Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Treaty Commisioner Jamie Wilson

My friend and ex BT Jamie Wilson is now Manitoba's Treaty Commissioner. There is an article about him in the Winnipeg Free Press. I have no doubt that Jamie will succeed at this job. I hope he can help bring Native people to more integrated with other Canadians while respecting their culture. Education, hard work and self reliance will be what helps bring Native people ahead. It is what every immigrant child is told by their parents. I know Jamie is passionate about education and he will do everything he can to be a success in this job.

Seven documents a century or older covering every square centimetre of Manitoba -- coming soon to a school near you.

Manitoba's new treaty relations commissioner Jamie Wilson wants students to know what many adults do not -- that the seven treaties First Nations and Ottawa signed between 1871 and 1921 are living documents.

"It's all about where we are as a country -- we're a work in progress," says Wilson.

Wilson stepped down as education director in his hometown Opaskwayak Cree Nation to succeed Dennis White Bird as treaty commissioner.

So what does a treaty commissioner do?

He's a "neutral facilitator of dialogue" between First Nations and Ottawa, explained Wilson.

He laughed -- let's try this again.

Wilson said education and research are pillars of Manitoba's treaty commission. He's got a speakers bureau of 30 people, and is eager himself to get into schools: "I'd love to. If I'm invited, I'll be right in there."

But it's in the school curriculum where young people can learn what those seven treaties mean to all Manitobans, and how they're fundamental to the ever-developing relationships among Manitobans, said Wilson.

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