Saskatchewan

Rare First Nations drawing returns to Sask.

The Pasqua Pictograph, a historically significant artwork about First Nations treaty-making, is back in Saskatchewan.

The Pasqua Pictograph, a historically significant artwork about First Nations treaty-making, isbackin Saskatchewan.

A group that included Saskatchewan's Pasqua First Nation and the Royal Saskatchewan Museum has bought the drawing, which was created by Chief Pasqua in the 1870s and is the only one known to show a treaty from the perspective of First Nations people.

It consists of a series of symbols drawn with graphite on two paper panels. It shows figures in European clothing and traditional Indian dress, and has pictographs of the gifts First Nations people were to receive.

Ontario art dealer Donald Ellis had been selling the pictograph for $175,000 US.

Several groups, including the provincial government, contributed the money needed to buy the rare item.

"I'm very happy that it's coming back to Treaty 4 territory," said Lorne Carrier, co-ordinator of the project to bring back the pictograph.

"I have been involved in it or pursuing this document since about 2000 when it first came up on auction in England, then brought back over to North America," Carrier said.

"Certainly it is very satisfying to get such a historically important and unique document. It is one of its kind."

The Pasqua Pictograph now belongs to the Pasqua First Nation but will be stored at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Regina.

The drawing arrived in Reginaearlier this month.

The area covered by Treaty 4 covers most of southern Saskatchewan, as well assmall parts of Alberta and Manitoba. Pasqua First Nation is about 70 kilometres northeast of Regina.