By Mervin Brass

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Chief Lynn Acoose

Chief Lynn Acoose is tired of the Federal Government’s hypocrisy.

The Sakimay First Nation Chief joined two other Chiefs from the Ahtahkakoop and Mistawasis First Nations calling on the Harper government to resolve their land entitlements under Treaties 4 and 6.

The three bands have been involved in tripartite negotiations with the Government of Canada and the Province of Saskatchewan to settle claims based on the Saskatchewan 1992 Treaty Land Entitlement Framework Agreement. 

After months of negotiation each party agreed in principle on a market adjustment to the price per acre.

In February 2011, the Minister of First Nations and Metis Relations for the Province of Saskatchewan announced the Province would agree to a market adjustment to reflect the increase in land prices that had taken place since 1992.

“We’ve been waiting three years for a response from Canada to confirm their acceptance to the adjustment,” says Acoose. “Under the TLE framework agreement we are eligible for equity acres, with our shortfall plus equity acres it would be 17,000 acres we can turn to reserve status.”

The Sakimay, Ahtahkakoop and Mistawasis First Nations have made repeated requests to meet with Minister Bernard Valcourt.

All requests have been turned down or ignored by the Minister.

The Federal Negotiator assigned to the file has not been willing to meet the First Nations in person citing restrictions on travel.

Meanwhile, the price of unimproved agricultural lands has risen by 89% since 2011.

Acoose says they plan to ask Canada to appoint a mediator to resolve the matter.

“I’m really getting tired of the federal government’s hypocrisy,” says Acoose. “They issue all these really nice statements. They issued a report called ‘Justice at Last’ promising all these commitments to federal outstanding treaty obligations. All we hear from them are promises.”

 

 

 

 

 

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