First of all, I want to say thanks to you for getting engaged
in this discussion! It is heartening to me when citizens take time to show they
are concerned about issues of the day. And Idle No More is definitely one of
those issues that seems to have touched a nerve, a good nerve, in thousands of
Canadians, both indigenous people and settlers and newcomers.
ended up in politics, I worked as a federal government lawyer for seventeen
years in the Treaty Land Entitlement Agreement implementation. I worked with
many First Nations who were signatories to the agreement and really enjoyed
working as a team with them, provincial officials and federal officials to move
over 700,000 acres of land to reserve status. That experience has given me many
insights and perspectives about the Treaty relationship in Saskatchewan and the
complexities and difficulties facing First Nations people today. It would be
difficult for me to begin to put my experiences in words in a short response to
your question - so I won't even try to do that!
In a nutshell, I see the
Treaty relationship as one that is gaining strength in many ways, and the Idle
No More movement is a good expression of the growing awareness of the Treaties
and their role in Canada and especially in the prairies, where we have the
"numbered" treaties. When I think about what I knew about the treaties before I
went to Law school (which was nothing, zero, zip) and now, I am both sad to know
that we did not honour the treaties in the last century but optimistic that they
are now being regarded in a more respectful way. We are all treaty people, after
I hope this is ok, I would be happy to discuss more with you
anytime, if you'd like. Say hi to Moira!
I believe you returned my phone call, but I wasn't
here, and my husband didn't take down your name... so... after some
interrogating and deduction, I believe it was you :) Sorry to be so long
I'm so happy to hear that PM Harper will meet with
Chief Spence, so that is the first thing I was asking our provincial MLAs to
However, since we've begun a conversation, I'd love to
hear your response to the Idle No More movement, the meeting with Harper and
Spence, and our provincial responsibilities toward treaty.
like, you could respond by email, and with your permission, I'll post your
thoughts on my blog www.treatywalks.blogspot.com
best, Cathy, and I do remember you fondly from meeting you at the Kenosee Lake
Kitchen Party when you were Moira's piano teacher :)
Note: I'd called and left messages before Christmas with all Saskatchewan MLAs...
after sending each Saskatchewan MLA a copy of my open letter to Premier Brad Wall.