Summit of Treaty 5 Sovereign Nations and Canada sign Memorandum of Agreement to Advance Reconciliation on First Nation Governance

News release

December 15, 2021 — Ottawa, ON — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada — Summit of Treaty Five Sovereign Nations

The Government of Canada and the Summit of Treaty 5 Sovereign Nations announced they have taken a key step forward by signing a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for Advancing Reconciliation. This co-developed MOA will guide the parties as they explore ways to strengthen the Nation-to-Nation relationship and achieve reconciliation based on shared goals and Treaty 5 First Nation priorities. The Memorandum outlines the steps in the process and topics for exploratory discussions between the parties on governance.

Discussions will cover Treaty rights, Treaty implementation, economic self-sufficiency, self-government and other important topics. The goal is to work together in good faith based on respect, co-operation and true partnership to find shared and balanced solutions for the benefit of the participating First Nations and all Canadians.

The Summit of Treaty 5 Sovereign Nations membership consists of 40 Treaty 5 Nations from Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario who have come together to pursue these discussions with Canada. An annual summit is held to get perspectives on governance but also to report on the progress of these discussions. Treaty 5 Chiefs Steering Committee, the Board of Directors, the Elders and Technical Committee are responsible to ensure the reporting and goals are achieved on the discussion topics.

Quotes

“Today, the MOA is signed between Treaty 5 and Canada to discuss the many pertinent jurisdictional issues to achieve a Nation-to-Nation relationship. One of the issues for discussion is the sharing of our lands and natural resources in the spirit and intent of the Treaty No. 5 of 1875. Until we achieve equity in resources sharing to sustain our governments there will be no reconciliation. Reconciliation is about accommodating our political differences in the way we govern ourselves. It is key to achieving reconciliation. Therefore, as custodians and land defenders of our lands it’s our responsibility to protect our resources for the future generations to benefit. I can’t emphasize enough that resource sharing is key to working together and we need to do more to improve our quality of life and future for our people.”

Co-chair Chief Sheldon Kent
Black River First Nation

“This Memorandum of Agreement signing is a stark reminder that we are sovereign nations who signed Treaty with the Settler Society. Our unfettered right to sovereignty was never a subject of Treaty making, therefore, our right to govern ourselves remains intact today. The signing of this accord demonstrates our willingness to reconcile our political differences and for First Nation governments to remain unmolested.”

Co-chair Chief Clarence Easter
Chemawawin Cree Nation

“Congratulations to the Summit of Treaty 5 Sovereign Nations, Co-Chairs Chief Clarence Easter and Chief Sheldon Kent, Elders, and the Treaty 5 Chiefs Steering Committee for your leadership in advancing this important Memorandum of Agreement. This is an opportunity to work together on concrete solutions for reconciliation based on respect, co-operation, true partnership and recognition of Treaty No. 5 rights.”

The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Associated links

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Lucas Kent
Media Relations
Summit of Treaty Five Sovereign Nations
1-204-291-3207
media@treaty5.com

Renelle Arsenault
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
renelle.arsenault@sac-isc.gc.ca

Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
819-934-2302
RCAANC.media.CIRNAC@canada.ca

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