Whitecap Dakota First Nation and Canada sign historic Framework Agreement towards treaty

News Release

January 22, 2018 Whitecap, SK - Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada - Whitecap Dakota First Nation

The Government of Canada and Whitecap Dakota First Nation today marked an important step on the road to reconciliation and a renewed relationship by signing a historic Framework Agreement for a Whitecap Dakota Treaty.

The Framework Agreement sets the stage for exploratory discussions to identify ways to achieve meaningful and lasting reconciliation. As Whitecap is not a party to any of the historic numbered treaties or any modern treaty, the discussions will include joint work to see if the parties can find the common ground for moving forward into treaty negotiations.

While today’s signing is an important milestone, much work remains to be done. Canada and Whitecap will work together to find shared and balanced solutions that will strengthen their relationship, support sustainable community and economic development, and respect the rights and interests of all Canadians.


“Acknowledging and honouring our past is fundamental to advancing reconciliation and supporting the work of nation rebuilding. The Government is honoured to be signing this historic Agreement, setting the stage for a Whitecap Dakota Treaty and a true nation-to-nation relationship. Together, we are charting a path forward that supports their vision of greater self-determination and a sustainable, self-reliant community. Congratulations to Chief Darcy Bear and all those involved – we look forward to continued progress.”

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs

“Our historic military and trade alliances with the British Crown, dating back to the 1700s, helped create Canada. That Spirit of Alliance has been recognized by the Government. Today’s Framework Agreement commits us to collaborate on the next step: a Canada-Whitecap Dakota Treaty that fully reconciles our relationship with the Crown and Government through honourable and practical arrangements. I look forward to working with the Minister and her colleagues to make that happen.”

Chief Darcy Bear
Whitecap Dakota First Nation

Quick Facts

  • Whitecap Dakota First Nation is located just south of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

  • Dakota Chief Whitecap was present at both Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 discussions in the 1870s, but was not invited to be a signatory to those Treaties.

  • A key element of the discussions going forward will be the means to formally recognize the relationship between Whitecap and the Crown.

  • These exploratory talks are separate from ongoing self-government negotiations with Whitecap. The two tables complement each other in support of Whitecap’s vision of self-determination.

  • At regularly scheduled membership meetings, Whitecap Chief and Council have kept the community updated on progress towards Dakota Reconciliation.

  • The rights and interests of third parties, other Indigenous peoples and all Canadians will be respected during the negotiation of any shared solution or approach to reconciliation.


For more information, media may contact:

Sabrina Williams
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett

Media Relations
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Alycia McLeod
Communications Coordinator
Whitecap Dakota First Nation

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