Saturday, July 9, 2016

Viewing the Pasqua Pictograph with Keitha Brass

I picked up Keitha in my dusty red car and we headed for Regina. A few months ago I had phoned Dr. Evelyn Siegfried at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum because my friend, Keitha Brass, was interested in viewing the Pasqua Pictograph. Keitha is one of two remaining Great Grandchildren of Chief Ben Pasqua, one of the original signators to Treaty Four. Dr. Siegfried is the Curator of Aboriginal Studies at the museum and is currently preparing an exhibit for this rare artifact.

Dr. Siegfried sharing Keitha's Great Grandfather's words
from the Alexander Morris account of Treaty Four.

We spent almost four hours with Dr. Siegfried. She was excited to speak with Keitha because as a historian she had been thinking, where are the women's voices? At the signing of Treaties, there were camps, and if there were camps, that means the women were there. Keitha is the first woman she has spoken with in regards to the Pasqua Pictograph and also the closest living relative. 

The Pasqua Pictograph is the only Indigenous document of its kind in Canada,
conveying Treaty understanding from an Indigenous perspective.  
I am too over-whelmed with feelings to write about it yet, but I can say, sitting there with Keitha, we were living out our Treaty relationship, a living friendship. I was so honoured to be there with her. I don't have the words to start unpacking the next part of this story.



  1. Each pictograph writer wrote distinctly not uniformity so interpretation is subject to the individual perception... Translation is therefore subjective. Ty

    1. I'm hoping to offer my students more opportunity next year to view the pictograph. With your permission, I'll use your words as an introduction or perspective to encourage my students to consider what the pictograph symbols mean to them, individually. Thanks for your thoughts.