No Shortage Of Reaction To Land Claims Proposal

Thursday, June 14, 2007 at 13:16



The chief of the Meadow Lake Tribal Council says she thinks the Assembly of First Nations’ upcoming National Day of Action may have helped spur the federal government to come up with its land claims deal.


Either way, Helen Ben says she’s glad an agreement is finally here.


She notes some bands in her area are actively involved in the land claims process, and it’s a hot topic among local chiefs.


Ben says one thing that needs to happen with the new deal is the appointment of more lawyers.


She says the government has never given the file the capacity it needs to tackle the huge volume of claims.


Meanwhile, the chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations says he’s pleased the federal government’s new land claims initiative was established without the need for violence.


Lawrence Joseph also says he hopes to continue educating the public and business community about how land claim deals benefit the entire province.


Joseph says he’s confident the province would flourish with revenue realized from the other 92 Saskatchewan claims currently in the system.


Saskatchewan’s minister of First Nations and Metis Relations says he is generally pleased with Ottawa’s new land claims initiative.


Under the terms of the deal, the federal government will establish an independent and binding commission to rule on each claim.


Sonntag says it’s too soon to say whether the provinces may offer suggestions on who to appoint to the new tribunal.


Sonntag adds specific land claims don’t generally concern the provincial government, except when the transfer of Crown land is required.