Released on July 7, 2022
Today, Chief Daryl Watson of Mistawasis Nêhiyawak; the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations; and the Honourable Don McMorris, Minister Responsible for First Nation, Métis and Northern Affairs, announced that Mistawasis Nêhiyawak, the Government of Canada and the Province of Saskatchewan have negotiated a tripartite settlement agreement regarding the Mistawasis Nêhiyawak Treaty Land Entitlement Claim.
Treaty Land Entitlement claims intend to address historical allegations where First Nations received insufficient reserve land agreed to them under Treaty. In 1876, Mistawasis Nêhiyawak adhered to Treaty 6, which provided that the Crown set aside 128 acres of land per First Nation community member. In 1889, an Order in Council set apart 49,280 acres of land as reserve for the First Nation, enough for 385 people. Mistawasis Nêhiyawak affirm the total eligible membership at the time was 419 individuals, resulting in a Treaty land entitlement shortfall of 4,352 acres.
This settlement will allocate to Mistawasis Nêhiyawak a compensation amount of $31.6 million. Canada agrees to pay $22.5 million of this amount and Saskatchewan will pay the remaining $9.1 million. The settlement agreement supports Mistawasis Nêhiyawak in adding up to 29,394.18 acres of land to their reserve. Canada and Saskatchewan further agree to set aside a total of $4.9 million as compensation to rural municipal and school divisions once taxable land is set apart as reserve.
Honouring Canada's legal obligations to Indigenous Peoples and working collaboratively to resolve historical grievances is fundamental to advancing reconciliation in Canada.
"This important settlement is key to our commitment to address the wrongs of the past and the harm caused to Mistawasis Nêhiyawak," Miller said. "We remain committed to building trust and strengthening our nation-to-nation relationship with Mistawasis Nêhiyawak."
"The Government of Saskatchewan has reached a successful Treaty Land Entitlement settlement agreement with Mistawasis Nêhiyawak," McMorris said. "Together, we can continue building a better quality of life for Saskatchewan people through new partnerships, social developments and economic opportunities. The Government of Saskatchewan is proud to work together with First Nations and Métis partners to advance reconciliation."
"With the signing of Treaty 6 in 1876, Chief Mistawasis brought a new way of life for his people," Mistawasis Nêhiyawak Chief Daryl Watson said. "Based on Treaty 6, the Government of Canada has fulfilled a long outstanding Treaty obligation owed to Mistawasis Nêhiyawak by signing the TLE Settlement Agreement. Righting this historical wrong will enable the Nation to realize the benefits owed to them for generations to come."
Mistawasis Nêhiyawak was named after the Band's first chief, Chief Mistawasis, who signed Treaty 6 in 1876.
- The Mistawasis Nêhiyawak claim was accepted for negotiations in August 2008, with tripartite negotiations between the First Nation, Canada and Saskatchewan beginning in 2009.
- Canada has a longstanding policy and process in place to resolve specific claims by negotiating settlements with First Nations. Since January 1, 2016, it has settled more than 183 specific claims with First Nations, totalling $8.9 billion in compensation.
- In the fiscal year 2020-2021, 56 claims were filed with Canada, 46 claims were assessed (41 proposed for negotiation, and 5 not), and 36 claims were resolved.
- Working in partnership with First Nations, Canada has resolved over 592 specific claims since 1973.
Treaty Land Entitlement in Saskatchewan
For more information, contact:
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations
CIRNAC Media Relations: