8 Maliseet communities to sign declaration on Treaty Day

All are welcome for Saturday's Treaty Day celebrations at St. Anne's Point in Fredericton.

Events commemorate Mascarene's Treaty between the British and the Maliseet chiefs

St. Mary's First Nation Chief Candice Paul hopes Treaty Day will be an opportunity to educate "everyone not just ourselves" about unceded land and treaty rights. (CBC)

All are welcome for Saturday's Treaty Day celebrations at St. Anne's Point in Fredericton.

The event commemorates the signing of Mascarene's Treaty in 1726 between the British and the Maliseet chiefs, and will feature a variety of festivities near Government House starting at noon.

"We feel it's symbolic that we're holding the celebration on this spot, just kilometres from Eqpahak, an ancient capital of our people," said St. Mary's First Nation Chief Candice Paul. 

"It commemorates the relationship that our ancestors established with the British in the spirit of peace, friendship and equality."

Paul said the treaty was part of the Marshall decision in 1999 which upheld Mi'kmaq and Maliseet fishing rights.

'Greater unity'

She added that eight Maliseet communities will sign a declaration Saturday. It's part of the "greater unity" for which the current chiefs are aiming. 

The events will take inspiration from the language of 2015's Truth and Reconciliation report and Paul hopes the day will be an opportunity to educate "everyone not just ourselves" about unceded land and treaty rights.

"Treaty Day is an opportunity for all New Brunswickers to honour and celebrate the history of our First Nations and the closer relationship we are working to establish between our two levels of government," said Ed Doherty, minister responsible for aboriginal affairs in a news release.

The scheduled events include traditional ceremonies as well as a feast and a fundraising gala at the University of New Brunswick.

with files from Information Morning Fredericton