By Mervin Brass

A Saskatchewan Court of Appeal ruled that a family from the Wood Mountain Lakota Nation has the right to band membership and remain status Indians.

Members of the Ogle family, including former Chiefs Travis and David Ogle, were successful in defending their band membership and Indian status.

The family’s cousins, Clifford and Margaret LeCaine, filed a claim alleging the Ogles lost their status when their grandfather received land in 1915.

Josh Morrison, the Ogle’s lawyer, says the court ruled in his client’s favour.

“One of their ancestors had obtained a homestead and the court found that whether or not one has obtained a homestead has nothing to do, is not determinant, whether or not you are entitled to be an Indian under the Indian Act,” says Morrison. “There are some political tones to it of course. The applicants at the Court of Queen’s Bench were represented by Kirk Goodtrack, who ran against them, against the Chief in 2012 and again in 2015. And the members of the Ogle family are involved in the political life of the Wood Mountain Lakota First Nation.”

During the 2015 band election, voters elected Ellen LeCaine as the Chief and David and Travis Ogle to council. Also elected to band council are Loretta Lethbridge and Stanley Lethbridge.

When contacted, the lawyer for the LeCaine’s explained he needed permission to comment.

The Wood Mountain Lakota First Nation is south of Moose Jaw close to the US border.

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