Working together a key mandate of Treaty One Nation group

With just a few weeks go to before the 150th anniversary of the signing of Treaty One on Aug. 3, 1871, a group called Treaty One Nation wants to call attention to the importance of that treaty and what it means to southern Manitoba’s First Nations heritage and future.

Treaty One Nation spokesperson Chief Dennis Meeches of Long Plain First Nation told CTV Morning Live that the group has become known as the developer of Naawi-Odena, the site formerly known as Kapyong Barracks. He said the group has another arm which exists to foster cooperation toward promotion of sovereignty and other shared interests among the represented First Nations.

“We have our government, which is the Treaty One governing council. Obviously our mandate is to protect our treaty, advance our treaty and just work collectively because Treaty One covers practically all of southern Manitoba,” said Meeches.

Meeches said the seven reserves represented are Peguis, Brokenhead, Roseau River, Long Plain, Swan Lake, Sandy Bay and Sagkeeng.

Once completed, the Naawi-Oodena complex will offer between 2,300 and 3,000 homes and between 915,000 and 1.2 million square feet of commercial space.

Meeches said the Treaty One governing council is mandated to work collectively to advance a variety of interests.

“There’s a lot of work that we need to do collectively to repatriate our land, and strengthen our Indigenous economy so it’s really important that we work together,” he said.

“I think a strong Treaty One Nation benefits the province as a whole and the country.”

- With files from CTV’s Michael Hutchinson and Kayla Rosen