FSIN delegation in England for Royal Proclamation anniversary

The chief of the Saskatchewan Federation of Indian Nations was in London, England, on Monday to mark the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763.

The chief of the Saskatchewan Federation of Indian Nations was in London, England, on Monday to mark the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763.

The proclamation issued on Oct. 7 of that year is important to aboriginal groups who say it set out a legal framework for aboriginal rights and recognized indigenous peoples' title to lands and territories.

FSIN Chief Perry Bellegarde and other members of the Canadian delegation marked the anniversary with a morning pipe ceremony close to Buckingham Palace.

"The reverence for the Crown, the relationship with the Crown is very important," Bellegarde said following the ceremony. "We treaty people are here to mark that occasion and keep that relationship intact."

Bellegarde said the chiefs with him are in full "regalia" and have been attracting some attention in London. That's fine, he said — it gives chiefs an opportunity to educate people about the importance of upholding the treaties and also to talk about resource sharing and poverty among First Nations people.

The FSIN represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan.

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