Canada and the Poundmaker Cree Nation to mark exoneration of Chief Poundmaker at special community ceremony May 23

Pictured: Pîhtokahanapiwiyin (Chief Poundmaker), the Plains Cree chief known as a peacemaker and defender of his people. After a battle with government forces in 1885, he was charged with felony-treason. The Government of Canada "agrees that these charges were unjust and is honored to move forward with the community's request that he be exoneratedin the spirit of reconciliation."(Photo: Prof. Buell, O.B. [Public domain])

Government of Canada agrees that charges of treason against Pîhtokahanapiwiyin (Chief Poundmaker) were unjust

News Release

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC)

The Government of Canada is renewing the relationship with Indigenous peoples, creating one based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership. A vital part of this work is addressing the injustices of past, colonial governments.

In 2018, Poundmaker Cree Nation met with the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett to begin discussions on exonerating the late Chief Poundmaker for his charge of treason. The Government agrees that these charges were unjust and is honored to move forward with the community's request in the spirit of reconciliation. 

Minister Bennett looks forward to joining the Prime Minister and Poundmaker Cree Nation Chief Antoine at Poundmaker Cree Nation on May 23 to mark this historic event with the community.

The Government of Canada and Poundmaker Cree Nation are planning this event and exoneration in close partnership.

"Advancing reconciliation is a priority of this Government. In order to move forward as a country, we must address the harms of past wrongs. The exoneration of Chief Poundmaker by the Prime Minister will be made with Chief Antoine, and all of Poundmaker Cree Nation as witnesses. This is a major step in our ongoing joint work with the Poundmaker Cree Nation to address historic grievances and build a renewed relationship into the future based on mutual respect, co-operation, and partnership."

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.

Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

"The Elders, youth, and community members of the Poundmaker Cree Nation are honoured and excited to witness the exoneration of our great Chief, Poundmaker. We want to acknowledge the advocacy of our Elders and leadership past and present, who lobbied for many years in anticipation of this event. We also want to thank the government of Canada for their joint efforts in this process of reconciling the truth in our shared history of Canada."

Chief Duane Antoine

Poundmaker Cree Nation

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