A century after its signing, Treaty 11 is now on display at Yellowknife’s Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre.
Signed in 1921, the document outlined the surrender of Indigenous lands in exchange for treaty payments, tools and supplies, promises of education, and government-regulated hunting and fishing rights.
More than 20 First Nations and some Métis people would eventually adhere to Treaty 11, covering almost a million square kilometres of the present-day NWT, Nunavut, and Yukon.
Treaty 11 will be available to view at the museum until late October. In July, staff involved in arranging the exhibit told the CBC its visit had involved “months and months” of planning.
“This is the first time the document has been in the north since travelling by river to the nine signatory communities in 1921 and 1922 when it was signed by representatives of the Dehcho, Tłı̨chǫ, Sahtu, and Gwich’in, and the Government of Canada,” the territorial government said in a news release.
“The document is in booklet form, with each community having a signatory page. The Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre will be turning the pages weekly to provide the public with the opportunity to see each signatory page.”
You can see the communities’ pages on these dates:
- Fort Providence: September 13-19
- Fort Simpson and Wrigley: September 20-26
- Tulita and Fort Good Hope: September 27-October 3
- Tsiigehtchic and Fort McPherson: October 4-10
- Fort Liard and Behchokǫ̀: October 12-17
The document is on loan from Library and Archives Canada, the territory said.
The museum is open even during the present Covid-19 outbreak, from 10am-5pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday each week. Wear a mask and follow the posted Covid-19 protocols.
The territorial government said nobody – including the territorial government itself – is allowed to photograph or film the exhibit.
A separate exhibit at the museum marks a century of Treaty 11 from a Tłı̨chǫ perspective. Watch a video tour of that exhibit on the Cabin Radio website.