PBCN members voting over commercial property

Wednesday, August 22, 2007 at 15:55



Saskatchewan’s largest First Nation is holding a referendum today over whether 23 parcels of land it owns across northeast Saskatchewan should be used for commercial purposes.

In order for the plan to receive approval, the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation needs a majority of its memberrs in eight communities to vote – and a majority of those to vote “yes”.

PBCN spokesman Ted J. Merasty says 19 of the properties in question are reserves – including the site of some cabins at a highway junction 50 kms south of La Ronge.

The other four are pre-reserve holdings. That includes a chunk of land next to its existing casino property in Prince Albert.

Merasty says the band wants to create jobs from commercial developments on these lands.

However he insists nothing has been written in stone in terms of what the properties will be used for.

Merasty says if the band ever wants to use any of these holdings for residential purposes, a band council resolution will be all that’s needed.

According to Merasty, Indian Affairs officials are overseeing the vote. Results are expected to be released Friday afternoon or evening.