Thoughts on Treaty Day by Serena Francis

I wanted to take this time to reflect on what treaties means to me.

I begin by expressing my gratitude, to my ancestries and for the system they used that kept the memory of the signing of treaties alive. 

I acknowledge and praise the oral tradition that has been in place since time immemorial. It is this recording of our history that has protected the treaties keeping them a living promise. We confirmed, and continue to honour the declaration made by our ancestors as they signed these treaties.

We as a Nation have kept our ancestor sacred commitments and we wait for our neighbours, to do the same.

The government wanted my nation to forget that they had made treaties with us, not so much, as what was written but what was not, because our land was never ceased nor surrendered. 

After the treaties were signed there was a period that these treaties were denied, but not forgotten by our ancestors. We have moved from the denial to litigation to recognition and today implementation.

I am grateful We have had people with the courage to step forward and to fight to force the courts to acknowledge the treaties and uphold the government to honour them, heroes like Donald Marshell and to people who continue to fight for the right to fish for moderate living.  

I am grateful that my ancestors who signed these treaties and did not include giving up our land nor the rights to resources when they signed.

Wela’liek, mst nokmaq