Province Targets Four-Year Completiom Time Frame For First Nations Land Settlements
Manitoba News Release
June 28, 2007
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Treaty Land Entitlement Process Long Overdue: Premier
Premier Gary Doer, along with Ron Evans, grand chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, today announced a commitment to expediting the provincial work on the long-standing Treaty Land Entitlement Framework (TLE) Agreement including completing the transfer to Canada of 1.2 million acres originally identified as TLE land within the next four years.”We are committed to expediting the transfer of Crown land to the federal government,” said the premier. “While we continue to move forward on new partnerships with Aboriginal people, we cannot forget our historical obligations nor underestimate the importance of the role they play in helping First Nations people achieve economic dignity and independence.”
Doer noted that in its throne speech the province committed to a more decisive settlement process in order to fast-track TLE.
Under the 1930 Manitoba Natural Resource Transfer Agreement, the province is constitutionally obligated to set aside unoccupied Crown land to allow Canada to fulfil outstanding treaty land entitlements to First Nations.
In Manitoba there are seven treaties signed between Canada and First Nations including outstanding land claims: Treaty #1 (1871), Treaty #2 (1871), Treaty #3 (1873), Treaty #4 (1874), Treaty #5 (1875), adhesion to Treaty #5 (1909), Treaty #6 (1898) and Treaty #10 (1906).
“Settling TLE is an important part of creating future economic development opportunities for First Nations communities,” said Doer. “We also need to continue to make meaningful changes in the areas of health care, education, drinking water and housing. As agreed on in the Kelowna Accord, the next steps identified in all these areas will determine whether we make sincere progress in reversing the some the damaging policies of the past.”
To date, Manitoba First Nations have selected 843,063 acres and the province has transferred approximately 186,537 acres to the federal government of which 48,751 have been set apart as reserve land by Canada. A total of 27 entitled First Nations in Manitoba can select up to 1,085,949 acres of Crown land and purchase land up to 170,368 acres for a total of 1,256,317 acres.
The TLE process involves the sustained co-operative efforts of all parties – the governments of Manitoba and Canada and the entitled First Nations, said Doer. Provincial work generally includes providing Crown land while Canada is responsible for survey costs and providing funds to purchase land. The federal government is also responsible for setting the land apart as reserve.
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