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Manitoba Museum Artifacts Travelling to Two Manitoba First Nations in the Commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of the Peguis Selkirk Treaty

Winnipeg, MB (July 17, 2017): In the spirit of reconciliation, a committee representing more than 20 indigenous and settler organizations is Honouring The Spirit of 1817 and raising public awareness by commemorating the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Peguis Selkirk Treaty. Dr. Maureen Matthews, Curator of Cultural Anthropology at the Manitoba Museum has been a member of the Committee to Commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the Peguis Selkirk Treaty, co-chaired by Bill Shead of Peguis First Nation (and former Mayor of Selkirk) and John Perrin of The Scottish Heritage Council of Manitoba.

The Peguis Selkirk Treaty, negotiated fifty years before Confederation, was modeled on fur trade treaties and long term fur trade relationships.  It was the first Treaty in western Canada to set aside land for settler farming and marks the beginning of the relationship between First Nations peoples and the Crown in western Canada. Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk, and five First Nations’ chiefs including Chief Peguis, signed the Treaty 200 years ago on July 18, 1817 at Lord Selkirk's Hudson’s Bay Company post – Fort Douglas, on what is now Waterfront Drive.  The visionary leadership of Chief Peguis and the sincere friendship Lord Selkirk led to the signing of a Treaty that promoted the “peace, order and mutual cooperation” that characterizes Manitoba’s unique history.

This 200th anniversary is a reminder that the relationship initiated by the Treaty has been renewed from time to time by Lord Selkirk’s descendants and generations of Chiefs at Peguis. In honour of this anniversary, the current Lord Selkirk, James Douglas-Hamilton, will visit various significant sites in Manitoba between July 16 and July 22. Included the itinerary is: Winnipeg, Selkirk, St. Boniface, St. Peter’s Reserve, and the Peguis and Brokenhead First Nations.  Artifacts from in the Museum’s collection, including a pipe which once belonged to Chief Peguis and the George III Medal Lord Selkirk gave to Chief Peguis 200 years ago, will be on display at Broken Head First Nation on Monday and at Peguis First Nation on Friday as well as at various other events during Lord Selkirk’s nine-day visit (See website peguisselkirk200.ca and notes below for details).

One of this week’s highlights will be the repatriation of ceremonial regalia from Lord Selkirk to Peguis First Nation. Fifty years ago, on the occasion of Canada’s Centennial in 1967, the 10th Lord Selkirk, Geordie Douglas-Hamilton and his wife Audrey renewed the relationship with Peguis First Nation during a visit to St. Peters Dynevour Church and at the time, were given a gifts of ceremonial regalia including a wonderful Chief’s headdress. The collection was on display for many years in the National Museum of Scotland. Next week, his nephew, the 11th Lord Selkirk, is returning this collection to Peguis First Nation. The Manitoba Museum facilitated the transport of this collection from Lord Selkirk’s home in Scotland to Peguis First Nation and it has been on temporary display for a year. The Museum is also guiding the construction of a case to display the collection at Peguis First Nation’s school. For the 11th Lord Selkirk, James Douglas-Hamilton, the time is right. “I feel the collection is symbolic of a great friendship between the Ojibwe, Thomas Douglas, and the Selkirk Settlers,” says Douglas-Hamilton. “I always hoped that a really good permanent home could be found for them and with the assistance and the guidance of Chief Glenn Hudson and the Peguis First Nation, we have come up with what we hope will be the best solution.”

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The Signatories of the 1817 Selkirk Treaty
In addition to Chief Peguis and Lord Selkirk, five other chiefs signed the Peguis Selkirk Treaty. Le Sonnant (Mache Whesab, Many Sitting Eagles), was a leader of the Cree, who had occupied the region for longer than the other signatories. The most powerful of the Ojibwe chiefs in the area was Le Premier (Oshki-doowad). The other Ojibwe signatories were L’Homme Noir (Gaayyaazhiyeskibino’aa) and La Robe Noire (Makadewikonaye). When Chief Peguis later recalled the Treaty signing, he noted that Le Sonnant did not offer any specific territory, but was included due to his influence. Peguis himself offered the Forks area, Le Premier the Red River to Pembina, L’Homme Noir Pembina to Red Lake, and La Robe Noire the area extending to Portage la Prairie.

