The 106th Treaty and 41st Annual York Boat Days (the celebration of the signing of Treaty 5 Adhesion) held August 4th-10th, 2014 have come and gone. Community members and visitors from all over Manitoba joined us in our special celebration and have taken with them a piece Norway House Cree Nations history as they participated in our community's celebrations, special events, witnessed the many talents of our community, the spiritual celebrations, tasted the delicious food prepared for the festivities and saw firsthand the pride in the community of NHCN. This is an experience our community and visitors will have in their hearts and memories forever.
Every event is special to our Cree Nation, especially the World Championship York Boat Races. As the main event of Treaty and York Boat Days, the York boat races bring together men, women and youth of all age groups. There are several categories in the competition and each team practices long and hard during the month of June to participate in the races. The York boat races are the most exciting event to watch and the most challenging to take on. The Treaty and York Boat Day Committee would like to congratulate all of our champions and competitors. You are truly an inspiration to our athletes, spectators and visitors.
One of the most popular events for participants and spectators is the Strong Person Competition. It is believed and known that the strongest people in the North were and continue to be our fishermen. Fishermen are hard workers, make many sacrifices and risk their lives on Lake Winnipeg and Playgreen Lake in their everyday routine pulling in their anchors and nets in the high winds, filling and stacking fish tub after fish tub, cutting and collecting firewood for their camps to last them the season, and many other admirable skills and strenuous tasks to ensure the survival of their families.
During this competition, community members rally around each competitor with words of encouragement and to cheer them on through each task, as was the case generations ago as (and to this day) families worked together to ensure all the tasks involved in fishing/hunting were complete in their camps.
Community members both young and old get involved in many ways to remember our traditions, culture of and heritage. An important part of our celebration includes a time of reflection and a time of remembrance for our ancestors through church services before, during and after our celebrations to give thanks to our Creator God his many gifts and blessings and for ensuring the well-being and safety of our community, our members and our visitors.
We are always proud and grateful for our volunteers and staff for the hard work and effort they put into organizing the celebrations and events. On behalf of the Treaty and York Boat Day Committee, I would like to thank each and every one of you for your continued commitment and for ensuring the success of our yearly celebration.
The committee would also like to thank Norway House Cree Nation Chief and Council, and NHCN community members for their support, contributions and participation. We would also like to thank all of our major sponsors and community sponsors for their financial, human resources and donations. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We couldn't have done this without you.
Event Coordinator/Chairperson, Treaty and York Boat Days Committee