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Treaty Negotiation & Implementation Simulations

Understanding Our Treaties Website
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Treaty Simulations allow participants to experience what it is like to negotiate and implement treaties first hand, while learning from treaty experts and making new connections.

Upcoming Treaty Simulations

If you would like to participate in an upcoming simulation or run one in your community, school, workplace, etc please contact [email protected]. There’s lots more information available on the Understanding Our Treaties website.

Selected Past Treaty Simulations

Fifth National Treaty Simulation, 2023

30 Indigenous emerging leaders gathered in Ottawa in March 2023 for the fifth National Treaty Simulation, organized with the Land Claims Agreements Coalition (LCAC).

Over two intense days, youth participants represented a fictional Indigenous Nation, the Yukon Government, and the Government of Canada as they negotiated a Wildlife Management Plan. Participants were assisted by an esteemed lineup of treaty experts, including Robin Bradasch, Frank Dragon, Tamara Fast, Lisa Hutton, Dave Joe, and Dr. John B. Zoe.

Participant Lenita Alatini spoke to Yukon News and the Midday Cafe CBC radio show about what she learned at the event, while many participants took part in the subsequent LCAC National Conference.

Nunavut Sivuniksavut Treaty Simulation, 2023

The Nunavut Sivuniksavut (NS) Treaty Simulation in February 2023 saw Inuit youth develop their knowledge of the Nunavut Agreement as they negotiated a Wildlife Management Agreement.

Self-Government Simulation for Métis Youth, 2023

In January 2023, the Self-Government Simulation for Métis Youth, organized with the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) and the Métis Nation of Ontario Youth Council, saw Métis youth learn from experienced advisors about current self-government efforts.

Nunavik Treaty Simulation, 2022

Qarjuit Youth Council and The Gordon Foundation co-facilitated a Treaty Simulation for Nunavik youth in partnership with Makivik Corporation, Kativik Ilisarniliriniq, and the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services. The Nunavik Treaty Simulation focused on the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA) and was attended by 22 youth delegates.

Read more about the Nunavik Treaty Simulation in this Nunatsiaq News article (in English) and this CBC article (in French).

The Fourth National Treaty Simulation, 2022

The fourth National Treaty Simulation, organized with the Land Claims Agreements Coalition, saw participants take on the roles of a fictional First Nation Government, the Government of the Yukon, and the Government of Canada, as they negotiated the education chapter of a Comprehensive Land Claims and Self-Government Agreement, before agreeing a plan to implement it.

Emerging Indigenous leaders were guided by expert advisors during the online event, which took place in March 2022. Read more about the experience of participant Natalie Hare in the Yukon News article Simulated treaty talks serve as learning opportunity.

The Dene Nation Treaty Simulation, 2021

The online Dene Nation Treaty Simulation, organized in collaboration with the Dene Nation, commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Treaty 11 signing. 19 emerging leaders participated from communities across the Dene Nation, including Dehcho, Akaitcho, Gwichin, Tlicho, Sahtu and Metis. Advisors with expertise in a variety of areas helped guide the participants. Special guests and leadership joined on the final day when participants presented the Education Chapter and Implementation Plan they negotiated during the simulation.

Read more about the simulation in this CKLB Radio article.

The Cree Nation Youth Council Treaty Simulation, 2021

The Cree Nation Youth Council Treaty Simulation, which took place online during April 2021, saw emerging Indigenous leaders teams representing the Cree Nation Government, the Government of Quebec, and the Government of Canada negotiate details of a Mishigamish protected area plan, drawing on the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement (JBNQA).

The simulation was organized in partnership with the Cree Nation Youth Council. The RBC Future Launch Community Challenge is supported by the RBC Foundation.

The third National Treaty Simulation, 2021

The third national Treaty Simulation, organized in collaboration with the Land Claims Agreements Coalition and the BC Treaty Commission, took place online during March 2021.

Emerging Indigenous leaders from across the country took turns representing the Government of Canada, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and an Indigenous Nation, as they first negotiated a vision for education, before agreeing on a plan to implement it.

They were guided by treaty experts Frank Dragon (Negotiator, Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h First Nations Financial Fiscal Agreement, Maa-nulth Final Agreement, British Columbia), Robin Bradasch (Associate Vice President, Indigenous Engagement and Partnerships, Yukon University) and John B. Zoe (Negotiator, Tłįchǫ Agreement).

