Virtual Treaty 4 Gathering:

Pre-Recorded/Online Activities – Treaty 4 Gathering Student Activities (

Pre-Recorded Treaty Walks +

Victoria Park Treaty Walk Script

By Kassia Nameth, Janelle Langley, Kaitlin Bowers and Claire Ivens

Introduction (Kassia):

Hello all and welcome. Today our treaty walk is taking place in Victoria Park. We would like to acknowledge that Victoria Park is located on Treaty 4 territory which is the territories of the nêhiyawak, Anihšināpēk, Dakota, Lakota, Nakoda, and the homeland of the Métis-Michif Nation. We would also like to acknowledge that we are guiding this treaty walk as settler-Canadians because our ancestors came to Canada with the intent to stay and did stay which makes us uninvited guests on these lands. In spirit of wâhkôhtowin (Cardinal & Hildebrandt, 2000), being relatives on & to this land, we offer tobacco to mother earth by placing it on the south side of this tree, as Joseph Naytowhow taught our class. I’ll say a quick prayer as we are thankful for being able to learn from the land and work towards miyo-wîcêhtowin (Cardinal & Hildebrandt, 2000), making good relationships on these lands. We also ask for guidance in working towards tâpwêwin (Cardinal & Hildebrandt, 2000), telling difficult and necessary truths with precision & accuracy, throughout this walk today.

John A. Macdonald history through a colonial lens (Claire):

The statue of Sir John A. Macdonald was installed in Victoria Park in downtown Regina on December 22nd, 1967. Shortly after his death on June 6, 1891, there was a motivation in the city for a monument to be built to honour the first prime minister of Canada. Ashely Martin, the writer for Regina Leader Post, suggests, due to lack of funding and interest the statue did not garner enough attention to advance any further in its creation until 1965.

From a colonial perspective, John A. Macdonald is widely credited for his role in the creation of Canada as a country, commonly referred to as the father of confederation. Serving as Canada’s first prime minister from 1867–1873, and again between 1878 until his death in 1891, his strong commitment to unionism was at the forefront of his political philosophies that contributed to the progression of confederation. This philosophy is reflected in the quote “We will be one people, we will be united, we will be free” (Gillespie, A.C.F. & MacKay, P., 2017, p. 31). Toronto Star columnist, Richard Gwyn (2017) states that Macdonald was known for encouraging positive relations between French-Canadians and English-Canadians citizens, and the first NDP leader in the world to attempt to include women in the voting process. 

While there are few academic articles that discuss how he was storied during the period when the statue was erected, there are a few contemporary texts, including a document from the Macdonald-Laurier Institute (2017), which discusses his past actions as positively impacting the growth of Canada as a nation. While reading through this document, much of it may appear to be factual information at first glance, however, it is difficult to discern any other perspectives outside that of a colonial one. As Dwayne Donald (2016) writes, “for many societies, there is a truth element given to their ways of being, knowing and remembering that is not considered mythological in character. Rather, it is usually characterized as a naturalized state of affairs that need not be interrogated in any meaningful way” (p. 12). We must question the ways in which public figures are storied, by considering who these stories serve. 

John A. Macdonald full history including Indigenous perspectives (Janelle):

John A. Macdonald, as we know, was the face of a philosophy that still holds a presence in our society. Macdonald’s beliefs and political vision for Canada does not remain in the past – this prejudice and othering mentality has lived on in Canadian society. We must not hold onto the mentality that “the past is in the past,” when our Indigenous brothers and sisters remain unheard. Tâpwêwin,  or telling difficult and necessary truths, is a part of our treaty responsibilities. As Canadian-settlers, we recognize that in order to acknowledge, we must first listen to the truths of the Indigenous peoples of these lands that have been dismissed throughout history. As Margaret Kovach states “acknowledging, without dismissing the past, shows respect for the history from which our current individual and collective narrative has evolved”. Moving forward, I hope we can begin to shift our focus away from the decisions made by Macdonald, and focus on the here and now: to heal the strained relationships influenced by MacDonald’s time in history. 

Fight for the removal of the statue (Kassia):

Although it has only recently made headlines, the fight to remove the John A MacDonald statue has been going on for many years. According to the Leader post “In just the past decade, the dark-grey metal figure has been…spray painted red (also 2012), wrapped in a scarf (2015), body painted mint green and yellow (2018), and hands painted red (also 2018) (Martin, 2020). These acts were done as a way to bring crucial conversations to the public eye. These crucial conversations gained traction last summer. As reported by the Leader post “more than 2,600 people signed an online petition calling on the City of Regina to remove the statue” (Martin, 2020). This led the city to lead a review on the statue. By the end of June, the city chained a message to the base of the statue that read “Recognizing that this statue represents a harmful legacy to members of our community, the City of Regina is reaching out to Indigenous elders, artists and community members as well as other cultural groups and the broader public to guide our response.” On March 31st the city decided to relocate the Macdonald statue from Victoria Park and by April 13th the statue was removed and put into storage until a new location is determined. It is important to note that removing a statue does not immediately fix everything. As Stevens said in a CBC interview “All we’re doing right now is moving a statue. We have a long way to go” (Atter, 2021).

