Treaty Four History

Chief Walter Ochapowace

We are the sovereign first Nations which are signatory to Treaty # 4 with the Crown. Our forefathers entered into Treaty exercising all the powers of sovereignty and nationhood. Her majesty’s representatives negotiated Treaty on behalf of the Crown carrying the full authority to establish an international Treaty.

We have been autonomous and connected to our territories since time immemorial.  This is confirmed by our oral history, our Elders teachings, our traditions and customary  practices.

The Creator reigns supreme over all things. He gave us our right to live on this earth to provide us with all our needs so that we may live and prosper. The Creator also gave us our laws, culture, customs and our traditions so that we may live in harmony with nature and mankind. We shall practice these rights, responsibilities and sacred obligations from generation to generation.

We strongly maintain our beliefs, our language ad our place on earth through spiritual and holistic practices which are in harmony with the Creator’s laws and natural laws.

Our values of balance, harmony, respect, honour and love guide us in determining our destiny and shall serve as foundations for our people for generations to come.  Our values and our language serve to re-enforce our government systems and procedures in relation to the individual, the family, the community, the first nation and society in general.

We are one people sharing our Treaty territories and traditional lands, having the common dream of a bright future based on our own decisions, our own laws and our own governing systems.  As Treaty four citizens we respect the diversity of our customs, languages, traditions and faiths.

We shall respectfully continue to rekindle the guidance of our Elders for our spiritual, mental, emotional and physical well-being, further, we shall protect and preserve the customs and teachings of our culture, knowledge and language in direct consultation with our Elders.

Our personal existence is defined by universal truths and natural laws which guide us in honoring each individual’s rights to life, liberty and wellness. We accept the responsibilities that go with our inalienable rights, knowing that we are responsible for our own destiny.

Our inherent and Treaty Rights are the basis for our social, political and, without limitation, our economic development.  These rights guarantee our freedom to exercise and preserve our way of life perpetuity.

We shall implement our independence and sovereignty based on the “spirit and intent” of Treaty as we interpret it, for the purpose of:

  • Forming representative governments based on the will of the peoples;
  • exercising our rightful jurisdiction over our people, lands and resources;
  • establishing a governance framework for the implementation of Treaty # 4;
  • ensuring domestic tranquility and promoting the general well-being of our people;
  • conserving and developing our resources and our economics;
  • achieving and maintaining for our peoples a desirable measure of prosperity; and
  • applying our values of human dignity, freedom, peace, order and good government. 

All Treaty provisions are one and the same for all treaties.  The Crown is obligated to fulfill its promise that the Treaty provisions would be on top of what we already had.  Our Treaty rights and responsibilities as Treaty four citizens are portable and apply regardless of residency.

We retain our inherent birthright and interest in all arable and non-arable lands, mines and minerals and royalties derived therefrom and all other natural resources that were bestowed on us by the Creator for our livelihood. 

We declare that our customary laws be respected, recognized and affirmed by all other Nations.

We shall manage our own destiny based on our rights and laws; we shall change what needs to be changed and we shall empower ourselves to once again live as a proud, independent people.

By virtue of our rights and freedoms as autonomous Nations in a historical relationship with the Crown, we do hereby proclaim and institute Treaty four first Nation jurisdictions and government.

Further, we do hereby ordain, adopt and establish the following Convention of the Treaty four first Nations.

Sept. 15, 1999