(MANITOBA – ONTARIO BORDER) – Below is an update via media release from Treaty 1 regarding the round dance expected to stop traffic on the Trans Canada Highway at the Manitoba – Ontario border.
TREATY 1 TERRITORY, MB, — On Friday, August 9, 2019, Grand Chief Jerry Daniels of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) is organizing a round dance that will delay traffic on the Trans-Canada Number 1 Highway at the Manitoba-Ontario interprovincial border. This is NOT a protest, but a blessing of the grounds we travel and the people who come through. Traffic will not come to an absolute standstill, but will be directed through in brief fifteen-minute intervals. The MB-ON border will be the first round dance location, with other locations to be announced at a later time.
The SCO has made the decision to hold a round dance on the Trans-Canada Highway #1 with much careful thought and deliberation, and feel it is the best way to convey the message that all Canadians need to hear. These round dances are held in response to recent actions by government which are not in the interest of First Nations across Canada. Grand Chief Daniels states of the MB provincial government, “The Pallister government has a lot of nerve to take money from the most marginalized peoples in this province. The Provincial government needs to start treating First Nations as true equal partners—they have no jurisdiction on-reserve and need to stop taking money from our communities.” The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) is concerned with the application of provincial policies in First Nation communities, where the province has no jurisdiction.
As Canadians, we all have a responsibility to know about the treaty land we live on, become familiar with the treaties, and to engage the First Nations people in your area. All have a responsibility to respect each other and ensure the land and water is safe for our children, so our families can grow. First Nations people that have inhabited these lands for thousands of years, and Canadians must respect and not deny or infringe on the treaty rights of Indigenous peoples. Through respect, awareness, and education, we can build healthier relationships and a healthier Canada for future generations.
What then, is the purpose of these round dance ceremonies? Round dances are a peaceful way for us as First Nations people to gather together in unity through song and dance. Our songs and dances are connected to our culture and spirituality. When we do this, we are praying to Creator and blessing the area with good energy and medicine.
We, the SCO, call upon Indigenous peoples in treaty territory to show support in the SCO Round Dances. The first will be held on Friday, August 9, 2019 at 5:30 pm on the Trans-Canada #1 Highway at the interprovincial border between Manitoba and Ontario. Future locations will be posted at a later date.
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization represents 34 First Nations of Manitoba in agreement to establish an independent political forum to protect, preserve, promote, and enhance First Nations peoples’ inherent rights, languages, customs, and traditions through the application and implementation of the spirit and intent of the Treaty-making process.
The following information pamphlets on “Treaty Responsibility” will be handed out during the information blitz Round Dance being held on the Trans-Canada #1 Highway tomorrow at 5:30 pm: