Indian head, Saskatchewan. –
The Town of Indian Head showed its commitment to being part of reconciliation by raising the Treaty 4 and Métis Nation flags in front of its town office.
Both now fly high alongside the flags of Canada and Saskatchewan.
“It’s been a while to come,” Mayor Steven Cole said. “It’s a great opportunity to celebrate Aboriginal heritage in this region.
“This is a momentous occasion,” said Marg Friesen, Region Three representative for the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan. “It’s an opportunity to work together and understand each other. It brings people together in collaboration, unity and harmony, so that we can live in peace.
The idea of raising the flags was started by a group of local teenagers called Change Makers. The group’s goal is to connect Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth as they embark on the journey of reconciliation together.
“People wanted to listen to us,” Gracie Runns said. “They were ready to make changes. This is the first step and I can’t wait to see what else will happen.
“As we’ve grown, we’ve also faced a lot of setbacks,” Jaicilyn Thomson said. “But today the turnout was just amazing and that really motivates us because we know we’re behind us as well.”
The city says having an initiative like this led by a community’s future leaders will lead to greater change in the community.
“It will create a better place for our children to grow up,” said Meagan McEwen, Community Development Officer for the Town of Indian Head. “It’s so encouraging to see how strong they are.”
“We want to mentor the young leaders of today,” Friesen said. “It’s promising to see young people having these leadership qualities. It is our job as community leaders to foster this and to empower young people to make a difference.
Change Makers believe that reconciliation cannot stop at raising a few flags.
“There is a problem with the name of the city,” said Sophie Bowden. “I would love to see more conversations about this.”
“Or even just find a spot in town to put up a permanent teepee and honor the history of First Nations people,” Runns said.
Friesen said reconciliation is something that needs to become behavior in society.
“History has divided our two worlds: Indigenous and non-Indigenous,” she said. “This is how we can unite.”