(Treaty 6 Territory, Saskatoon, SK) — The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations and several Saskatchewan First Nations are joining together to discuss their legal options to put a stop to the auction sale of Crown land, saying that the process for Treaty Land Entitlement (TLE) has been ignored.

FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron sent a letter to the ministers of Agriculture, First Nations Affairs and Environment outlining the FSIN’s position that no Crown land should be eligible for sale while there are outstanding land claims and landless First Nations in the midst of negotiating their land base.

“The Treaty Land Entitlement and Specific Claims First Nations were never allowed to participate in any of these land sale programs, despite the legal obligations the provincial government has toward the First Nations in Treaty Land Entitlement settlement agreements and section 10 of the Natural Resource Transfer Agreement, which states that Saskatchewan has legal obligations to Canada to provide ‘unoccupied Crown lands’ for the creation of Indian reserves,” Chief Cameron wrote in the letter.

In every instance, the provincial government has failed to consult and accommodate the TLE and Specific Claims First Nations of each new land sale program and policy change, and they have regularly been disallowed from participating in these land sales.

“The Provincial Government has legal obligations to First Nations with outstanding land entitlement which it must live up to,” said FSIN Vice-Chief Dutch Lerat. “The implementation of these TLE settlement agreements is critical to the economic success of those First Nations.”

“We can no longer sit idly by while the provincial government disrespects our Treaty rights. If they are not willing to work with us on a political solution, then we will see them in court,” said Chief Cameron.

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