FREDERICTON (GNB) – Maliseet communities in New Brunswick will celebrate Treaty Day on Sunday, June 4.

“In this Canada 150 anniversary year, we can be especially proud of the historic partnership forged with our First Nations,” said Service New Brunswick Minister Ed Doherty, who is also the minister responsible for aboriginal affairs. “It is a relationship that was established long before the time of Confederation, recognizing peace and friendship between both levels of government for all peoples. The 2017 theme of resilience is important to our First Nation people and should be respected by all New Brunswickers.”

The event takes place from noon to 4 p.m. at Ste. Anne’s Point, adjacent to Government House, in Fredericton. It will include traditional ceremonies, feasting, storytelling, dancing and songs.

Treaty Day marks the 1726 signing of Mascarene’s Treaty between the British and the Maliseet chiefs.

“The peace and friendship treaties need to be acknowledged and celebrated for the positive impacts to First Nations people,” said Chief Candice Paul of St. Mary’s First Nation. “In addition, it is important for all Canadians to recognize the history and importance of the treaties. Our ancestors signed the treaties using their totem, signalling the level of trust they had with the British representatives. They bound themselves to promises they could not read for themselves, trusting those who were interpreting for them. Instead of being interpreted by the courts, we need to interpret them together through the lens of reconciliation.”

Ste. Anne’s Point is just kilometres from Eqpahak, the ancient capital of the Maliseet people. Provincial representatives, along with chiefs and residents of all six Maliseet communities in New Brunswick, are expected to attend Sunday’s celebration.

“Your government encourages all people from across the province to come and enjoy the history and culture of our First Nations celebrated on this important day,” said Doherty.

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s new curriculum in native studies and aboriginal language will be taught in public schools beginning this fall as part of the government’s 10-year education plans and the recommendations of the 2015 report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.