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Parties To Historic Land Claim Agreement To Recognize Accomplishments

by mmnationtalk on September 26, 20122338 Views

For Immediate Release: September 25, 2012

Parties To Historic Land Claim Agreement To Recognize Accomplishments

(Saskatoon, SK) Representatives from the First Nation, federal and provincial governments that signed an historic land claim agreement 20 years ago at Wanuskewin are ready to commemorate the event with a review of accomplishments.

“Twenty years ago history was made,” announced Vice-Chief Bobby Cameron of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations. “Twenty years ago embarked on an historic journey towards economic prosperity and well-being for their people. I am proud to say, the FSIN was there to help these Bands get that deal done.”

“A great deal of progress has been made since the Framework Agreement was signed 20 years ago,” said the Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. “Canada has contributed over $416.8 million to 33 First Nations to purchase land, mineral rights and other assets on their land. As a result of this agreement, approximately 803,736 acres of land have been added to reserve and 34 urban reserves have been created across the province. These significant achievements will help create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for First Nations people and surrounding communities.”

“Through the Treaty Land Entitlement Process, mutually beneficial partnerships have developed between First Nations, municipalities, businesses and various levels of government,” said Government Relations Minister Jim Reiter. “These partnerships are important to Saskatchewan and its growing economy, and we look forward to continuing our work with the First Nations of Saskatchewan and the Government of Canada.”

The Office of the Treaty Commissioner was created in 1989 by Canada and the First Nations as represented by the FSIN to help the parties to Treaty address outstanding issues. One of those issues was Treaty Land Entitlement.

Under the leadership of Cliff Wright, former mayor of Saskatoon, the Treaty Commissioner submitted a report and recommendations to Canada, Saskatchewan and the First Nations in 1990.  His recommendations formed the basis of negotiations.

On September 22, 1992, the Chiefs of 25 First Nations signed the Saskatchewan Treaty Land Entitlement Framework Agreement at the newly opened Wanuskewin Heritage Park, just outside of Saskatoon.

 That agreement provided the original 25 First Nations $445 million over 12 years to acquire up to 2 million acres of land in fulfilment of an outstanding land debt owed under Treaties. Since then, an additional 8 First Nations signed Treaty Land Entitlement agreements bringing the value of these claims to almost $600 million.

 The FSIN 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.

Top – FSIN Vice Chief E. Dutch Lerat, Chief Michael Starr – Star Blanket First Nation, FSIN Vice Chief Bobby Cameron, Al Hilton, Deputy Minister – Government Relations, Government of Saskatchewan, Dwayne Johns, Director of Lands and Economic Development, Saskatchewan Region, AANDC, Government of Canada, and Chief Cliff Tawpisin – Muskeg Lake First Nation

Bottom – Elder William Stone – Mosquito Grizzly Bears Head First Nation, Chief Marie-Anne Day Walker-Pelletier – Okanese First Nation, Treaty Commissioner George E. Lafond, FSIN Vice Chief Simon Bird, and Chief Ross Allary – Ochapowace First Nation

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Mervin Brass, Executive Director of Communications
Direct:                       306.956.1026
Cellular:                     306.220.7187
Email BlackBerry:      mervin.brass@fsin.com

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