Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations

Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations

October 07, 2013 08:30 ET

Canadian Indigenous Chiefs and Delegation Mark the 250th Anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763 With a Pipe Ceremony at Green Park's Canada Memorial

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - Oct. 7, 2013) - The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations delegation marked the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763 with a ceremony at the Canada Memorial in Green Park, London this morning. A brief reception was held at Canada House in Trafalgar Square followed by the Pipe Ceremony at 10:00 am.

"As indigenous peoples, it is very important for us to be here because the Royal Proclamation of 1763 represents the first time that the Crown recognized indigenous peoples' title to lands and territories. The Royal Proclamation is fundamental to the legal framework for First Nations in Canada and is referenced in Canada's Constitution. The Proclamation also laid the foundation for the Crown to enter into Treaties with First Nations as they did in the late 1800s. Being here to maintain that relationship with the Crown is essential for maintaining and recognizing our inherent and treaty rights. We are here to demonstrate that Treaties are still alive and that the terms have yet to be honoured according to their spirit and intent," stated Chief Perry Bellegarde.

A delegation of more than thirty First Nations Chiefs, Veterans, Elders and Leaders, representing indigenous peoples from Canada took part in a ceremony to recognize the relationship with the Crown in Green Park at the Canada Memorial in London, England. Spearheaded by Chief Perry Bellegarde, this trip and the members of this delegation, especially our elders, remind us that Treaties entered into in the 18th and 19th centuries are international and living agreements, and that they merit being honoured today.

"The Royal Proclamation recognizes our right to self-determination as it recognizes indigenous peoples as nations and tribes. The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2007 and by Canada in 2010, calls upon us to collectively work with our Treaty partners to resolve our issues, differences and our rights. The relationship from the indigenous perspective is about peace, friendship and respect. This is how our relationship was viewed with the Crown," concluded Willie Littlechild who is the Treaty Six (Alberta) International Spokesperson, a Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner and the North American Representative to the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Together we call upon Canada and the United Nations to look at mechanisms for Treaty Implementation both domestically and internationally.

The FSIN represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan. The Federation is committed to honouring the spirit and intent of Treaty, as well as the promotion, protection and implementation of the Treaty promises that were made more than a century ago.

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