All North American aboriginal nations (First Nations) have used official emissaries to represent the political leadership of their respective people. They were, and still are, our diplomats. Before European contact, emissaries dealt with inter-nation issues of the first peoples. Following contact, emissaries have been employed to deal with military threats, trade, treaties, and incursions upon traditional territories. Now emissaries are valued for their skills in navigating complex negotiations with various levels of the Canadian and American governments. In this picture two emissaries, wearing official robes of office, carry shields and staffs that represent the powers bestowed upon them by their leaders. They are accompanied by two helping spirits that are in the form of birds.