Presentation on theme: "Ahtahkakoop Treaty Land Entitlement IPRM 210.3 Capstone Project Created by: Belinda Nelson Introduction The Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation is in the process of."— Presentation transcript:
Ahtahkakoop Treaty Land Entitlement IPRM 210.3 Capstone Project Created by: Belinda Nelson Introduction The Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation is in the process of coming to an agreement with the Federal Government and the Provincial Government On the settlement of its Treaty Land Entitlement Claim. Involved in the negotiations were the Chief and Council and the negotiating committee. Out of a population of 3159 band members, we need to reach 2091 band members that are 18+ on the voter’s list. Our first and foremost plan is to educate the members on what Treaty Land Entitlement is. Treaty Land Entitlement is for the land we were short-changed on, based on the population at Date of First Survey. Specific Claims is a whole different process. History In 1876, Ahtahkakoop knew the land he wanted surveyed. Edgar Bray came along in August of 1878, to survey the reserve. The Government gave directions on where to survey the borders. On October 12 th, 1876, he completed the survey, and noted that the reserve boundaries consisted of 69.95 square miles. Minus the 2 mile lake and.25 acres of church land the reserve measures 67.2 acres. Office of The Treaty Commissioner (OTC) The Office of the Treaty Commissioner (OTC), was started in 1989. It was mandated by the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) and the Federal Government to come up with a plan that everyone could agree on, in order to move forward the process of Treaty Land Entitlement. Shortfall Acres Under TLE each First Nation is entitled to the land that they were short-changed on during survey of reserves. These are called Shortfall Acres. Once they receive their settlement, the minimum amount of land that First Nations must acquire and have transferred to reserve status in order to satisfy Canada's treaty obligation. In our reserve, that shortfall is 4115.20 acres. To make up for the loss of use, the Equity Formula was used under the Framework Agreement to allow First Nations to not only acquire their shortfall, but to acquire additional reserve lands called “equity acres”. Equity Formula OTC came up with the Equity Formula, “they examines what percentage of band members did not receive land, then take the present population and base the acreage on that percentage: for example, if a band was made up of 100 people in 1880 and only 60 were present when the reserve was surveyed, then 40% of the band was not accounted for when the reserve was surveyed; using the Equity Formula, one would take 40% of the population, multiply it by 128 acres, and subtract the amount of land first surveyed. First Nations Claims In Saskatchewan, there are three kinds of claims: Specific Claim : Government treated the First Nations unfairly with regards to what they were entitled to under treaty, the regulations under the Indian Act, mistreated funds and assets and illegal sales of land. Surrender Claim : the Government took land under “surrender”. The Government had a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interests of those First Nations. Treaty Land Entitlement (TLE): the Government did not fulfill its duty to First Nations to provide a certain amount of land promised under Treaty. This means the First Nation never received any land at all, or they were short-changed on the land they were entitled to receive. Treaty Land Entitlement Framework Agreement In 1992, the Treaty Land Entitlement Agreement was agreed upon between 22 First Nations, the Government of Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan. Since then, 33 TLE Settlement Agreements have been signed. The Framework Agreement sets out the obligations and responsibilities of the Government of Canada, the province of Saskatchewan and the First Nations who have entered the agreement. A First Nation must prove their claim. Once the Government accepts the claim, negotiations can begin. Ahatahkakoop First Nation Treaty Land Entitlement Claim Ahtahkakoop First Nation started the research process into a Treaty Land Entitlement. The research was done over many years by a number of the band members of Ahtahkakoop. There were about six submissions to the Treaty Land Entitlement Claim, the last one being in July of 2001. It was a while before Ahtahkakoop heard from the Claims Commission but finally in 2004, they got a list back of some questionable’s in their claim. This meant that they had to prove that these people were under the Ahtahkakoop band at the time of survey, or that they didn’t receive treaty annuity and counted as a band member somewhere else. Research