A Treaty Land Sharing Network event was held at our small farm south of Yorkton on June 3, 2023. While some of our land is cultivated, we attempt to practise good land management by preserving wetlands and providing habitat for wildlife and native flora. We rent out our cultivated land and are retired from a small cattle operation and our off-farm jobs. We feel there is much to do in reconciliation and honouring the treaties. We feel that sharing our land is a small but important step in this process.
There were 45 people present at this event: a diverse group of local farmers and neighbours, members of the nearby Little Bone Reserve who are affiliated with Zagime First Nation, and representatives from the Yorkton Tribal Council, including Tribal Chief Isabel O'Soup. The Mayor of Yorkton, Mitch Hippsley, and Darcy Gemby, representing the RM of Cana, were in attendance, as well as Calvin Daniels, the editor of Yorkton This Week. Elder Ross Cadotte offered the prayer. The atmosphere under the tent was warm, relaxed, respectful, and full of good humour. Mary Smillie explained the TLSN and the questions were pertinent and thoughtful.
Following a delicious lunch of beef on a bun and bannock, Paula explained her native grass and flower plantings and lead an enthusiastic group on a tour around the yard. Those remaining met again to listen as Cory Cadotte from the Yorkton Tribal Council explained the significance of the Eagle Staff and shared his amusing story of the Fluffy Squirrels and Stinky Skunks (Indigenous people and settlers).
The day ended with a sharing circle that took on a life of its own, as gifts were shared and a smudging occurred. This was a special opportunity for all of us to share, listen, and learn. A small “land-based” step along the long road to reconciliation.
Submitted by Paula and Morley Maier