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Treaty 8

First Nations of Alberta

As long as the sun shines, grass grows and the rivers flow

Articles of Treaty No. 8

ARTICLES OF A TREATY made and concluded at the several dates mentioned therein, in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-nine, between Her most Gracious Majesty the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, by Her Commissioners the Honourable David Laird, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Indian Commissioner for the said Province and the Northwest Territories; James Andrew Joseph McKenna, of Ottawa, Ontario, Esquire, and the Honourable James Hamilton Ross, of Regina, in the Northwest Territories...

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On June 21, 1899, the eighth treaty between the Indians of North America and the Queen of England was signed. The signatories of Treaty 8 agreed to its terms for reasons of peace and friendship – ensuring what they thought would be a partnership.

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Articles of Treaty No. 8

ARTICLES OF A TREATY made and concluded at the several dates mentioned therein, in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-nine, between Her most Gracious Majesty the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, by Her Commissioners the Honourable David Laird, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Indian Commissioner for the said Province and the Northwest Territories; James Andrew Joseph McKenna, of Ottawa, Ontario, Esquire, and the Honourable James Hamilton Ross, of Regina, in the Northwest Territories, of the one part; and the Cree, Beaver, Chipewyan and other Indians, inhabitants of the territory within the limits hereinafter defined and described, by their Chiefs and Headmen, hereunto subscribed, of the other part:

WHEREAS, the Indians inhabiting the territory hereinafter defined have, pursuant to notice given by the Honourable Superintendent General of Indian Affairs in the year 1898, been convened to meet a Commission representing Her Majesty's Government of the Dominion of Canada at certain places in the said territory in this present year 1899, to deliberate upon certain matters of interest of Her Most Gracious Majesty, of the one part, and the said Indians of the other.

AND WHEREAS, the said Indians have been notified and informed by Her Majesty's said Commission that it is Her desire to open for settlement, immigration, trade, travel, mining, lumbering and such other purposes as to Her Majesty may seem meet, a tract of country bounded and described as hereinafter mentioned, and to obtain the consent thereto of Her Indian subjects inhabiting the said tract, and to make a treaty, and arrange with them, so that there may be peace and good will between them and Her Majesty's other subjects, and that Her Indian people may know and be assured of what allowances they are to count upon and receive from Her Majesty's bounty and benevolence.

AND WHEREAS, the Indians of the said tract, duly convened in council at the respective points named hereunder, and being requested by Her Majesty's Commissioners to name certain Chiefs and Headmen who should be authorized on their behalf to conduct such negotiations and sign any treaty to be founded thereon, and to become responsible to Her Majesty for the faithful performance by their respective bands of such obligations as shall be assumed by them, the said Indians have therefore acknowledged for that purpose the several Chiefs and Headmen who have subscribed hereto.

AND WHEREAS, the said Commissioners have proceeded to negotiate a treaty with the Cree, Beaver, Chipewyan and other Indians, inhabiting the district hereinafter defined and described, and the same has been agreed upon and concluded by the respective bands at the dates mentioned hereunder, the said Indians DO HEREBY SHARE*, RELEASE, SURRENDER AND YIELD UP to the Government of the Dominion of Canada, for Her Majesty the Queen and Her successors for ever, all their rights, titles and privileges whatsoever, to the lands included within the following limits, that is to say:

Commencing at the source of the main branch of the Red Deer River in Alberta, thence due west to the central range of the Rocky Mountains, thence northwesterly along the said range to the point where it intersects the 60th parallel of north latitude, thence east along said parallel to the point where it intersects Hay River, thence northeasterly down said river to the south shore of Great Slave Lake, thence along the said shore northeasterly (and including such rights to the islands in said lakes as the Indians mentioned in the treaty may possess), and thence easterly and northeasterly along the south shores of Christie's Bay and McLeod's Bay to old Fort Reliance near the mouth of Lockhart's River, thence southeasterly in a straight line to and including Black Lake, thence southwesterly up the stream from Cree Lake, thence including said lake southwesterly along the height of land between the Athabasca and Churchill Rivers to where it intersects the northern boundary of Treaty Six, and along the said boundary easterly, northerly and southwesterly, to the place of commencement.

AND ALSO the said Indian rights, titles and privileges whatsoever to all other lands wherever situated in the Northwest Territories, British Columbia, or in any other portion of the Dominion of Canada.

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the same to Her Majesty the Queen and Her successors for ever.

