Saturday, September 14, 2013

Treaty 4

We live in a hugely significant place.  Fort Qu'Appelle is the location of the signing of Treaty 4- which was a treaty signed by the crown and 13 chiefs whose territory ranged all the way from Manitoba and through huge stretches of Saskatchewan.  Many of the First Nations people who live here have been here for generations.  Many of the people we have met were born and raised here and never left.  It's a strong place- beautiful, carrying huge historical implications, deep sorrows and a call to richer living.

Each year there are Treaty 4 celebrations.  Teepees are set up, elders and helpers man each teepee to share traditional teachings, values and crafts- to share their hearts and stories.  School kids are invited and come from all over.  Dominique was upset not to go this year.  Our school participates, but starting in grade 3- so Ivan got to go this year and I took Emora.  We did all go to the parade and will go to the powwow tomorrow.

I loved the way the shadows played from inside the teepee.  I missed my chance to capture the silhouettes of people as they walked past, but did get this shadow play of the top of a teepee.

Listening to the teepee teachings.

Heading to roast some bannock- her favorite part.

Emora did an obstacle course, we saw a play about the signing of the treaties, learned about hide preparation, drying fish and meat, made baby dolls, beading keychains, ate fried and fire cooked bannock, watched dancers, went to an RCMP display, a chief portrait display and an EMT interactive presentation...

Fish being smoked.

These ladies taught us and helped us make these baby dolls.  I thought her t-shirt was awesome!
I had thought of skipping this year, but was so glad we went!  As Emora gets older, we have more and more fun.  Neither of us wanted to leave and we were there until they were packing up for the day.  It was great to hear the tanner's thinking of how his days out here rejuvenate him- that we get so busy and distracted, but to slow down and reconnect with what is important in life is so vital.

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