Treaty plaque installed at St. John Bosco Parish in Saskatoon

Elder Irene Sharp (left) of Our Lady of Guadalupe Indigenous Parish offers a prayer July 10 during a Treaty 6 plaque blessing and installation celebration at St. John Bosco Parish in Saskatoon, with pastor Fr. Marvin Lishchynsky (right) also offering prayers. The Treaty 6 plaque is a visible reminder of ongoing reconciliation and TRC awareness work undertaken by the two sister parishes. (Photos courtesy of St. John Bosco Parish)

A Treaty 6 plaque was installed at the outside entrance of St. John Bosco Parish in Saskatoon on July 10, 2022  with (l-r): Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Life Director Debbie Ledoux and Elder Gayle Weenie, St. John Bosco CWL representative Diane Cote and St. john Bosco pastor Fr. Marvin Lishchynsky. (Photo courtesy of St. John Bosco Facebook page)

By Diane Cote, St. John Bosco Parish, Saskatoon

Members of St. John Bosco Parish were joined by Elders from nearby Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish on July 10, 2022 for the installation and blessing of a Treaty 6 plaque outside the entrance of St. John Bosco Catholic Church at 1202 Avenue O South, Saskatoon.

The plaque – which features an image of the historic Treaty 6 medal –  is an acknowledgement of the Treaty that was signed in 1876, and was installed to demonstrate the commitment of St. John Bosco parish to work on healing broken relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous citizens.

The two parishes have been working together at building a relationship through shared projects and discussion. Installing the Treaty 6 plaque signifies another step in moving forward in a spirit of truth seeking, reconciliation and healing.

St. John Bosco parishioners gathered after Sunday Mass July 10 for the celebration of the Treaty 6 plaque installation. (Photo courtesy of St. John Bosco Facebook page)

Our Lady of Guadalupe Elders Gayle Weenie and Irene Sharp provided an explanation about praying through smudging, smudged the plaque, and gave all those attending an opportunity to smudge and followed with a prayer of blessing.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Life Director Debbie Ledoux expressed her hope in what the presence of the plaque signifies.

St. John Bosco Parish Life Director Matthew Courchene, Knights of Columbus representative Shelton LaFramboise, and CWL representative Diane Cote unveiled the plaque, located near the outside entrance of the church building.

Fr. Marvin Lishchynsky did a closing prayer and lunch was served for all.

Related – St. John Bosco CWL reaches out to Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish through ribbon skirt project

Related: Joyful Treaty 6 plaque installation at St. Mary School

Related: Treaty 6 medal installations celebrated at Catholic schools

The Treaty 6 medal portrays a treaty commissioner grasping the hand of a First Nations leader. Between them is a hatchet, buried in the ground, signifying peace, and around the two figures are images of the sun and the land, symbolizing the eternal promise of the treaty relationship established to last “as long as the sun shines, the grass grows and the rivers flow.”

Treaty 6 plaques have been installed in a number of churches in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, including the Cathedral of the Holy Family, as well as at many Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools.