The treaty commissioner in Saskatchewan has helped spearhead a road sign campaign to mark the border between Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 – two of the largest in the province.
The official provincial road sign will appear on Hwy 11 between Saskatoon and Regina.
Mary Culbertson says this first sign is just a start.
“It’s a small thing, but it’s a big thing too because it’s going to be the first sign, right, and we have how many treaty territories throughout where this province lies now, right?” she tells APTN News.
“There’s 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and Treaty 5 as well, and they, they go across where these provincial boundaries are, right? and we have to acknowledge that.”
Culbertson says the approval process hit a snag with the provincial government over the Indigenous language to be used and signage standards.
She says she expects the design to be finalized soon.
“We have a Languages Act now, and we have to acknowledge that our Indigenous languages were here long before English or the two official languages of this country,” she says. “And we have to start acknowledging that and keep pushing those things. And our governments have that responsibility to be enabling legislation so that they can have these Indigenous languages included.”
Culbertson says people in positions of power have the responsibility to move things forward – even if it’s as small as a sign.
“These treaties were here before the provinces were created before these roads were here,” she says. “That boundary was there since 1874, you know, so it took that long for it to be acknowledged in modern-day, context with a sign.”
Other boundaries crossed by provincial highways are earmarked for signage in the coming years.