations in implementing Inherent and Treaty rights. These include the advocacy roles of the FSIN, the Tribal Councils, Chiefs Policy Commissions, Treaty areas, the Treaties 1-11 Movement and the AFN.
We will look at clarifying the role of the Office of the Treaty Commissioner, which came to us with great fanfare in 1987, signed off by Chief Roland Crowe and Minister Pierre Cadieux. It had good success with Treaty Land Entitlement in 1992, but the Treaty parties have not been able to agree on Treaty implementation in any other sector since then. The current OTC mandate extends to 2014.
We will look at how we work with the Crown in right of Canada and the Crown in right of Saskatchewan, given that Canada brought Saskatchewan into existence in 1905, after Treaty.
We will look at how the Inherent right to self-determination, which includes self-government, impacts on Treaty implementation. As you know, the Indian Act has replaced self-government for 145 years and we may need to once again be self-governing peoples if we wish to implement Treaty to its fullest.
We will look at the beginnings of a strategic plan, based on direction from this Forum, for implementation of Inherent and Treaty rights.
The Treaty Governance Office will have a report within 2 weeks of this session and we will go out to communities and Tribal Councils to present the report and obtain further feedback.
We will bring a message to the federal and provincial governments who are developing government-wide Treaty implementation policies to meet what they consider to be their obligations under Treaty.
The agenda is flexible and we will leave it up to the Chair and participants to decide where it takes us.
page 7, excerpt from
Chiefs' Forum on Treaty Implementation
Dakota Dunes Casino and Conference Center
March 29 & 30, 2012
shared as public document with permission from
Dan Bellegarde, Executive Director, Treaty Governance Office
CD of Chiefs' Forum on treaty Implementation available for $5.00
or free transcript is available
by contacting Dan Bellegarde at Dan.Bellegarde@fsin.com