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Treaty #3 flag to fly outside Kenora, Ontario city hall, permanently

National Aboriginal Day took on special significance in Kenora, Ont., when the Treaty #3 flag was raised outside city hall.

Flag represents both the historic treaty, and hope for a brighter future, say mayor and chief

Dave Canfield (left), mayor of Kenora, Ont., and Grand Council Treaty #3 Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh (right) marked National Aboriginal Day with several events, including raising the Treaty #3 flag. (Heather Kasprick/City of Kenora)

National Aboriginal Day took on special significance in Kenora, Ont., when the Treaty #3 flag was raised outside city hall.

It will now fly permanently alongside the city and Canadian flags.

"For me, it symbolizes the signing of the treaty, and reaffirms that process done in 1873," says Francis Kavanaugh, the Ogichidaa of Grand Council Treaty 3.

The historic moment had similar significance for Kenora mayor Dave Canfield.

"We're all treaty people, we're all part of the treaty and we need to recognize that," he said, adding that he hoped Wednesday's ceremony would signal a new type relationship with Indigenous people in the region.

It's something Kavanaugh is wishing for as well.

"For so long, we've been on the short end of the stick when it came to benefitting from the richness of our territory, in terms of our resources and resource extraction," said Kavanaugh, adding, "I want this process to be one of true partnership." 

The flag should also serve as a reminder of the role Treaty #3 First Nations play in the northwestern Ontario economy. 

"Because we don't have the amenities in our communities, each time somebody gets paid, we all come to Kenora to do our banking and to do whatever business we want to do and that money drives the economy of towns like Kenora," said Ogichidaa Kavanaugh.
Dave Canfield, the mayor of Kenora, Ont., and Francis Kavanaugh, Ogichidaa of the Grand Council Treaty #3 work together to raise the Treaty #3 flag on National Aboriginal Day. (Heather Kasprick/City of Kenora)

Canfield said its important the people see the Treaty #3 flag everyday.

"It's the beginning of the rest of our lives and a time of healing," he said.

"We're going to continue to walk together on a daily basis, not on a casual basis, but as true partners and work together to make our communities and our people live better in harmony and create more opportunities for all of us." .