Century-long dispute over land in Sask reaches tentative settlement

A 100-year-old dispute over reserve size has come to a tentative settlement.

The dispute with Wood Mountain Lakota First Nation centred around Canadian officials taking away half of the original reserve land for returning non-Indigenous soldiers in the First World War, stated a release from the First Nation.

The proposal would see the federal government pay about $50-million in damages for loss of land use and the government has agreed that the band can buy around 5,700 acres to replace what was taken.

The money would be split between members and funding cultural programs, with leftover funds going to a trust the will benefit the community’s future.

“While it’s been a long time coming, the proposed settlement agreement shows the commitment of both our leadership and the Government of Canada to move past simply talking about reconciliation. This is truly ‘reconcili-ACTION’”, said Chief Ellen B. Lecaine. “We will use this settlement to assist our families and communities today and to protect the interests of future generations. We faced many challenges when the land was taken and this settlement is about moving forward. We will use the lessons of the past to address the needs at the heart of our Nation and our families.”

An information session for the band members will take place on December 14th and a ratification vote on January 11th.

The Wood Mountain Lakota First Nation reserve is located approximately 65 kilometres southwest of Assiniboia.

More from 620 CKRM