Editor’s note: BarbAnn Beck-Taltson wrote this letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Carolyn Bennett, minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations in reference to “Treaty 8, 1899 and 1900 Adhesions, Chief Snuff’s Yellowknives/Tatsanottine Tribe.”

Our Treaty 8, 1900 adhesions Chief Snuff’s Yellowknives/Tatsanottine Tribe has never been extinguished. As of 1900 to date – it continues to be a legal Treaty signed with the Crown. Since it has never been extinguished – this Treaty still stands. There is only one Yellowknives tribal band – as verified in Treaty 8, 1900 adhesions.

In about 1910, the Roman Catholic Church in Fort Resolution and Indian Affairs amalgamated a lot of the Yellowknives tribe with the Chipewyan band of Fort Resolution. (source David M. Smith). Later, this pattern occured again. In the 1960s the federal Department of Indian Affairs made a submission to amalgamate the Yellowknives tribe under the Chipewyan Chief Louison band of Fort Resolution Treaty 8,1900.

Our people, the Yellowknives tribe, were unaware of all this.

The families that lived in the Taltson River Settlement/Rocher River, NWT in the 1960s were forced to relocate to Fort Resolution and other areas in order for their children to attend school. The school burned down in the 1960s. The people requested a school but the Feds didn’t rebuild. Then in 1960 – the letter aforementioned – to put the Chief Snuff’s Yellowkhives tribe under Chief Louison’s Chipewyan tribe in Fort Resolution.

We were then a “scattered tribe.” But, always united and knew our band members. We hunted, trapped, visited, etc on our lands and never abandoned it ever. It is our ancestral home – the treaty verifies that.

Our people are buried there.

Regardless of where we are – we are still and will always remain the Yellowknives Tatsanottine tribe of history and Chief Snuff’s Yellowknives tribe of Treaty 8, 1900 adhesions. Even if we are listed under another tribe – it is not our true identity.

We do not need lawyers to try and right this wrong. It is simple. Just honor the Treaties.Why should be have to fight the Crown to honour a Treaty they made with us? If the did this with any treaty they made with another country and did not honour it can you imagine the consequences? The fact remains our Treaty still stands.

So, this is notice to the Crown/Feds and others that we are who we are. This is to notify the Crown/Feds to change our Tribal status back to the original Treaty 8, 1900 and Chief Snuff’s Yellowknives tribe. We are not asking permission to do this – we are just notifying them. This is in accordance with the Crown and Feds to honour the Treaty 8, 1899 and 1900 adhesions tribes. We know who our own tribal people are – we will provide you with our tribal list.

In the Spirit of Honoring Chief Snuff’s Yellowknives/Tatsanottine Tribe of Treaty 8, 1899 and 1900 adhesions. Thank you.

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