Treaty Relations

April 2013

Building bridges between all communities

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TREATY RELATIONS COMMISION OF MANITOBA GET TO KNOW JAMIE WILSON In an Opaskwayak Cree Nation family brimming with PhD holders, Jamie Wilson likes to refer to himself as the ���underachiever���. Nothing could be further from the truth. Armed with a master���s degree in education administration, a fascinating military career as an elite Special Operations Ranger and possessing a warrior spirit and a passion for education, Jamie is rapidly earning a reputation as one of Canada���s brightest, next generation aboriginal leaders with a pragmatic, get-things-done attitude. A person who moves with equal ease in both First Nations and non-aboriginal communities, Jamie pushes himself both physically and mentally and doesn���t easily settle for second best. He���s a triathlete and cross-fit competitor as well as an award-winning environmentalist and survivalist who teaches the traditional ways of land navigation and subsistence living. But his greatest aspirations are in education where his goal is to play an important role in paving a way out and up for aboriginal youth by helping fix the current corrosion in First Nations education. Jamie initially got into education because it was a family tradition, with his parents and both siblings having earned PhDs. It didn���t take him long to realize that his calling was to work oneon-one with students. He earned his bachelor of arts degree at the University of Winnipeg, his M.Ed. Administration from the University of Manitoba and he possesses K-12 teaching experience in public schools, on-reserve. Upon joining the U.S. Army���s Special Operations, he received the award of Distinguished Honour Graduate, after which he earned his U.S. Jump Wings and British and Canadian Parachutist Wings. For athletic distinction, he was then placed on the elite 2nd Ranger Battalion Super��Squad. In 2010, Jamie was honoured by the Manitoba Legislature for his outstanding accomplishments while Director of Education for the Opaskwayak Education Authority. That same year, the Government of Canada and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs appointed him as Commissioner of the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba. Jamie is a Traditionalist who has long advocated for the equality of women in ceremony and in leadership. He is married with three��children. ��� 2 JAMIE WILSON COMMISSIONER OF THE TREATY RELATIONS COMMISSION OF MANITOBA LET���S TALK By Jamie Wilson T here���s a discussion underway in Manitoba and we���d like to invite you to join in. In this special publication ��� ���Our Past Our Future��� ��� we���ll share stories of the struggles and successes we���ve faced together, as communities, over the 141 years since the names of our ancestors ��� First Nations and non-aboriginals ��� were affixed to Treaty 1. Not all of the stories are ���pretty��� nor the opinions expressed universally agreed upon. But everyone deserves a voice and the right to make it heard which guarantees our conversation will be a lively one ... albeit long overdue. As I travel about Manitoba as the Treaty Commissioner, the question I am most often asked is, ���What do Treaties that were signed so long ago have to do with any of us today?��� The short answer is ��� everything. At the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba, we are learning that Treaties are significantly misunderstood. That is why our mandate, as a neutral body, is to encourage discussion and facilitate public understanding in an effort to enhance mutual respect between all peoples in Manitoba. Back when Treaty 1 was first signed, the Chiefs of the day saw the changing world in front of them ��� a world of decimated buffalo populations, increasing railroads and settlement ��� so they negotiated and secured terms they felt would help them survive. They secured the right to hunt, fish and trap on their traditional lands in order to preserve their way of life, but they also asked for assistance in being able to grow into agricultural and capitalists economies. Importantly, they also secured access to teachers and schools so that future generations could benefit from an education system that would allow them to successfully make their way in the new world. In return, they granted future Manitobans many things including access to the land and the right to own property. This Treaty right alone has allowed our province to flourish, creating a great deal of the economic wealth that is collectively enjoyed today. Throughout this publication, you will find stories that demonstrate the history we all share. We encourage you to take the time to read them as pathway not only to increased understanding but also to building stronger relationships and a better province for us all. Ours is a partnership that is 14 decades old and, like any relationship, it has not been without its hurdles. However, my ultimate hope is that we can all find a way to return to our original vow of working together, as equal partners, in order to do what is best for our entire province and for generations yet to come. ���

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