First Nations Gallery

Tansi kwak keeyo. Welcome.

This gallery offers a dramatic view of the history and traditions of Aboriginal societies that live in Saskatchewan. See First Nations artwork and learn about their relationship with the land over the past 10,000 years.

  • We Are All Treaty People

    The signing of Treaty 4 in 1874 between Saskatchewan’s Indigenous peoples and the Government of Canada marked the beginning of a relationship that will endure as long as the sun shines, the rivers flow, and the grasses grow. Today, united by the agreements made in Treaty 4, we are all Treaty people. In this exhibit, see Treaty 4 presented in a rare document: Canada's only known written record of Treaty promises from the viewpoint of the Indigenous people.

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  • The Tipi

    How old is the tipi? We don't know for certain, but some stone circles that once held down the edges of tipis are as old as 6,000 years. The tipi is the quintessential symbol of First Nations who live on the plains. Each part of the tipi symbolizes a moral principle, such as respect, humility, faith, and sharing, that must be followed if the family and society are to live together in harmony.

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  • Community

    A community is made up of many different members. For First Nations, Earth as community is made up of many different beings that include rock, plants, animals, and humans. Humans are a part of that community; they are not above it or outside it. All members of the family had to work together in order for the family and the community to survive. Each person had tasks to do, and all were respected for their work and for their talents.

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  • Yearly Circle

    Each season of the year brings different kinds of plants and animals to the Saskatchewan landscape. People that followed this cycle of food gathering were participating in a "seasonal round" of nomadic camping across different landscapes. Follow this cycle and see how hunters tracked their food and what kinds of tools they used.

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  • Trades, Treaties and Today
    In the late 1800s, the federal government was concerned with establishing a Canadian presence in the west at a time when the United States was expanding westward. First Nations were concerned about the dramatic decrease in bison herds, about the effects of disease, and about the impact of agricultural settlement on their ability to continue their traditional lifestyle.

RELATED PUBLICATIONS

  • The RSM's Policy for the Care and Repatriation of the Sacred Objects

    The RSM and Aboriginal peoples recognize that there are traditional and sacred connections between Aboriginal peoples and sacred objects of Aboriginal origin and that the sacred objects are extremely important to the cultures, values and traditions of Aboriginal peoples today. Pursuant to The Royal Saskatchewan Museum Act, this policy is to address the concerns of Aboriginal peoples about the access to and the care, use and repatriation of sacred and culturally sensitive objects originating with their cultures and contained in the Ethnology Reserve Collection of the RSM.

    Learn More

GALLERY MAP