Treaty One Flag permanently raised at Assiniboia Downs

History has been made here at Assiniboine Downs, and no it doesn’t involve horses, it has everything to do with Treaty One, as their flag was permanently raised at the racetrack for centuries to come. Mitchell Ringos reports.

Indigenous leaders are sharing feelings of pride and happiness after a Treaty One Nations flag became a permanent fixture at a horse racetrack on the outskirts of Winnipeg.

The green and blue flag with a yellow sun and red trim was waving at Assiniboia Downs on Tuesday, a day after it was permanently raised ahead of the new racing season.

“When they fly by with their horses, they’re going to see the Treaty One flag. This is a super proud and happy event for us,” said Chief E.J. Fontaine of Sagkeeng First Nation.

The Treaty One flag is displayed alongside the Canadian, Manitoba, American and Peguis First Nation flags.

It was made possible through a joint venture partnership agreement, which saw the Manitoba Jockey Club transfer majority landownership of the racetrack grounds to Peguis First Nation.

“It’s historic and it’s important and it’s a message, and over the years millions will see this flag in the infield,” said Darren Dunn, the CEO of Assiniboia Downs.

Many Treaty One members and area Indigenous leaders were in attendance for Monday’s flag raising.

“It represents a new beginning and a new way of doing business with First Nations, it represents the significance of this facility being on Treaty One lands,” said Chief Fontaine.

Dunn says the flag also represents the generations of First Nations trainers that have helped make the racetrack what it is today.

“The greatest levels of success that were every achieved on the racetrack in this winner’s circle have been led by First Nations trainers,” he said. “For that matter, nine consecutive leading trainer titles belong to the First Nations community.”

“It’s probably going to have immense pride for them to see our flag flying high and that they’ve worked hard to see this day come to fruition for them,” Chief Fontaine added.

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