Ogimaawabiitong (Kenora Chiefs Advisory) would like to commemorate 150 years since the signing of Treaty #3. The sacred document for our region was signed between the Saulteaux (Anishinaabe) people and the Government of Canada on October 3, 1873 – known at the time as the North-West Angle Treaty – binding the two nations in peace and mutual respect.

The agreement provided the federal government access to Saulteaux lands in present-day northwestern Ontario and eastern Manitoba in exchange for various goods and Indigenous rights to hunting, fishing and natural resources on reserve lands. The document also set the precedent for the eight numbered Treaties that followed the signing of Treaty #3.

To celebrate the 150-year milestone, Grand Council Treaty #3 hosted celebrations across the region. KCA staff were able to join in the Kenora North Territory’s celebration on September 6 at Seven Generations Education Institute, to partake in the day’s cultural teachings and ceremonies.

The celebration began with an opening prayer from Elder Ida Skead, before a number of dignitaries made remarks – including Treaty #3 Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh, Kenora Mayor Andrew Poirier, Red Lake Mayor Fred Mota, and Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell.

Presentations and teachings from Elders George Kakeway and Don Jones followed on the history and significance of the Treaty #3 document, before lunch, and a Powwow with Grand Entry and Inter-Tribals featuring royalty from visiting First Nation communities.

“It’s very significant for the Anishinaabe people, but the non-Anishinaabe people too – to share, to learn the history of the Treaty and what it means to us, and to have that reconciliation. You can see it today,” says Chief Skead, Chief of Wauzhushk Onigum and KCA Board member.

“I know it’s still a work in progress, but we’ll get there,” adds Chief Skead. “It’s so significant. The knowledge, the history, the vision of the Seven Generations that we still hold to this day… I’m very honoured and humbled to be here today.”

The day’s celebration also included a presentation on sacred items that were present during the signing of the Treaty #3 document, a community resource fair and crafter’s market, kids’ activities, and a shuttle to the Muse – Lake of the Wood Museum to view the Treaty #3 document in-person.

Grand Council Treaty #3 previously held celebrations on July 20th for the South Territory (Fort Frances) at Seven Generations Education Institute, in Dryden, as well the Ojibway Nation of Saugeen, to commemorate the anniversary.

Ogimaawabiitong would like to send a huge Miigwetch to the staff and leadership of Grand Council Treaty #3 for hosting celebrations across the region for the public, as well as each Elder and community involved, and the various dignitaries and members of First Nation royalty for joining in the day’s gathering.

The Treaty #3 document will be available to view at the Muse – Lake of the Woods Museum in Kenora for a short time, until it is transported to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, MB.