Our Shared History focuses on a little-known Treaty between the Ktunaxa, Stoney Nakoda and Shuswap. It governed land use in the mountains on both sides of Canada’s Continental Divide.
Signed in 1895, the First-Nations-to-First-Nations agreement allowed Stoneys to harvest plants and berries on the western slopes of the Rockies, outside of their traditional territories, and Ktunaxa and Shuswap to harvest on the eastern slopes, outside of their traditional territories.
The Treaty reaffirms long-held oral stories about the Bow Valley being a route, a meeting place, a shared and sacred space.
Our Shared History initiative will document the stories known within families of Ktunaxa, Stoney Nakoda and the Shuswap, whose ancestors participated in the treaty signing. We will also research the journals of John McDougall, the missionary who translated the 1895 Agreement. His journals, likely written at his mission in Morleyville (shown below), provide another perspective on this important event.
Sweetgrass (top) and Morleyville Church Panorama. Photos by Peter J. Poole.