FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – THURSDAY JUNE 28, 2012
FIRST NATIONS WITH OUTSTANDING TLE CLAIMS DEMAND INDEFINITE TIMEFRAME TO COMPLETE LAND SELECTIONS
BROKENHEAD OJIBWAY NATION – Member First Nations belonging to the Treaty Land Entitlement Committee (TLEC) of Manitoba concluded their 2012 Annual General Meeting (AGM) today by demanding that Canada and Manitoba indefinitely extend the timeframes for First Nations to complete their land selections under the Manitoba Treaty Land Entitlement (TLE) Framework Agreement.
Over the course of this three day meeting, which started on Tuesday June 26, 2012, First Nations Chiefs and councillors debated and adopted several motions in relation to implementation challenges they are facing under their individual TLE agreements. Some of the adopted motions included:
- Supporting the Barren Lands First Nation in their struggle against SaskPower, a Saskatchewan Crown Corporation, whose regulation of Reindeer Lake in northern Manitoba is affecting the Barren Lands’ TLE land selections along the lake shoreline;
- Calling upon Canada to overhaul and improve its policy on adding additional lands to Reserves under the TLE process; and,
- Supporting the First Nations who have the ability to buy private land by calling upon the province to sell surplus provincial Crown land at a reduced rate.
In addition, the TLEC AGM delegates elected a new Board of Directors for the TLEC. The following individuals were elected to the TLEC Board for a two year term:
Chief Nelson Genaille, Sapotaweyak Cree Nation – Board President;
Councillor Lori Lathlin, Opaskwayak Cree Nation – Board Vice-President;
Chief Arlen Dumas, Mathias Colomb Cree Nation – Board Secretary;
Councillor Paul Chief, Brokenhead Ojibway Nation – Board Treasurer; and,
Councillor Brian Cromarty, Norway House Cree Nation – Board Director.
This is Chief Genaille’s third consecutive term as Board President.
On May 29, 1997, the Manitoba TLE Framework Agreement was signed between Canada, Manitoba and the Treaty Land Entitlement Committee of Manitoba Inc., on behalf of 21 Entitlement First Nations (EFNs), at the Opaskwayak Cree Nation, Manitoba.
The TLE Framework Agreement provided for up to a total of 1,100,626 acres of land and $76 million towards the process of selecting and acquiring lands to be set apart as reserve for the EFNs. Of the 1,100,626 acres, 985,949 is the Crown Land amount to be selected and 114,677 is the acreage amount to be purchased, or acquired.
As of May 29, 2012, 15 EFNs have signed their individual TLE agreements under the TLE Framework Agreement. These First Nations are entitled to select and purchase a total of 963,097 acres of Crown and private lands. 6 EFNs have not yet signed their agreements.
To date, Canada has set aside a total of 462,727 acres of land as Reserve for 14 out of the 15 First Nations under the TLE Framework Agreement.
15 years later, a total of 500,370 acres remains to be set aside as Reserve for these 15 EFNs.