And Her Majesty the Queen HEREBY AGREES with the said Indians that they shall have right to pursue their usual vocations of hunting, trapping and fishing throughout the tract surrendered as heretofore described, subject to such regulations as may from time to time be made by the Government of the country, acting under the authority of Her Majesty, and saving and excepting such tracts as may be required or taken up from time to time for settlement, mining, lumbering, trading or other purposes.

And Her Majesty the Queen hereby agrees and undertakes to lay aside reserves for such bands as desire reserves, the same not to exceed in all one square mile for each family of five for such number of families as may elect to reside on reserves, or in that proportion for larger or smaller families; and for such families or individual Indians as may prefer to live apart from band reserves, Her Majesty undertakes to provide land in severalty to the extent of 160 acres to each Indian, the land to be conveyed with a proviso as to non-alienation without the consent of the Governor General in Council of Canada, the selection of such reserves, and lands in severalty, to be made in the manner following, namely, the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs shall depute and send a suitable person to determine and set apart such reserves and lands, after consulting with the Indians concerned as to the locality which may be found suitable and open for selection.

Provided, however, that Her Majesty reserves the right to deal with any settlers within the bounds of any lands reserved for any band as She may see fit; and also that the aforesaid reserves of land, or any interest therein, may be sold or otherwise disposed of by Her Majesty's Government for the use and benefit of the said Indians entitled thereto, with their consent first had and obtained.

It is further agreed between Her Majesty and Her said Indian subjects that such portions of the reserves and lands above indicated as may at any time be required for public works, buildings, railways, or roads of whatsoever nature may be appropriated for that purpose by Her Majesty's Government of the Dominion of Canada, due compensation being made to the Indians for the value of any improvements thereon, and an equivalent in land, money or other consideration for the area of the reserve so appropriated.

And with a view to show the satisfaction of Her Majesty with the behaviour and good conduct of Her Indians, and in extinguishment of all their past claims, She hereby, through Her Commissioners, agrees to make each Chief a present of thirty-two dollars in cash, to each Headman twenty-two dollars, and to every other Indian of whatever age, of the families represented at the time and place of payment, twelve dollars.

Her Majesty also agrees that next year, and annually afterwards for ever, She will cause to be paid to the said Indians in cash, at suitable places and dates, of which the said Indians shall be duly notified, to each Chief twenty-five dollars, each Headman, not to exceed four to a large Band and two to a small Band, fifteen dollars, and to every other Indian, of whatever age, five dollars, the same, unless there be some exceptional reason, to be paid only to heads of families for those belonging thereto.

FURTHER, Her Majesty agrees that each Chief, after signing the treaty, shall receive a silver medal and a suitable flag, and next year, and every third year thereafter, each Chief and Headman shall receive a suitable suit of clothing.

FURTHER, Her Majesty agrees to pay the salaries of such teachers to instruct the children of said Indians as to Her Majesty's Government of Canada may seem advisable.

FURTHER, Her Majesty agrees to supply each Chief of a Band that selects a reserve, for the use of that Band, ten axes, five hand-saws, five augers, one grindstone, and the necessary files and whetstones.

FURTHER, Her Majesty agrees that each Band that elects to take a reserve and cultivate the soil, shall, as soon as convenient after such reserve is set aside and settled upon, and the Band has signified its choice and is prepared to break up the soil, receive two hoes, one spade, one scythe and two hay forks for every family so settled, and for every three families one plough and one harrow, and to the Chief, for the use of his Band, two horses or a yoke of oxen, and for each Band potatoes, barley, oats and wheat (if such seed be suited to the locality of the reserve), to plant the land actually broken up, and provisions for one month in the spring for several years while planting such seeds; and to every family one cow, and every Chief one bull, and one mowing-machine and one reaper for the use of his Band when it is ready for them; for such families as prefer to raise stock instead of cultivating the soil, every family of five persons, two cows, and every Chief two bulls and two mowing-machines when ready for their use, and a like proportion for smaller or larger families. The aforesaid articles, machines and cattle to be given once for all for the encouragement of agriculture and stock raising; and for such Bands as prefer to continue hunting and fishing, as much ammunition and twine for making nets annually as will amount in value to one dollar per head of the families so engaged in hunting and fishing.

And the undersigned Cree, Beaver, Chipewyan and other Indian Chiefs and Headmen, on their own behalf and on behalf of all the Indians whom they represent, DO HEREBY SOLEMNLY PROMISE and engage to strictly observe this Treaty, and also to conduct and behave themselves as good and loyal subjects of Her Majesty the Queen.