About the Committee to Commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the Peguis Selkirk Treaty
Organizations represented include: Anglican Diocese of Rupert’s Land; Brokenhead Ojibway Nation; City of Winnipeg; City of Selkirk; Hudson’s Bay Company Archives; Kildonan Community Presbyterian Church; Manitoba Historical Society; Manitoba Living History Society; Manitoba Métis Federation; Manitoba Museum; Peguis First Nation; Polish Canadian Congress – Manitoba Branch; Province of Manitoba; Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Boniface; Seven Oaks House Museum; The Lord Selkirk Association of Rupert’s Land; The St. Andrew’s Society of Winnipeg; The Scottish Heritage Council of Manitoba; Union nationale métisse Saint-Joseph du Manitoba; Winnipeg Art Gallery; Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. 

About the Manitoba Museum - The Manitoba Museum is the province's award-winning heritage and science centre. It is unique in its combination of human and natural history themes and renowned for its vivid portrayal of Manitoba’s rich and colourful history, Planetarium shows, and Science Gallery exhibits. The Museum features immersive dioramas, multi-dimensional interpretation, science and astronomy education, and quality school and community programs. The Museum has collected and protects over 2.8 million artifacts and specimens, including the Hudson's Bay Company Museum Collection. 

For interview opportunities with Dr. Maureen Matthews, Curator of Cultural Anthropology at the Manitoba Museum, please contact:
Jody Tresoor, Communications Specialist, Manitoba Museum
jtresoor@manitbamuseum.ca, 204-228-2374

For all other media enquiries, please contact:
Terry MacLeod, Chair, Marketing & Communications, terrymacleod@gmail.com, 204-782-9936
Bill Shead, Committee Co-Chair,wshead@mts.net, 204-792-8459
John Perrin, Committee Co-Chair, jdperrin@mts.net, 204-489-9235

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The events of Peguis Selkirk 200: Honouring the Spirit of 1817:

Sat • 15 July Lord Selkirk arrives in Winnipeg Open to Media
Sun
16 July • 1 pm
Peguis Selkirk 200: Welcoming at Fort Douglas Park, Winnipeg, MB Open to public
Sun
16 July • 3 pm
Ecumenical Prayer Service - Cathédral St. Boniface Cathedral, 190, avenue de la Cathédrale, Saint-Boniface, Winnipeg, MB Open to public
Mon
17 July • 10:30 am
Visit to Brokenhead Ojibway Nation Open to public
Mon
17 July • 2 pm
Ecumenical Service – St. Peter, Dynevor. River Lot 212, 8 Stone Church Road, St. Clements, MB (The Old Stone Church) Open to public
Tues
18 July • 11 am
Commemoration of the Signing of the Peguis Selkirk Treaty
Neeginan Centre and Centre for Aboriginal Resource Development 181 Higgins Avenue, Winnipeg, MB
Open to public
Tues
18 July • 2:00 pm
Lord Selkirk Association of Rupert’s Land Reception – Hudson’s Bay Company Archives/Archives of Manitoba,
200 Vaughan St., Winnipeg, MB
Open to public
Tues
18 July • 6:30 pm
Canadian Polish Congress - Manitoba 
Bailey's, 185 Lombard Ave, Winnipeg, MB
Open to Media
Wed
19 July • 12 pm
Visit & Civic Luncheon - City of Winnipeg
Planting of Lord Selkirk Sugar Maple on grounds of City Hall
By invitation
Open to Media
Wed
19 July • 7 pm
St. Andrews Society of Winnipeg Reception
Qualico Family Centre, Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg, MB
By invitation
Open to Media
Thurs • 20 July Private program at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights for Lord Selkirk By invitation
Open to Media
Fri
21 July • 11 am
Visit to Peguis First Nation Open to public
Sat
22 July • 11 am
Visit to City of Selkirk Open to public
Sat
22 July • 12 pm
Civic Luncheon/City of Selkirk By invitation of City of Selkirk
Sun • 23 July Lord Selkirk departs Winnipeg

