“Everybody who is a Canadian citizen is a Treaty person and so I ask that they take it upon themselves to learn about that history and those roles and responsibilities associated.”– Amy Seesequasis, Office of the Treaty Commissioner
Amy Seesequasis made a goal for herself when she was a university student to work for the Office of the Treaty Commissioner (OTC) one day.
While working towards her bachelor of arts in Indigenous Studies, Seesequasis frequently used the OTC’s resources—in 2012, she joined the team as a research assistant.
Fast forward seven years and she’s travelling around the province as Director of the Speakers Bureau educating about Canada’s Treaty history.
Seesequasis was at Prince Albert’s John M. Cuelenaere Public Library on Monday night to do just that.
“My background has always been in understanding that history and perspectives of history from the Indigenous Treaty partners who haven’t always had their history available and accessible and recognized,” she said.
In October 2018, Seesequasis signed a strategic alliance with the OTC and provincial libraries to provide educational tools about Treaties to communities that don’t usually have them available.
She explained that a lot of it is information sessions and engaging with the Speakers Bureau, which is made up of Indigenous and non-Indigenous members, as well as newcomers.
“We have to recognize that it’s a shared history and we have to be inclusive of everyone,” said Seesequasis.
Her presentation walked the audience through a timeline of history.
She emphasized that the Treaties were not just a signed contract, but were ceremonial. She also explained symbols of First Nations culture, like tobacco, and of the Treaties, which includes nature.
Seesequasis studied at the First Nations University of Canada’s Saskatoon and Prince Albert campuses. She pursued a second degree in Aboriginal Public Administration at the University of Saskatchewan.
She’s from Beardy’s and Okemasis’ First Nation, which is located eight kilometres west of Duck Lake.
As a Cree woman with Métis lineage, truth and reconciliation has always been her passion.
“At OTC, we often say we are all Treaty people,” said Seesequasis. “Everybody who is a Canadian citizen is a Treaty person and so I ask that they take it upon themselves to learn about that history and those roles and responsibilities associated.”
Visit www.otc.ca for their resources.
The Office of the Treaty Commissioner’s goal is to foster Treaty relationships and relationships between First Nations and non-First Nations people.