Minister of Indigenous Services concludes community visits in Manitoba to celebrate 150th anniversary of Treaty 1 and meet with First Nations leadership and partners

News release

August 9, 2021  — Winnipeg, Treaty 1 Territory, Manitoba – Indigenous Services Canada

On August 3 and 4, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, visited Manitoba to participate in events marking the 150th anniversary of the signing of Treaty 1 and to meet with Manitoba First Nations leadership and partner organizations. He also toured several First Nations, Métis, and Inuit-led organizations, in addition to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

On August 3, Minister Miller visited Lower Fort Garry national historic site to attend a commemoration event marking the 150th anniversary of the signing of the first of the 11 numbered Treaties in Canada. Minister Miller was grateful for the opportunity to meet with Treaty 1 Chiefs and Councillors in person, as well as participate as a speaker in the formal ceremony. Minister Miller delivered remarks alongside Treaty 1 Chiefs, Grand Chiefs, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) representatives, federal and provincial government representatives, and members of Treaty 1 Nation. In his address, Minister Miller acknowledged the wisdom of the Chiefs who negotiated the signing of Treaty 1 in 1871, and re-affirmed the federal government’s commitment to engage in nation-to-nation relations with a spirit that embodies the Treaty values of respect, partnership, and cooperation.

Following the formal commemoration ceremony, Minister Miller had a conversation with Arlen Dumas, Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and RoseAnne Archibald, National Chief of the AFN. They discussed matters of priority such as health legislation, child and family services, Jordan’s Principle, COVID-19 pandemic response funding, and the current Manitoba wildfire emergency.

Later that afternoon, Minister Miller attended a second Treaty 1 anniversary event hosted in Winnipeg at Naawi Oodena (formally known as Kapyong Barracks). He was honoured to participate in the Grand Entrance of the powwow and to mark the historic day as a guest of two impactful ceremonies.

This celebration was followed by a meeting with Chief Nelson Genaille of Sapotaweyak Cree Nation, President of the Treaty Land Entitlement Committee (TLEC), to discuss the interests and concerns of the TLEC. Minister Miller expressed the Government of Canada’s commitment to continue to work with all parties in order to implement the 1997 Manitoba Framework Agreement – Treaty Land Entitlement, despite its challenges related to the pace of reserve creation and crown consultation requirements.

Discussions were also held at Naawi Oodena between Minister Miller and members of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization, including Grand Chief Jerry Daniels, Chief Dennis Meeches of Long Plain First Nation, Chief Cornell McLean of Lake Manitoba First Nation, Chief Glenn Hudson of Peguis First Nation, Chief Deborah Smith of Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, and Chief Lindsay Bunn Jr. of Birdtail Sioux Dakota Nation.

In acknowledgement of the widespread disruption currently being caused by active Manitoba wildfires, Minister Miller met with Pauingassi First Nation Chief Roddy Owens and its Council members to discuss latest developments and federal support initiatives. As of July 28, 2021, all Pauingassi First Nation members have been evacuated from their community and are currently residing in Winnipeg. The community, with support from the federal government and the Canadian Red Cross, is beginning to plan for a phased repatriation. Minister Miller praised Chief Owens for his leadership and the community for their resilience in the face of such difficult challenges.

Minister Miller also took the opportunity to thank the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), represented by Lieutenant-Colonel Ryan Kastrukoff, for the significant support they have provided to Manitoba First Nations since the COVID-19 pandemic began last year. The CAF has deployed members and sent equipment to seven different First Nations, and have been instrumental in facilitating COVID-19 vaccine roll-out initiatives in remote Manitoban communities.

On August 4th, Minister Miller toured the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) Clinic and met with MMF President David Chartrand. Minister Miller congratulated President Chartrand on the recent signing of the Manitoba Métis Self-Government Recognition and Implementation Agreement, as well as the MMF’s efforts to support the Métis community through the COVID-19 crisis via the work of its COVID-19 response team, including vaccinations administered through the MEDOCare Pharmacy at the MMF’s Winnipeg office. 

