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FSIN Offers A Unique Option To The Abandoned PFRA Pastures

by mmnationtalk on November 22, 20122247 Views

FSIN Offers A Unique Option To The Abandoned PFRA Pastures

For Immediate Release: November 21, 2012

(Saskatoon, SK) The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) has identified an opportunity to preserve the Community Pasture Program while at the same time identifying economic opportunities for the First Nations.

Second Vice Chief Bobby Cameron of the FSIN states: “In early days of Treaty Land Entitlement negotiations, both the federal and provincial governments offered the First Nations the PFRA pastures lands as compensation of their outstanding land claims. That is the reason why the TLE First Nations have a strong interest on acquiring these lands.” The FSIN proposes that the PFRA pasture patrons work collaboratively with the Treaty Land Entitlement (TLE) First Nations to discuss options on how this can be achieved.

For example, the TLE First Nations would purchase the PFRA lands and would maintain the pastures and their ecological values while leasing to local cattle grazers, similar to how the PFRA lands are currently managed. However, instead of the revenue returning to the crown, it would allow the First Nations to benefit from lands that they historically occupied. “In essence the TLE First Nations would have the opportunity to step in where the federal government once was,” stated Vice-Chief Bobby Cameron. “This proposal is the only one I’ve see out there that comes closest to addressing the concerns of the pasture patrons, First Nations, environmental groups and government.”

Many benefits can arise from this collaborative approach: patrons will remain on the PFRA lands; it creates economic opportunities for not only First Nations but the outlying communities; First Nations will be able to fulfill their land settlement agreements; and most importantly, a common partnership can be formed between First Nations and local community members. Such a collaborative approach will also work toward ensuring the conservation of the ecological values and the diversity of Saskatchewan’s large expanses of grasslands.

In Saskatchewan it has been formally recognized that 33 First Nations did not receive the amount of land they were promised under Treaty. The Treaty Land Entitlement (TLE) Framework Agreement is a process where the federal and provincial governments are responsible to provide unoccupied Crown land to fulfill outstanding legal obligations to the First Nations. Currently, ten community pastures will transfer to patron operation for the 2014 grazing season (Estevan-Cambria, Excel, Fairview, Ituna-Bon Accord, Keywest, Lone Tree, McCraney, Newcombe, Park, Wolverine).

Vice Chief Bobby Cameron intends to call a meeting for December 18, 2012 for all PFRA patrons and First Nations who are interested in purchasing PFRA crown lands to discuss this and other possible options. For more information please contact Brad Michael at 306-956-1033 or Krystine Lamotte at 306-956-6927.

The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan. The Federation is committed to honouring the spirit and intent of Treaty, as well as the promotion, protection and implementation of the Treaty promises that were made more than a century ago.

Email: mervin.brass@fsin.com

www.fsin.com

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