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Reliving the Treaty - 1875
Students of Histoire canadienne took part in a three day role play as part of their studies in Histoire canadienne (Grade 11), recently. Manitoba Lieutenant Governor Alexander Morris and Agriculture Minister James McKay visited Rossville (known today as Norway House) in the fall of 1875 to negotiate Treaty Number 5; one of 11 the federal government signed with First Nations. Students were each assigned the name and background of an actual member of the Ininu community, or the Hudson's Bay Company, present during the time of the treaty. Through their interactions -- a Sharing Circle, Chapel meeting and negotiations -- students gain a deeper insight into the practical motivations of the families involved and compare their experiences with the terms of the actual treaty as signed and the state of affairs in Norway House and Fisher River today. Their written reflections reveal much about the imbalance of power and the assumptions made by both sides, which have affected our society ever since.