In April of 2009, research was undertaken by Dorothy Lockhart of Lockhart and Associates. She submitted a research report to the Ahtahkakoop First Nation, “Ahtahkakoop First Nation: Study of Non- Treaty Women and Questionables.” In that report she showed what band members, at the time of survey, were not counted towards the survey, or who should have been counted. The research showed at the time of Edgar Bray’s 1878 “Date of First Survey” (D.O.F.S.) of Ahtahkakoop Band was indeed wrong; and in fact, many members of Ahtahkakoop Band were not available to be counted and were off hunting or gathering in other regions. Ahtahkakoop should have received all the land it was entitled to in 1878 when the reserve was first surveyed. If the 4,115.2 extra acres had been included at that time, there would be no outstanding TLE claim today. However, to simply add that acreage today would not account for the fact that Ahtahkakoop had been denied the use of that land for 132 years. Hence, the Equity Formula kicks in. Acceptance of Ahtahkakoop’s TLE Claim On May 27th, 2010, Michael Roy, the Senior Assistant Deputy Minister of Treaties and Aboriginal Government sent a letter to the Ahtahkakoop First Nation, accepting the Claim for Treaty Land Entitlement. The letter stated that indeed there was a shortfall at the time of survey. In the end a total of 32 members were counted towards the 1878 survey, putting the DOFS population at 368 members rather than the original 336. That put the band at a shortfall of 4115.2 acres. TLE Negotiations with the Government of Canada, Government of Saskatchewan and Ahtahkakoop First Nation could now begin. Negotiations Ahtahkakoop is still in negotiations with the Government of Saskatchewan and the Government of Canada, but they are nearing the end, because they have set a Population Cut-Off Date and Registry Date of April 30th, 2012. The population as of that date is the number that the Government will use to determine the final settlement amount.. (This was a very difficult choice because of the McIvor Case that came into effect in 2011. They also had to consider the quickly rising cost of land and the rapid pace in which land is being sold around us.) From that point on, a reasonable estimate to a signed TLE Agreement is about 18 months. Once a First Nation has agreed upon the amount that they will settle with the Government’s for; they have to set a Registry date and a Cut-Off date. The TLE Process cannot commence without determining a Population Cut-Off Date. The Final Registry Date is referred to as the “grace period”. Population Cut-Off Date The TLE Process cannot commence without determining a Population Cut-Off Date. The population as of that date is the number that the Government will use to determine the final settlement amount. Final Registry Date This Registry Date is the second important date because it determines the start of the TLE Settlement Agreement and submission of the TLE Work plan. Trust Agreement The Trust Agreement is a separate legal entity with certain legal obligations and liabilities separate and apart from the Band Council. The Trust outlines, in legal terms, how the TLE monies will be managed and administered and for what purposes the monies will be used. The Trustee or Trustees assume the legal responsibility to ensure that the monies in trust are administered and used for the purposes identified in the Trust. If the Trust is not managed in compliance with the Trust terms the Trustee or Trustees could be held personally liable. Options used by other TLE bands have been Corporate Trustee such as a Financial Institution or Bank. Settlement There are three stages of approval: Once the Settlement Agreement is completed, it is sent for Treasury Board Approval which may take 6-9 months. Once Treasury Board Approval is completed, it is then sent to the membership for Ratification and approval. Upon the completion of Treasury Board Approval and Ratification Approval, it is then sent to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs for signing. Mistawasis and Ahtahkakoop signed Treaty 6 in 1876, in that treaty, “…her Majesty the Queen hereby agrees and undertakes to lay aside reserves…provided, all such reserves shall not exceed one square mile for each family of five, or in that proportion for smaller or larger families.” -Treaty Six, 1876 Ratification Vote Upon the return of the Settlement Agreement from Treasury Board and the completion of the Trust Agreement, the Ratification Vote can proceed. A TLE Chief Electoral Officer will be identified. The band membership has a choice to vote for or against the TLE Framework Agreement and the Trust Agreement. The Ratification Process may take 6-8 weeks to conclude and requires 50% plus 1 of Ahtahkakoop’s voting age to pass the vote.