Find out more in this CBC North article featuring  simulation participant Rayna Vittrekwa and treaty expert John B. Zoe and listen to emerging Indigenous leader Breanna Smith explain why she was taking part in the simulation and what she learned on the CBC Yukon radio show Midday Cafe.

Métis Nation of Ontario Self-Government Simulation, 2021

Finding Unity Through Negotiation, delivered in partnership with the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO), saw emerging Métis leaders take part in a Self-Government Simulation.

Participants learnt how self-government and treaties are negotiated in the first simulation held with a Métis community. They were guided by MNO leadership including MNO President Margaret Froh, Director of Self-Government Brian Black, Regional Councilor Mitch Case, PCMNO Youth Representative Jordyn Playne, PCMNO Post-Secondary Representative Hannah Bazinet, and PCMNO Senator Rene Gravelle.

Find out what participants had to say about the experience, and much more, in this MNO article.

Treaty 6 Negotiation Simulation with Maskwacis Cultural College, 2020

The Gordon Foundation partnered with Maskwacis Cultural College to host an online Treaty Simulation over two days in November 2020.

This was the first Treaty 6 simulation that the Foundation has run and participants had the opportunity to learn from experts including, clockwise from top left in the photo above, Ethel-Blondin Andrew (Former Chair, Chair of Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated and Senior Leader, Indigenous Leadership Initiative), Frank Dragon (Negotiator, Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h First Nations Financial Fiscal Agreement, Maanulth Final Agreement), Craig Makinaw (Former Chief, Ermineskin Cree Nation), and Ron Lameman (Bilateral Treaty Coordinator, Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations).

Yukon Educators Treaty Simulation, 2020

In collaboration with Yukon Government Department of Education, Yukon First Nations Education Directorate, and Mapping the Way, The Gordon Foundation organized a Yukon Educators Treaty Simulation on October 14 – 16, 2020. It was a blended in-person and online simulation, and the first simulation run with educators.

Following the success of the Yukon Educators Treaty Simulation in October, a Grade 12 class at FH Collins (a high school in Whitehorse) piloted the simulation over five days in November and December.

The Nisga’a Nation Youth Treaty Simulation, 2020

The Nisga’a Nation Online Youth Treaty Simulation that took place in August 2020 was the first-ever online Treaty Negotiation and Implementation Simulation. Watch the video below to find out all about the simulation!

The First Regional Simulation, Yukon, 2020

A Yukon-wide Regional Treaty Negotiation and Implementation Simulation was held in Whitehorse in November 2019, in collaboration with the Yukon Implementation Working Group (IWG).

23 emerging Indigenous leaders representing ten Yukon First Nations came together with treaty negotiators, implementation professionals, other experts, and representatives from the federal and Yukon governments.

The simulation looked at a section of Chapter 10, Special Management Areas, for a fictitious Final Agreement. The Government of Canada, the Government of Yukon, Mapping the Way, the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, and York University supported this event.

The Second National Simulation, 2020

The second National Treaty Negotiation and Implementation Simulation, organized in collaboration with the Land Claims Agreements Coalition (LCAC), was held on February 9 and 10, 2020, in Gatineau. Over 40 Indigenous emerging leaders attended, representing 20 Indigenous communities from B.C., Quebec, Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut, alongside several modern treaty experts and advisors.

The simulation looked at Chapter 8, Wildlife Harvesting and Management, for a fictitious Land Claims and Self Government Agreement. The event would not have been possible without the support of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, Nicol Foundation, and the BC Treaty Commission.

Read more about the second National Treaty Simulation in this Nunatsiaq News Piece.

The First National Simulation, 2019

The first Canada-wide Treaty Negotiation and Implementation Simulation was held in Ottawa in February 2019, by The Gordon Foundation in collaboration with the Land Claims Agreements Coalition (LCAC). It brought together 17 emerging Indigenous leaders from the Northwest Territories (NWT), Nunavut, Yukon, Quebec, and B.C., four well-known Treaty negotiators, several experts, and representatives of the federal government.

The simulation focused on a fictitious First Nation based in the NWT. The participants took part in the negotiation and implementation of a Species at Risk section of a Wildlife Harvesting and Management Chapter. The event was supported by the following: the McConnell Foundation, the Government of Canada, the Arctic Institute of Community-Based Research, and Dionne Schulze law firm.

Read More About The First National Treaty Simulation.