While in Winnipeg, Minister Miller also toured two facilities that provide front-line pandemic support to local First Nations and Inuit community members: the Emergency Services Facility at Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre (Ma Mawi) and the Manitoba Inuit Association (MIA). The federal government has supported a number of pandemic-related initiatives at Ma Mawi, such as COVID-19 rapid testing and an urban Indigenous immunization clinic. Federal funding has also been provided to the MIA through the Indigenous Community Support Fund, which directly supports their ongoing COVID-19 response work, including an immunization clinic for Inuit and an emergency food hamper program. Minister Miller commended the dedication shown by these organizations throughout the COVID-19 crisis and their ability to pivot quickly in dynamic times to provide critical supports to those in need.

The trip to Manitoba concluded with a tour of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) at the University of Manitoba, where Minister Miller learned first-hand about the Centre’s mandate and met with Stephanie Scott, NCTR Executive Director, and Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Member of Parliament representing Winnipeg South. Minister Miller recognized the Centre’s commitment to advancing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action and thanked its leadership team for dedicating their careers to the advancement of reconciliation.

Quotes

"It was incredibly meaningful to visit Manitoba and participate in the events that marked the 150th anniversary of the signing of Treaty 1. Our Government is committed to honouring the numbered Treaties by engaging in nation-to-nation relations based on the spirit of partnership and respect. I am also grateful for the many candid discussions I engaged in with Manitoban First Nations, Métis, and Inuit leaders. I am thankful for the chance to connect in person on so many important issues and look forward to continuing our work together.”

The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services

Quick facts

  • Jordan's Principle supports families in accessing products and services for First Nations children and youth to help with a wide range of health, social and educational needs.

  • The Manitoba Treaty Land Entitlement (TLE) Framework Agreement was signed on May 29, 1997, by the Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba and the TLE Committee of Manitoba Inc., on behalf of 19 (but now 21 due to band division) Manitoba First Nations with outstanding TLEs. The duty to consult remains a challenge in that the agreement pre-dates the Supreme Court of Canada decisions regarding the crown’s constitutional obligations in that regard. Canada is seeking clarification from the TLE Committee as to specifics in order to inform the options under development.

  • Pauingassi First Nation is currently evacuated to Winnipeg due to wildfires and wildfire smoke. The First Nation is remote and isolated, located approximately 280 kilometers northeast of Winnipeg and 24 kilometers north of Little Grand Rapids First Nation. The First Nation has no year-round road access to a service centre and, as a result, experiences higher cost of transportation. Pauingassi First Nation does not have an airport, and therefore evacuation efforts require various transportation supports, such as amphibious aircraft, helicopters, boats and planes. As of July 28, 2021, all First Nation members have left the community and there are 463 registered evacuees in Winnipeg, hosted by the Canadian Red Cross.

  • The Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) recently formalized a Self-Government Recognition and Implementation Agreement on core governance with Canada as they continue to work towards a Treaty. This agreement recognizes the role of the MMF as the representatives of Manitoba Métis.

  • Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) has supported a number of initiatives at the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre since March 2020, including:

    • Rapid Testing Site: Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre Community Support provides wrap-around support for individuals and families who test positive for COVID-19 and those waiting for their test results and required to self-isolate. ISC supported a $1.9 million proposal over two years, which will ensure that these activities continue until December 31, 2021.
    • Indigenous Community Support – COVID-19 Response: The Winnipeg Urban Indigenous COVID-19 Response Service focuses on providing culturally-sensitive pandemic support. ISC supported this initiative by providing over $1 million in funding for 2020-21.
  • As part of Budget 2021, the Government of Canada is providing financial support to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis partners through the Indigenous Community Support Fund (ICSF) to support positive economic, social, and health outcomes in their communities. Recently, the Manitoba Inuit Association (MIA) received an additional $551,040 in funding for their COVID-19 Emergency Food Hamper Program and vaccination clinic. This investment will extend the MIA hamper program, initially launched in April 2020, to March 31, 2022. This funding will enable the MIA to provide food, baby items, and cleaning supplies to Inuit individuals, families, and couples in need by supporting the costs of hamper goods, packaging supplies, delivery fees, office space, and staff teams.

  • The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) was created through an agreement between the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the University of Manitoba. It houses all statements, documents, and materials gathered by the TRC. The NCTR continues to promote ongoing learning and research, while also working to expand their collection and educate the public on TRC-related matters.

Associated links

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Adrienne Vaupshas
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services
adrienne.vaupshas@canada.ca

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada
819-953-1160
SAC.media.ISC@canada.ca

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