THEY PROMISE AND ENGAGE that they will, in all respects, obey and abide by the law; that they will maintain peace between each other, and between themselves and other tribes of Indians, and between themselves and others of Her Majesty's subjects, whether Indians, half-breeds or whites, this year inhabiting and hereafter to inhabit any part of the said shared* territory; and that they will not molest the person or property of any inhabitant of such shared* tract, or of any other district or country, or interfere with or trouble any person passing or travelling through the said tract or any part thereof, and that they will assist the officers of Her Majesty in bringing to justice and punishment any Indian offending against the stipulations of this Treaty or infringing the law in force in the country so shared*.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF Her Majesty's said Commissioners and the Cree Chief and Headmen of Lesser Slave Lake and the adjacent territory, HAVE HEREUNTO SET THEIR HANDS at Lesser Slave Lake on the twenty-first day of June, in the year herein first above written.

[Treaty No. 8 was concluded with signatures from all the communities of Treaty No. 8]

*As passed on from our Elders, the term cede was not used when Treaty No. 8 was described to the signatories, the term share was used. Therefore we have amended this document to reflect that.

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Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta

Assembly of First Nations Is Not Representing Treaty 8 First Nations on Child and Family Services Legislation

Edmonton, Alberta – December 3, 2018 – Recently, the Federal government has announced through partnership with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and the Metis National Council, their intention to proceed with legislation that will significantly change Child and Family Services (CFS) for Indigenous children all across Canada. This legislation has been developed in secret and isolation of Treaty 8 First Nations, who have made repeated attempts to discover if this new legislation was being created.

“It is alarming to say the least that I am seeing a press release announcing CFS “co-developed” legislation, when the Minister and the AFN National Chief both stated to us Chiefs that there was no draft legislation in the works. It is also insulting that Treaty 8 made the effort to develop a position paper given to the federal Minister that included our collective position that we would develop the legislation necessary with and for our people,” states Chief Richard Kappo of Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation.

“We had been told that legislation that directly affects our Treaty 8 children and families was not being created behind closed doors, to find out differently now is deeply disturbing to the Chiefs of Treaty 8, we are the nations who signed Treaty, which means we are the Treaty holders. We are educated and understand the laws, we can create our own. Long past are the days of Indian Agents trying to look after us. We don’t need any other organization trying to pick up that torch on our behalf,” states Arthur Noskey, Grand Chief of Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta before continuing “Yet, it turns out developing this legislation without Treaty 8 is exactly what has happened and we are left with no other conclusion than the Chiefs have been lied to. AFN has been told numerous times that they do not represent Treaty 8 Nations in Alberta, which has gone as far as to have 8 of our First Nations pass a Band Council Resolution withdrawing from the AFN. To find out now they are co-developing legislation with Canada about our children without the Chiefs, is exactly the wrong thing they should be doing.”

Treaty 8 has tried to make it clear to the AFN that they do not represent the Treaty 8 Nations in Alberta, through both a 1997 Protocol Agreement and numerous letters to the National Chief.

“The AFN Regional Chief has not been working with Treaty 8 and does not represent the Treaty 8 nations in Alberta. It is quite distressing to see the National Chief use the type of exclusionary politics we are used to seeing south of the border with the Trump government. We should be working towards inclusion instead of shutting Chiefs out of the conversation,” states Grand Chief Noskey before concluding, “I want to be very clear, the welfare of the children of Treaty 8 is a top priority for our Chiefs, but they will not risk their children’s futures by not being a part of the process while others develop sweeping legislation affecting their members. Because AFN continues to act as though they represent us nationally, I will state one last time. They do not represent the Treaty 8 First Nations.”

Contact:
Arthur Noskey
Grand Chief
Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta
anoskey@treaty8.org Ph: (780) 444-9366

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Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta

Treaty 8 Grand Chief Responds to Jason Kenney’s Land Sale Plan

Edmonton, Alberta – November 29, 2018 – Recently Jason Kenney, the leader of the Alberta UCP, has begun to announce their plans if they win the election in 2019. One of these proposed plans is to sell off crown lands in Peace River Country for agricultural development.

Kenney says that this is “to generate some Crown asset sales to help deal with our deficit, but also as a way to grow the economy by turning what is currently unproductive land into productive agricultural land,” something that was done in the past under premier Ed Stelmach.

