Land Use Plan Addresses Treaty Rights

Tuesday, May 04, 2004 at 14:53



A Saskatchewan Environment official admits the province made some concessions to two First Nations in the final draft of a land use plan in northeast Saskatchewan.


The Amisk-Atik Land Use Plan was recently completed after 5 years of negotiations with groups like the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation and the Lac La Ronge Indian Band.


Among other things, the plan provides ways to resolve conflicts among resource users, which include forestry companies, trappers and outfitters.


Bob Reed says lobbying on the part of both bands convinced the province to make a stronger statement in the plan regarding the recognition of treaty rights in the land use area.


Reed also says the government accomodated another request by the bands to include an updated appendix of treaty land entitlement selections.


The plan also addresses the contentious issue of potential future hydro development on the Churchill River.


SaskPower wanted limits imposed on the amount of development that could take place near certain lakes and rivers in order to keep potential compensation costs down if the utitlity ever decided to build another dam in the northeast.


Peter Ballantyne officials were strongly opposed to that idea, so it wasn’t included in the land use plan.


However, Reed says the land use plan can’t prevent SaskPower from attempting to build a dam.


SaskPower officials say there are currently no plans to build another dam.