Bay 215-2553 Grasswood Road East
CA S7T 1C8
Office of the Treaty Commissioner
The Office of the Treaty Commissioner (often called the OTC), started in 1989 by the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations and the Government of Canada.
It was created to guide both parties through their differing view on Treaties, http://www.otc.ca/pages/about_the_treaties.html, by giving recommendations for Treaty land entitlement and education. Within the initial five-year mandate under the guidance of Commissioner Cliff Wright, the OTC played a vital role in the signing of the Treaty land entitlement agreements between 28 First Nations and the Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan.
The current Treaty Commissioner is Mary Culbertson. She is a member of the Keeseekoose First Nation and with her January 2018 appointment she became the first woman Treaty Commissioner of Saskatchewan.
Treaty Commissioner Culbertson was preceded by George E. Lafond, who was appointed in 2012, as well as the Honourable Bill McKnight who was appointed in 2007. The Honourable Judge David M. Arnot was appointed Treaty Commissioner for a ten-year period starting in January 1997.
In accordance with the Memorandum of Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations signed in 2008 (the “Memorandum”), the Office of the Treaty Commissioner in Saskatchewan has a mandate to analyze Treaty-related issues, develop options, and report to and provide advice to the Government of Canada and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations to achieve practical results that reflect the Treaty relationship. Its efforts are intended to:
Foster a strong and continuing treaty relationship (Memorandum, section 5.1.1 ), http://www.otc.ca/public/uploads/resource_photo/2008_MOA.pdf
Assist in resolving outstanding issues between the Government of Canada and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations regarding the Treaty relationship and identify opportunities to enhance governance, achieve economic independence and improve the well-being of First Nation communities, (Memorandum, section 5.1.2 ) including in the priority areas of
• Economic interest – land and resources; hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering; shelter
• First Nation citizenship and its relationship to First Nations governance
• Education and Child Welfare, and
Overcome obstacles that may affect Treaty relations among all residents and interests in Saskatchewan (Memorandum, section 5.1.3)
Celebrate through public education and commemorative activities the Treaty relationship and enhance awareness and understanding that all residents of Saskatchewan are beneficiaries of the Treaty relationship (Memorandum, section 5.1.4). http://www.otc.ca/public/uploads/resource_photo/2008_MOA.pdf
---Our Principles & Values
As outlined in the Memorandum (section 2.0), the Office of the Treaty Commissioner in Saskatchewan is guided by the following principles:
Acknowledgement of the significant role of Elders as knowledge keepers and respect for and adherence to ceremonial and oral traditions;
Treaties are foundational to the relationship between Treaty First Nations in Saskatchewan and the Crown, creating and committing the parties to an enduring relationship based on solemn promises exchanged and respect acknowledged at the time of treaty-making;
Upholding the honour of the Crown in all of its dealings with First Nations, which includes the role of the Crown in Right of Canada as successor to the British Crown, and the honour of Treaty First Nations in upholding Treaty;
Issues are addressed through a non-confrontational process which is respectful of First Nation cultures, languages and traditions and supports resolution of the issues.
In undertaking its work, the Office of the Treaty Commissioner is committed to the values of:
• Open Communication
View our Past Commissioners, http://www.otc.ca/pages/past_commissioners.html