Even in the short term, there is still a lot to be decided. There are many different options for what will be put in the place of the statue in Victoria Park and also what will happen with the Macdonald statue. We challenge you to pause this video and think about what you might propose for these two scenarios and why. We also challenge you to think about what it may be like to go to a council meeting or to write a letter to city hall with your thoughts and concerns or maybe even submit a proposal for a community art piece. Although there is still a long journey ahead, this is a step in the right direction. Especially when it comes to treaty relationships. As Vowel said, “Renewal of treaty relationships is very much a core aspect of Indigenous treaty-making…Relationships must be renewed with constant care, negotiation, and openness to change” (2016, p. 244). 

Where do we go from here (Kaitlin):

world shapers by Joanne Arnott

creation stories are lullabies for grown-ups/they remind us of all the possible ways & means/that worlds can be born/& humans come to be

tricksters & goddesses/fire & water/the one god, or all of the gods/working as a team


there is no end to the doing & the undoing/of our creators/they have imagined us over & over & over/recreating us & recreating our world on a whim

there is no end to us, humans, either/we keep re-inventing the cosmos & fighting/one anothers’ visions/with killing hands

we have our feast times/& our fast times/our celebrations & our long days & nights/of lament

& yet we are not powerless, we adults, we humans/we reinvent, we shape and reshape the world, every/single day

How did this poem make you feel? What does it mean to be a worldmaker? World shaker? World breaker? How do you think this poem relates to treaty? How can you shape and reshape the world today? 

When teaching about the treaties, we need to remember not to just focus on the past. The treaties were not a past event that we are seeing the effects of. Treaties are ongoing, they are a relationship that we are all affected by and/ or responsible for upholding. When bringing treaty into the classroom, let’s prompt our students to consider their own relationship and help them feel empowered as individuals who can trust in their own ability to know what is right and the humility to learn what they don’t know. Canada’s history is complex, John A MacDonald is a complex topic. It’s not just whether he was a good or bad person. He was an important part of building Canada and an important part of our history. He also held racist beliefs and supported as well as commissioned actions that caused great harm to indigenous peoples. We cannot teach one or the other, we must teach both. Taking down the statue and acknowledging the parts of history that we erased is a great start. Stepping back and incorporating room for traditionally silenced voices is an integral part of upholding an equal relationship in treaty. Bringing these contemporary issues into the classroom allows for our students to actively take part in improving treaty relationships and demonstrates the importance of treaty understandings. 

We hope you took something away from our walk. Thank you for taking the time to walk with us and consider your own treaty responsibilities as future educators. Please enjoy the rest of your walk…


Atter, H. (2021, March 31). Sir John A. Macdonald statue to be removed from Regina’s Victoria Park. CBC news.

Cardinal, H., Hildebrandt, W. (2000). Treaty Elders of Saskatchewan: Our Dream Is That Our Peoples Will One Day Be Clearly Recognized as Nations. Calgary: University of Calgary Press. Canadian Electronic Library/desLibris.

Gwyn, R. (2017, July 12). Sir John A. Macdonald, the greatest PM of all. Toronto Star.

Gillespie, A.C.F. & MacKay, P. (2017). John A. Macdonald: The indispensable politician. Macdonald-Laurier Institute.

Martin, A. (2020, September 18). Regina’s John A. Macdonald statue: Looking back, looking forward. Leaderpost.

Saskatchewan Ministry of Education (2010). English Language Arts 5.

Saskatchewan Ministry of Education (2013). Treaty Education Outcomes and Indicators.

Vowel, C. (2016). Treaty Talk: The Evolution of Treaty-Making in Canada. In Indigenous Writes : A Guide to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Issues in Canada (pp. 243 – 249).

Wallenfeldt, J. (2021, January 7). Sir John Macdonald. In Encyclopedia Britannica.

Appendix (Kassia)

Curriculum Connections: 

Throughout the treaty walk there are a couple different connections to the grade 5 curriculum. 

The first connection is found in the overall theme and content of our treaty walk.It connections to the Treaty Education outcome and indicators (Saskatchewan Ministry of Education, 2013):

  • TR51: Examine the concepts of colonization and decolonization and analyze their effects. 
    1. Recognize the impact of colonization and assimilation policies of the Canadian government on First Nations and Métis societies.
    2. Examine effects of racism on relationships among Saskatchewan people.
    3. Investigate the current process of decolonization and the impact this has on all Canadian people.

The second connection appears in the sentence “We also challenge you to think about what it may be like to go to a council meeting or to write a letter to city hall with your thoughts and concerns or maybe even submit a proposal for a community art piece.” This challenge ties into the grade 5 ELA curriculum within the following outcome and indicators (Saskatchewan Ministry of Education, 2010):

  • CR5.1: Analyze and respond to a variety of grade-level texts (including contemporary and traditional visual, oral, written,and multimedia texts) that address:
    • identity (e.g., Exploring Heritage)
    • community (e.g., Teamwork)
    • social responsibility (e.g. What is Fair?)
  • D) Compare the challenges and situations encountered in daily life with those experienced by people in other times, places, and cultures as portrayed in a variety of texts including First Nations and Métis texts.
  • f) Draw on oral, print, and other media texts including First Nations and Métis texts to explain personal perspectives on cultural representations

The third connection appears in the world shapers by Joanne Arnott. It also stems from the grade 5 ELA curriculum within the following outcome and indicator (Saskatchewan Ministry of Education, 2010):

  • CR5.4 Read and demonstrate comprehension of a range of contemporary and classical grade-appropriate fiction, script, poetry, and non-fiction (including magazines, reports, instructions, and procedures) from various cultures including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit and countries (including Canada).
  • g. Identify the characteristics of poetry, plays, fiction, and non-fiction including First Nations and Métis texts.