Records and Reconciliation: Treaty 8 Centennial

Image: Treaty 8 Centennial Pamphlet, 1999 (SPRA 007.04.11)

In 2020, the South Peace Regional Archives launched a major project, titled “Renaming the Past, Reclaiming Their Stories: Indigenous Records,” with financial support from Library and Archives Canada. The purpose of the project was to increase awareness of and access to Indigenous-related records within the Archives’ collections: by re-appraising, describing or re-describing, and digitizing more than 300 records in 70 fonds. This project is vital step in the Archives’ ongoing work towards Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. We are now able to share these records with the community.

The item we are highlighting this week is a pamphlet from the Spirit of the Peace fonds (fonds 007). The Centennial Commemoration of Treaty 8 was a four-day event which combined a large gathering near Grouard, Alberta, Treaty signing re-enactment, dancing and other ceremonies by the Indigenous communities included in the Treaty District (who planned and directed the proceedings) and a two-day academic conference conducted by the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation, with papers presented by scholars and spokespersons from across Canada. The general theme of the gathering included commemoration of the federal government’s unfulfilled promises, and differing interpretations of the original agreement. The academic papers were published by Grande Prairie Regional Lobstick magazine (Volume 1), as Treaty 8 Revisited.

Examine the websites posted by the Treaty 8 tribal councils and see if they continue to assert their rights to the treaty being honoured more strictly by the government. Are the same disputes evident for Treaty 7 Indigenous councils?

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