Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

January 10, 2008 14:16 ET

Canada Celebrates Settlement Agreement With Muskoday First Nation and Province of Saskatchewan

MUSKODAY FIRST NATION, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Jan. 10, 2008) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians, today participated in a ceremony celebrating the signing of a Treaty Land Entitlement (TLE) Settlement Agreement with Chief Austin Bear of the Muskoday First Nation, and the Honourable June Draude, Saskatchewan Minister of First Nations and Metis Relations.

"This land claim settlement shows how tangible and measurable results are possible when we work together and negotiate," said Minister Strahl. "This settlement will bring economic benefits to the Muskoday First Nation and the local communities, as well as provide certainty for government, industry and all Canadians."

Following three years of tripartite negotiations and a successful First Nation ratification vote, the agreement provides Muskoday First Nation with a settlement of approximately $10.2 million for an outstanding TLE shortfall as well as $542,828 for negotiation, ratification and acquisition costs. In addition, the First Nation is entitled to purchase up to 38,014 acres (15,384 hectares) of land, on a willing seller/willing buyer basis, anywhere in Saskatchewan. These lands may then be converted to reserve status.

"This is a historic time in our history with Canada and the Province of Saskatchewan where the three levels of government have successfully negotiated and ratified this long outstanding Muskoday First Nation Treaty Land Entitlement Settlement Agreement," said Chief Austin Bear. "Canada has now met her legal obligations with respect to Treaty 6 land provisions owed to the people of the Muskoday First Nation. With the additional treaty land and compensation we have the opportunity to further create economic development opportunities now and in the future."

TLE claims are intended to settle the land shortfall owed to those First Nations, such as the Muskoday First Nation, which did not receive the amount of land to which they were entitled under the historical treaties. Canada, Saskatchewan and the Muskoday First Nation agreed that the terms of the 1992 Saskatchewan Treaty Land Entitlement (TLE) Framework Agreement would form the basis for the settlement of the claim.

"The Government of Saskatchewan is committed to honouring the Treaties and we are pleased to help fulfill this Treaty promise made to the people of Muskoday First Nation more than one hundred years ago," said Draude. "This settlement throws open doors to economic and social development opportunities which will strengthen Muskoday First Nation and in turn, the rest of Saskatchewan."

The membership of the Muskoday First Nation ratified the agreement on May 23, 2007. Sixty-two per cent of all eligible voters voted to accept the settlement. The Muskoday First Nation is located approximately 19 kilometres southeast of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and has over 1500 registered members.

This release, and a fact sheet, is also available at www.inac.gc.ca and http://www.gov.sk.ca.

Contact Information

  • Minister's Strahl's Office
    Ted Yeomans
    Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
    819-997-0002
    or
    INAC Media Relations
    819-953-1160
    or
    Province of Saskatchewan
    Shelley Fayant
    306-798-4071
    or
    Muskoday First Nation
    Elaine Smith
    306-764-1282