Go back to news listing

Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta Presentation

L-R: Grand Chief of Treaty 8, Arthur Noskey, Woodland Cree Elder, Kathleen Laboucan, PRSD Board Chair, Delainah Walker, Whitefish Lake First Nation Elder, Danny Laboucan, and Superintendent of Schools, Adam Murray


Peace River School Division is grateful to have had the opportunity, on Monday Oct 24, 2022,  to learn more about the true spirit and intent of treaties from a team gathered by the Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta.  We were honored that the Grand Chief of Treaty 8, Arthur Noskey, guided our learning.  He was supported in this by two Treaty 8 Elders, Kathleen Laboucan from the Woodland Cree Nation and Danny Laboucan from Whitefish Lake First Nation as well as by Margo Auger, the Chief Administrative Officer and Melissa Gillis, the Chief Strategy Officer from the Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta.  

Our Board Chair was joined by other Trustees, our Superintendent, additional division-level leaders, and representatives from all of our schools for this meaningful learning experience.  We also appreciated the presence of local community leaders from First Nations and the Métis Nation who have been supportive of our Board’s initiative to honor the Treaty 8 flag and the Métis flag at all of our schools.

One key takeaway from Monday’s presentation is the significance of the fact that the Treaty 8 First Nations in Alberta are Sovereign Nations which is just as true today as it was when the treaties were first signed.  Although the First Nations who had entered into Treaty 8 had been assured that they would be able to continue their traditional way of life, we learned about the succession of government acts, policies and laws that eroded and undermined this promise.  

The richness of First Nations cultures, the deep connection of identity with the land, and the damage caused by residential schools resonated in words spoken from the heart by all members of the team gathered by the First Nations of Alberta.  The teachers, other school leaders, and community members present all expressed their gratitude for what was being shared. 

All attendees are committed to working together to strengthen the understanding of treaties within the division by continuing to invite Elders into our schools to share their knowledge, giving our students access to Indigenous ways of learning, including opportunities to learn on the land, and providing further education about Treaty 8, as well as the other treaties in Canada that were signed between the First Nations and the monarch. 

The day concluded with Grand Chief Arthur Noskey presenting our Board Chair Delainah Walker with the Treaty 8 flag to show his support for the Board’s initiative to honor the Treaty 8 flag to show our respect for the Sovereign Nations of Treaty 8 and our understanding that we are all Treaty people. 

Oct 26, 2022

Continue Reading