Leaders and delegates at the Dene National Assembly gathered in Fort Fitzgerald, Alta., Tuesday to mark the 115th anniversary of the signing of Treaty 8 by Chief Pierre Squirrel of the Smith's Landing First Nation.

Treaty 8 territory includes portions of northern British Columbia and northern Saskatchewan, the northern half of Alberta, and the Northwest Territories south of Hay River.

The theme of this year's Dene National Assembly is "honour the treaties." Leaders at the assembly say that with a continued push by government and industry to develop resources, treaties are more important now than ever.

"The treaties are alive," says Andrew Wanderingspirit, chief of Smith's Landing First Nation. "They're alive, that's how I feel. And it's up to us to keep feeding them and let them live for future generations."