A Saskatchewan First Nation is celebrating a settlement with the federal government after they failed to provide agricultural benefits to the community, violating their treaty agreement.

The Kinistin Saulteaux First Nation in Saskatchewan settled for $56.8 million with the government over the community’s limitations that were forced upon it by the government’s breach of the treaty.

According to this specific claim, Canada breached its legal obligations to the Kinistin Saulteaux Nation by failing to provide agricultural benefits owed as specified in Treaty 4. Not fulfilling this treaty commitment limited the Kinistin Saulteaux Nation’s economic self-sufficiency and its capacity to produce its own food and agricultural products, a government statement said.

Kinistin Saulteaux Nation Chief Felix Thomas said the agreement is a fair result of what he considered to be a fair negotiation process.

“For Kinistin this agreement is a treaty right fulfilled and treaty implementation. This was a result of the parties working towards a fair process and a result we feel is fair,” he said. “We have other outstanding claims and are confident that this will pave the way for treaty implementation in other areas.”

Federal Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Gary Anandasangaree said it was the government’s duty to correct such treaty violations in the spirit of reconciliation.

“This settlement agreement is the result of years of hard work and persistence. I want to acknowledge Chief Thomas for his leadership and the negotiating team for their dedication. The denial of these benefits had devastating effects on the Kinistin Saulteaux Nation – as a country, it’s our duty to address these historic wrongs and repay Canada’s debts,” he said. “This is key to advancing reconciliation and building a stronger and more united country, for everyone in Canada.”

The claim began on was received on March 11, 2008, and Canada first offered to negotiate on September 28, 2011. A community ratification vote was held April 18, with 97 percent of the participants voting in favour of the settlement agreement.

The community is located 39 kilometres southeast of Melfort, Saskatchewan.

By Marc Lalonde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Aug 10, 2023 at 06:48

This item reprinted with permission from   lori:wase   Kahnawake, Quebec
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