Bishop Murray High School holds Treaty 6 medal installation ceremony

Student MCs introduced the Treaty 6 medal celebration held April 5 at Bishop Murray Catholic High School in Saskatoon. (Photo by Derrick Kunz, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools)

Preparation and study culminated in a public celebration of the Treaty 6 medal installation at Bishop Murray High School. (Photo by Derrick Kunz, GSCS)

By Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Catholic Saskatoon News, and Derrick Kunz, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools (GSCS)

Students and staff at Bishop Murray High School in Saskatoon hosted an event to install their Treaty 6 medal April 5, 2022. It will serve as a tangible sign of their learning and commitment to relationship, reconciliation and healing.

The medal portrays a treaty commissioner grasping the hand of a First Nations man. Between them lies a hatchet buried in the ground. Other symbols on the medal are grass and water, symbolizing that the treaty is to “last for as long as the sun shines, the grass grows and the rivers flow.”


(Photo of the Treaty 6 medal plaque by Derrick Kunz, GSCS)


An honour song was part of the celebration to install the Treaty 6 medal plaque at Bishop Murray High School in Saskatoon. (Photo by Derrick Kunz, GSCS)

The program included the entrance of flag bearers, and singing of the Treaty 6 Song by Delvin Kanewiyakiho, TJ Warren, Elmer Tootoosis and guests; as well as the Métis anthem and O Canada, and a prayer and blessing of the Treaty Medal by Bishop Mark Hagemoen of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon and Fr. Geoffrey Young of the Catholic high school’s neighbouring Our Lady of Lourdes Parish.

Fr. Geoffrey Young of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish (left) and Saskatoon Bishop Mark Hagemoen offered prayers and blessed the Treaty 6 medal plaque during the installation celebration April 5 at Bishop Murray High School. (Photo by Derrick Kunz, GSCS)

A number of presenters participated in the program, including Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools Chair Diane Boyko, and representatives of the Saskatoon Tribal Council, the Office of the Treaty Commissioner, and the Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. A student treaty education video, a dance demonstration and artwork recognition were also part of the program.

Treaty 6 medal celebrations have been held in a number of Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools in recent years, with staff, students and families engaged in a time of preparation and learning before installing a Treaty 6 medal plaque in a facility. A Treaty 6 plaque was also installed at the Cathedral of the Holy Family in Saskatoon in June 2016.

With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions more schools are preparing for their installation ceremonies in the days and weeks ahead as well.


From the program for the celebration:

“Treaties are sacred agreements, witnessed by the Creator, between First Nations Peoples of Canada and the British Crown. Treaties are living, permanent, foundational agreements based on the synthesis of two world views: First Nations’ oral traditions, values and laws, and the written traditions and laws of the Crown. The Treaties are based on First Nations’ principles, including the nehiyaw principles of mīyo wīcētowin (getting along with others), wītaskēwin (living together in harmony on the land) and pimacihowin (making a living). Treaties were designed to provide both sides with the means of ensuring survival and socio-economic stability, anchored in the principle of asakēwin (sharing).

“Our school’s relationship with the land began in 1954. We at Bishop Murray Catholic High School embrace the opportunity to offer Treaty and Indigenous Education to our students. Recovering the true spirit and intent of Treaties is a priority we must respect through understanding and upholding the agreements that were made.

“Today, April 5, 2022, the Treaty 6 medal will be installed in our school to be the symbol of our history, our relationship with the land, and our recognition that we are all Treaty people. It is a replca of the medals originally presented to participating First Nations Chiefs in commemoration of the Treaties.

Treaties are permanent agreements, made to last:

“îspîcih kîsikaw pîsim kîsikohk pimôhtêcih,

ispîcih pimicôwâkaki sîpîyah, ispîcih maskosîya ôpikîkwakih”


“so long as the sun shall cross the sky, so long as the

rivers shall run, so long as the grass shall grow”


-kêtêy-kisêniw (Elder) Jim of Wîcêkaskosîy sâhkahikan (Onion Lake) in his oral history of Treaty 6


(Photo by Derrick Kunz, GSCS)

Among those speaking at the April 5 celebration was Delvin Kanewiyakiho, First Nations Cultural Leader at Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools. (Photo by Derrick Kunz, GSCS)

GSCS Chair Diane Boyko brought greetings. (Photo by Derrick Kunz, GSCS)