In mid-May, grade four Glenbow Elementary School students got the opportunity to be part of modern day history when they got to sign The Buffalo Treaty, which fit in perfectly with their social studies curriculum.

Cailin Morrison, Grade Four teacher says in early spring students started to learn about Alberta's past. "We started to look at Buffalo and its symbolism ecologically, culturally and historically. Students have been doing artwork, research, gaining a deeper understanding of our First Nations People and what was once on the land that we are on now."

Learning about the students' efforts, Elder Leroy Little Bear and his wife Amethyst First Rider decided to pay the students a visit and bring along the first signed inter-tribal treaty in 150 years. 

Leroy Little Bear and his wife were the driving force behind the treaty which was signed in 2014. Offering the students the opportunity to become part of modern history, one by one the students signed their name.

Morrison says the whole experience brought the past and future together by focusing on what once was and how the buffalo is a sign of moving forward. Leroy Little Bear, couldn't agree more. "It's about the totality of the network of people coming together about a number of things."

The Buffalo Treaty: A Treaty of Cooperation, Renewal, and Restoration focuses on conservation of the environment and climate changes, culture, health issues, economics, and education. "The Treaty speaks to all of those. So in other words, the Buffalo is at the centre and bringing people together to work on all those types of issues and that is the important part of the Treaty."

Numerous tribes and nations have signed their support and creating new partnerships are what it is all about. "It's about collaboration, getting people to talk and finding out 'hey, we have common interests.' It's almost like today we don't visit each other, we're too busy tending to our own interests, but when we look at the big picture we find we can all work together. If people come together and work together, we can accomplish things; when you do it by yourself it's much, much harder."

Leroy Little Bear is a member of the Blood Tribe (Kainai) and former professor at the University of Lethbridge; his lifetime accomplishments include some of the most important political achievements for Indigenous peoples in Canada and around the world.

Glenbow Elementary School students should be proud knowing they are part of creating new history for future generations.