Workers at the district court house have been getting special training. Robert Horton says the treaty on display in history books is fraudulent.

The version people find in the history books and on government websites is the draft that Alexander Morris brought to negotiations in 1871, and it isn't the agreement, the spirit and intent of 1873, Horton continues.

"This plays out into law. It plays out into governance, and it plays out into dimensions of social, economic and I would even say cultural realities," he says, noting the misunderstandings have impacted health care, finances and land use..

Horton emphasizes we're all treaty people, and the agreement is meant to provide an understanding of how we can share the land for mutual benefit.

"There's something about the treaty that's very special, because it gives everybody a home. We all belong here," he adds.

The workshop for courthouse staff included research into historical documents that goes back to the 15th century. Horton explains how a doctrine of discovery descended from the Vatican into laws in the New World, allowing governments to take legal title of lands that weren't surrendered or ceded.

"What's happened is we have a factual account, which is what we call the spirit and the intent, in which all land that is off-reserve lands is to be shared. This is sharing the wealth, sharing the decision making," Horton underlines.

In exchange for sharing these lands, there is an exchange for treaty promises in areas of things like education, forestry and wild plants, hunting, self-government, minerals, resources, agriculture, fishing and fisheries, he adds.

The province has been moving to accommodate Indigenous people involved in legal proceedings at the courthouse, especially in light of the premier's apology last year, not to mention the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report in 2015.

For more information:

We Have Kept Our Part of the Treaty

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