Original Treaty Five Documents at Thunder Bay Art Gallery

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THUNDER BAY –  Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Stan Beardy together with other NAN leadership are pleased to welcome the original Treaty No. 5 documents to the Thunder Bay Art Gallery on Friday, June 4, 2010.

“This is a momentous occasion for us to be able to view one of the historic documents that is the basis to how we do business today,” said NAN Grand Chief Stan Beardy. “This Treaty is a sacred agreement that created the current relationship we have with the Government of Canada.”

The Treaty No. 5 original document signed in 1875 and the 1910 adhesion, which included the NAN communities of Deer Lake, Sandy Lake, Keewaywin, Koocheching, North Spirit Lake, Poplar Hill and Pikangikum, will be on display at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery from June 4-13, 2010 – on loan from Library and Archives Canada.

“As a leader in the presentation of Aboriginal art since 1981, the Gallery is honoured to present these original Treaty documents to the people of Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario,” said Sharon Godwin, Director of the Thunder Bay Art Gallery. “We invite people to take this opportunity to view these important pieces of history and think about the significance of the Treaty in our present day life.”

On June 9, 2010, the adhesion document will be transported to Sandy Lake First Nation and displayed at the Thomas Fiddler Memorial High School to coincide with the 100 year commemoration activities taking place in the communities of Sandy Lake and Deer Lake.

“The commemoration of the adhesion of Treaty No. 5 is a time to reflect back on the past one hundred years,” said Beardy. “This includes both the adversity that has plagued our communities and the successes of our people. Through Treaty implementation, we can begin to realize the vision of prosperity we had when the Treaties were signed; for a better future and an improved quality of life for our people.”

Commemoration activities on June 9, 2010, include a sunrise ceremony, cultural demonstrations, entertainment and the grand opening of a new health centre in Deer Lake First Nation. Remarks will be provided by Deer Lake First Nation Chief RoyDale Meekis, Sandy Lake First Nation Chief Adam Fiddler, NAN Grand Chief Stan Beardy, Assembly of First Nations Ontario Regional Chief Angus Toulouse and other First Nations and non-First Nations leadership.

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