The Battlefords will be celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day Thursday with a number of events, including raising the Treaty 6 flag outside City Hall where it will remain permanently on display.
The City of North Battleford will raise flag at city hall during a ceremony at 9:45 a.m. June 21. The flag will continue to fly outside City Hall every day throughout the year.
"Council had made the decision to do this over a year ago," Mayor Ryan Bater said.
The city has constructed a new flag pole for the Treaty 6 flag, which will be displayed beside the flags of the City of North Battleford, Saskatchewan, and Canada.
"Over the last several months we've been consulting with Indigenous Elders to determine the most appropriate way to conduct the ceremony for the raising of the flag," Bater said. "We encourage all citizens of the community to come out and witness this. This is an historic day in North Battleford. It will serve as a permanent reminder that the city exists here because Indigenous people agreed to share the land, and that agreement was Treaty 6."
Gift Madojemu, a health promotion specialist at Battle River Treaty 6 Health Centre, said she was thrilled about plans for the permanent installation of the Treaty 6 flag. Staff from the health centre will also be participating in the ceremony.
"I think it's definitely a step in the right direction when it comes to reconciliation," she said.
Having the flag on display will symbolize how Indigenous and non-Indigenous people who live in Canada "should reside and live in harmony with each other, and be able to celebrate the territorial lands we are on with Treaty 6," she said.
Having the visual representation present all year round is also important for the community, Madojemu added.
"It means we are honouring the land we are on and the Indigenous peoples who have gone before and are still currently here," she said.
Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations, June 21
Battle River Treaty 6 Health Centre is hosting a number of events during the morning of June 21 to help celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day.
The events will take place outside the centre at 12th Ave. and 102nd St. in North Battleford, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The morning will start with an opening ceremony and a free community pancake breakfast. Other events planned include live entertainment, traditional games, children's activities, an Elders' tent, and vendors' tables.
In case of rain, the events will move inside to the Agrivilla at the North Battleford fairgrounds.
Urban Treaty Day festivities, June 20
A number of activities are also planned to celebrate Urban Treaty Day, which takes place June 20 at the Dekker Centre in North Battleford.
Hosted by the Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs, the event will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and includes the formal Treaty payment distribution.
There will be entertainment during the day, including a free barbecue at 11 a.m., an opening ceremony and grand entry at 1 p.m., and dancing and drumming demonstrations followed by a mini Pow Wow from 1:30 to 4 p.m. The event also includes children's activities, a vendors' market, and door prizes.
Elaine Moosomin, of the Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs, encouraged everyone to come out as the event is open for the whole community to attend.
On Twitter: @battlefordsNOW
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