Premier Announces Reciprocal Bike Tour to Commemorate 200th Anniversary of the Selkirk Treaty
March 20, 2017
Manitobans Invited to Submit Letters in Recognition of Shared History: Premier
In recognition of the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Selkirk Treaty, Premier Brian Pallister announced he will complete a trip by bicycle between the original and current settlements of Peguis First Nation and invited Manitobans to participate in the event through the submission of letters of thanks to be taken on the journey.
“Dear Chief Peguis, thank you for helping the Selkirk Settlers to survive the first few years in Canada,” the premier read at today’s launch event, quoting a student from William Whyte School’s Grade 4/5 class. “Without you and your generosity, many of them would have died. Because of this friendship and support from 200 years ago, many of the first settlers’ descendants still live in Manitoba.”
Earlier this year, the premier sent letters to Manitoba school divisions and a variety of organizations inviting them to share letters of support this initiative. The premier today invited all Manitobans to submit letters to be delivered to the community of Peguis First Nation during the trip.
Letters received from the Grade 4/5 class at William Whyte School in Winnipeg’s Point Douglas community inspired today’s visit to the school by the premier and Grand Chief Jerry Daniels of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization.
“The legacy of an extraordinary friendship between Lord Selkirk and Chief Peguis laid the foundation for what would later become Manitoba,” said Pallister. “The story of Manitoba is one of centuries of compassion, friendship and partnership between Indigenous Manitobans and those who arrived after them. That partnership is the bedrock on which our strong and beautiful province was built.”
“On behalf of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization, we acknowledge the premier’s gesture to educate and provide understanding of the Selkirk Treaty of 1817 and of the true history of our people’s partnership,” said Daniels. “This is an opportune time for all Manitobans to reflect on the importance of what occurred 200 years ago.”
When the Selkirk Settlers arrived in Manitoba from Scotland and Ireland between 1812 and 1815, Chief Peguis helped provide food and shelter. In 1817, Lord Selkirk signed a treaty with five Indigenous leaders to grant each land, which included land at St. Peter’s in East Selkirk to Chief Peguis’ band.
Over the course of three days between June 16 and 18, the premier will cycle approximately 160 kilometres between the original St. Peter’s Reserve in East Selkirk and the current location of Peguis First Nation in the Interlake.
“I invite you to join me in this mission of friendship by writing a letter to Manitoba’s Indigenous peoples, expressing your gratitude for the vital role they played in the formation of our province,” said Pallister.
Manitobans are asked to submit letters by April 15 to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to:
Premier’s Peguis Tour
Manitoba Legislative Building
Winnipeg, MB R3C 0V8
Manitobans can follow the journey on social media using the hashtag #PremierPeguisTour.
– 30 –