Samson Cree Nation joined in the historic signing of the Buffalo Treaty during the Banff Indian Days August 12th – 16th in Banff Alberta; Honouring the restoration of the Buffalo back into Banff Nation Park in 2017.Organized by Dr. Leroy Littlebear, he said ‘The treaty is multi-faceted and includes issues about health, environment, education, research and culture. It commits the First Nations and tribes to ongoing dialogue on buffalo conservation, introducing buffalo to the northern Great Plains, and strengthening and renewing “ancient cultural and spiritual relationships with buffalo and grasslands….”The treaty leaves it up to each signatory to decide on how to approach buffalo restoration. This is an historic treaty signing since the last treaty signed between US Tribe sand Canadian First Nation was in the 1800’s called the Lame Bull Treaty.The Buffalo Treaty will create a lasting alliance among tribes of the northern Great Plains to: 1. Engage northern Tribes and First Nations in a continuing buffalo conservation dialogue. The treaty tribes will commit to ongoing inter-tribal meetings to support ecological restoration and the reintroduction of buffalo to parts of the Northern Great Plains. 2. Establish a Buffalo Treaty that unites the political power of Tribes and First Nations from the northern Great Plains. This traditional treaty ceremony will establish intertribal alliances for cooperation in the restoration of American buffalo on Tribal/First Nations Reserves or co-managed lands within the U.S. and Canada. 3. Advance an international call for the restoration of buffalo. The treaty tribes will present a compelling call for the return of buffalo through media events and public relations efforts among the treaty tribes. 4. Engage tribal youth in the treaty process to create lasting legacy for buffalo. The buffalo treaty will include youth delegates at the treaty ceremony to inspire new conservation champions to carry forward the promise of healthy prairies and buffalo into the future. 5. Strengthen and renew ancient cultural and spiritual relationships with buffalo and grasslands in the Northern Great Plains. The treaty tribes will articulate and further strengthen important relationships within their tribes, and among the tribes, to their lands and buffalo. Chiniki Chief Aaron Young said that Canadian First Nations and US Tribes signed the treaty as a sign of respect and to support each other. ‘Today’s ceremony was for the buffalo but we should recognise all First Nations. We are one and we are no different’ said Chief Young. ‘Together we will make sure to take of the land and take care of the buffalo.’ Chief Kurt Buffalo said signing was long overdue and that Samson had been looking into the Buffalo Treaty for some time. He had the treaty was about relationships and economy building. ‘In the legends we are told by our forefathers that when the buffalo come back, our nations will rise again, meaning economically as partners with everyone because that has been our intent.’ Councilor Kirk Buffalo said it was extra special to be part of this signing. The first signing of the Buffalo Treaty took place on Sept. 23, 2014 on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana by 11 Indians bands. Signatories in Alberta are the First Nations that comprise the Blackfoot Confederacy: Blood, Piikani, Siksika, and TsuuT’ina; and in Montana, the Blackfeet Nation, the Assiniboine and GrosVentre Tribes of Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of Fort Peck Indian Reservation, the Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Indian Reservation. The first annual Buffalo Summit will take place in Fort Peck, September 23-25, 2015 on the anniversary of the first signing. Samson Cree will take part in the discussions including a buffalo display from the Samson Museum. Samson Cree Nations’ copy of the Buffalo Treaty can be viewed at SCN Museum and Archives call 780-585-4530 to book a time for viewing.