Highlights of the relationship between the Lords Selkirk and the Peguis Chiefs:
                   Ojibwe                                                  English                                       French

1817 gaa-akiiwang, Thomas Douglas Ani-naanan oniigaanii Selkirk, Earl of Selkirk gii-inaa’ zhigwa Anishinaabeg ogimaakaan Peguis ogii-jakibii’aanaawaa’ agwi’idiwin Peguis/Selkirk ji-wiijichigendiwaad awe oniigaanii’ Selkirk onji zhigwa Ogimaakaanaag Peguis onji, geyaabi gichi-inendaagwad 200 dasowaki eyaamagak. In 1817, Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk, and the Ojibwe Chief Peguis agreed to the Peguis/Selkirk Treaty, initiating a relationship between the Earls of Selkirk and the Chiefs of Peguis First Nation, which is still important after 200 years. En 1817, Thomas Douglas, 5e comte de Selkirk, et Peguis, chef Ojibwé, s’entendent sur les conditions du traité Selkirk. Ils inaugurent ainsi une relation entre les comtes de Selkirk and les chefs de la Première nation de Peguis, laquelle retient son importance après 200 années.
1967 gaa-akiiwang, apii miigwechiwitoowaad Kaanada aki, George Douglas Hamilton, Midaaching eni-niiganiid Selkirk dago wiiwan, Audrey Douglas Hamilton, gii-izhaawag Peguis ishkoniganing. Owe miigiwewin Peguise onji ogii-miinaawaan ini oniigaaniin Selkirk onji. In 1967, while celebrating Canada’s Centennial, George Douglas-Hamilton, 10th Earl of Selkirk, and his wife, Audrey Douglas-Hamilton, visited Peguis Fist Nation. The ceremonial regalia in this case was a gift from the people of Peguis First Nation to the 10th Lord Selkirk. En 1967, alors que le Canada célèbre son centenaire, George Douglas-Hamilton, 10e comte de Selkirk, et sa femme, Audrey Douglas-Hamilton, rendent visite à la Première nation de Peguis. Les insignes cérémoniaux dans ce boîtier sont un don que le peuple de Peguis a fait au 10e lord Selkirk.
2017 gaa-akiiwang ono gegoon Peguis ishkoniganing gii-onjisewan. Gaa-ani-niigaaniid Selkir James Douglas Hamilton, na’ii apii owe. In 2017 the collection is going back to Peguis First Nation. For the 11th Lord Selkirk, James Douglas-Hamilton, the time is right. En 2017 la collection réintègre la Première nation de Peguis. Au dire de James Douglas-Hamilton, 11e lord Selkirk, c’est le moment propice.
“Nindinendam ono gegoon inwaadewan gaa-gii-mino-wiijichendiwaad Anishinaabeg, Thomas Douglas zhigwa gaa-gii-oninamaawaad Selkirk. Ningii-bagosendaan ji-mikigaadenig ningoji ji-daawaapan, wiiji’iwed Ogimaakaan Glenn Hudson zhigwa Peguis ishkonigan, ningii-onatoomin gegoo maawanj ge-minosepan.

James Douglas Hamilton,
11 oniigaanii Selkirk

“I feel the collection is symbolic of a great friendship between the Ojibwe, Thomas Douglas and the Selkirk Settlers. I always hoped that a really good permanent home could be found for them and with the assistance and the guidance of Chief Glenn Hudson and the Peguis First Nation, we have come up with what we hope will be the best solution.”

James Douglas-Hamilton,
11th Lord Selkirk

« Je crois que la collection symbolise la grande amitié entre les Ojibwés, Thomas Douglas and les colons de Selkirk. J’ai toujours espéré pouvoir la confier de façon permanente à un très bon foyer. Grâce à l’aide et aux conseils du chef Glen Hudson et de la Première nation de Peguis, nous sommes arrivés à ce que nous espérons être la meilleure solution. »

James Douglas-Hamilton,
11e lord Selkirk
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