A flag raising was held just in front of Affinity place yesterday afternoon. 

"I think it's really important here in Estevan," explained Chief Ira MacArthur of the Pheasant Rump Nakota Nation, "because there are surrounding First Nation communities that live here and shop here and we're a part of the local economy. So with the rasing of the Treaty 4 Flag, it symbolizes a partnership that should always exist between Indigenous people and non-Indigenous communities."

Before the flag was raised, sage grass was burned.

"Because the flag was brand new, it hasn't been used, we want to be able to hand it in a way that takes into account its spiritual significance for us as Indigenous people."

The flag was gifted to the City Hall and it will be up to them where they want to display it in the future. 

A pipe ceremony was scheduled but had to be cancelled due to the high winds, however, prayers were still said and a drum ceremony was also held. 

"The purpose of it is to say prayers. The prayers are always the beginning of any major event that we have in our community."

He added that he hopes to see more of these ceremonies in smaller communities and across the province. 

Similar flag raising ceremonies have been done throughout Canada.

"I think what we're doing here is catching up on some of the progress that has been made with some of the other larger urban centres across the country."

Mayor Roy Ludwig was also in attendance and felt it was important because it recognized the treaty that was signed.

"In 1874, this Treaty Four was signed and over the years, we tend to forget, but it is a document that was signed and it still honoured to this day. In this age of reconciliation and trying to work collaboratively together. Not only amongst our community where we don't really have a reserve that close by, but it's still a fact that whenever we interact with First Nations, we do collaboratively and with an air of reconciliation."

Ludwig hopes this ceremony is another step towards building relationships with the First Nations in southern Saskatchewan. 

Drum Circle.jpgDrummers preformed at yesterday's event.

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