FSIN asking province to stop Crown Land sales

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) are claiming that the sales of Crown Lands in the province violate their Treaty Rights.

They say the sales inhibit their ability to hunt, fish, trap, and gather, adding the government has proceeded with public sales of Crown Land without consulting First Nations.

FSIN Vice-Chief Heather Bear says the province is ignoring their obligations under the 1992 Treaty Land Entitlement (TLE) Agreement.

“There’s not proper consultation or engagement to ensure that First Nations have the opportunity to buy that land back that was essentially stolen,” said Bear. “There could’ve been a better path had the province listened to, and respected, not only First Nations but their own constitution.”

Bear says there are currently three Saskatchewan First Nations going through litigation to dispute the sales. She adds she’s worried the process will take too long.

“My worry is that by the time we move through a slow court process, that there’ll be no Crown Lands available for those TLE bands, that wish to, to purchase,” said Bear.

Bear says she would love to see the province and the FSIN work together to solve the dispute, rather than battle it out in court.

“We need to have a more respectful relationship with the province, and I would really like to see a point where they just cease what they’re doing,” said Bear. “Why do we have to be in court? Let’s work together and do what you were legally bound and obligated to do with first rights of refusal to our First Nations bands, our rights holders.”

More from 620 CKRM