“I take issue with Jason Kenney calling the land unproductive, Crown land is where our people practice our traditional Treaty Rights, it is extraordinarily productive to us as First Nations. It is where we hunt, where we gather herbs and medicines, all of which is protected under our Treaty,” states Arthur Noskey, Grand Chief of Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta, before continuing, “I want to know how any government will get the free, prior and informed consent he will need to sell the land because it wasn’t given through the Natural Resources Transfer Agreement (NRTA) this is the potential loss of prime traditional territory where we practice our Treaty Right to livelihood. Each time a piece of land is sold to private owners a beautiful natural area is destroyed, land that both First Nations need and Albertans can enjoy. We need to make sure we are preserving as much as possible for future generations.”

The Kenney plan would see a portion of the traditional territory of many First Nations in the area sold off into the hands of private owners, removing the natural habitat for many animals in the area.

Chief Trevor Mercredi of Beaver First Nation states “One thing I can say is that no Treaty 8 lands will be sold without our free, prior and informed consent as affirmed in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. These lands have served our people for many generations and continue to do so today. This is our land.”

“I echo the statements from the Grand Chief and Chief Mercredi, this has been our land and has been used by our ancestors since before confederation, we must protect it.” concludes Chief Isaac Laboucan-Avirom, Chief of Woodland Cree First Nation.

Contact:
Arthur Noskey
Grand Chief
Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta
anoskey@treaty8.org Ph: (780) 444-9366

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Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta

Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta Congratulates Lubicon Lake Band and Province On Settlement

Edmonton, Alberta – October 25, 2018 – Yesterday marks an important step forward between the governments of the Lubicon Lake Band and the Province of Alberta in settling a long standing land claim with the Lubicon Lake Band’s people. The deal, which provides $113M and sets aside 246 square kilometres of land for the Nation, is something that the Lubicon Lake people have been fighting to have for generations.

“I extend my sincere congratulations to Chief Billy Joe Laboucan for his dedication and persistence on behalf of his people. In his 5 and half years as Chief, Chief Laboucan and his Council in their term have accomplished something that they have been fighting to achieve and to finally have the government recognize their Treaty and inherent lands is a monumental step for them. It is a tragedy that sometimes our Treaty Rights and inherent Rights can easily be overlooked by governments and we have to fight for something that was already agreed to over 100 years ago, but in this case, I am happy their fight was successful.” states Arthur Noskey, Grand Chief of Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta before continuing “I want to acknowledge the work of the federal and provincial governments for their cooperation and support in finalizing this agreement. I would like to especially recognize the NDP government for having the courage to pursue a resolution to this long standing issue, when so many other governments chose to keep putting it off. That shows real leadership and we look forward to continuing to work with them.”

Contact:
Greg Posein
Communications Consultant
Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta
greg.posein@gmail.com Ph: (780) 690-9744

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Employment Opportunity: Executive Director

Employment Opportunity: Executive Director

The Treaty 8 Elders, for decades, have voiced and continue to voice their aspirations and wish to “Bring Our Children Home”. The creation of the Treaty 8 Urban Office is the realization of this dream. The Treaty 8 Urban Office will provide Welcoming, Strength Based, Culturally-relevant, Team-implemented, Recovery-oriented, Family-oriented, Anti-oppressive services through its high quality and culturally appropriate services to Treaty 8-member children, youth and families.

We are seeking an energetic and dynamic individual to facilitate the success of the Treaty 8 Urban Office to direct its program and service delivery to the communities and members of Treaty 8 territory. This is a full-time position based on a 37.5-hour work week, salary will commensurate based on education and experience.

ROLE SUMMARY

The Executive Director will be responsible for leading, organizing and overseeing the daily operations of the Treaty 8 Urban Office. This role will ensure that the organization is well-coordinated and productive by managing the daily processes, and effectively leading and coaching staff. The role will involve working in collaboration with the Board, the Treaty 8 Urban Office team and management and in developing and maintaining strong relationships with all Treaty 8 Urban Office stakeholders.

The area of responsibility for this role is very wide and thus requires thorough knowledge of various organizational and leadership processes. The goal of this role is to ensure smooth daily operational activities, while at the same time facilitating long-term success of the Treaty 8 Urban Office.

KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS

Summary of required competencies:

QUALIFICATIONS

Closing date: April 12TH, 2019

A current resume and a cover letter outlining your interest in the role and your skills, attributes and experience as related to the position, and salary expectation to be forwarded to Human Resources at ckachur@treaty8.org

Please include the title of the position you are applying to in the subject line.
**Please note that only those selected for an interview will be contacted**
Thank you for your interest.

For Indigenous peoples to protect our cultures, languages and traditions the Nations of Treaty 8 asserts the belief that “children are gifts from the Creator”, it is our responsibility to ensure our Indigenous cultures and teachings are passed/taught to our children who will continue the teachings for future generations.