Treaty Days

Kayak (Canada) - - BACKYARD HISTORY -

All over Canada, there are spe­cial days to mark the sign­ing of Treaties. In Nova Sco­tia, Treaty Day is held every year on Oct. 1 to cel­e­brate the an­niver­sary of the 1752 Treaty of Friend­ship and Peace. It kicks off Mi’kmaq His­tory Month, which is aimed at help­ing Nova Sco­tians learn more about their past. In early June, Regina hosts Ur­ban Treaty Days with dances, out­door ac­tiv­i­ties and more. At many events, First Na­tions peo­ple re­ceive an an­nual gift of money agreed to in the Treaty that in­cludes all the peo­ple in their nation. This gift was promised when the Treaty was signed, and is of­ten around $5 per per­son. Even though that amount hasn’t changed, the gift is very im­por­tant be­cause it rep­re­sents and hon­ours First Na­tions’ unique re­la­tion­ship with the Crown through the im­age of the Queen. Th­ese pay­ments are known as an­nu­ities. Many First Na­tions call their an­nu­ities “Treaty money,” which they re­ceive in their com­mu­ni­ties at a spe­cial time each year to com­mem­o­rate the Treaties and the Treaty re­la­tion­ship. On­tario has de­clared that the first week of Novem­ber every year will be Treaties Recog­ni­tion Week. Treaty cel­e­bra­tions are also of­ten part of Na­tional In­dige­nous Peo­ple’s Day on June 21.

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