Symbolic $5 payments given out at Regina Urban Treaty Days

Urban Treaty Day celebrations have been happening around Saskatchewan this month, including in Regina where two days of events wrap up tonight.

Support for treaties strong, organizer says

Urban Treaty Day celebrations have been happening around Saskatchewan this month, including in Regina where two days of events wrap up tonight.

People are meeting at the Gathering Place at 4001 3rd Ave. N. to celebrate treaties that were signed as far back as 1871.

Band members received a traditional annuity payment of $5 on the first day of the event.

The treaties did not account for inflation, so while the amount of money is no longer significant, organizer Erica Beaudin says the tradition matters.

"It's very important to carry on the symbolic meaning of the $5 bill, as you can see from the people that are here," she said, referring to the more than 100 people present at 2 p.m. "Our people still believe in treaty."

Al Carriere, who lined up to get his $5 bill yesterday, was well-acquainted with the history behind the payment.

"You sign the thing that acknowledges a hold on the title of the land of the country and they give you the Queen's picture," Carriere said.

During the day Wednesday, the event includes a breakfast, bouncy castles and other children's activities, a karaoke competition, a barbecue and a commemorative cake.

The celebrations conclude tonight with a dance and fireworks show.