Staff At Treaty Commissioner’s Office Laid Off

Thursday, March 15, 2007 at 15:09



The future of Saskatchewan’s Office of the Treaty Commissioner is in doubt.


According to a report in the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, the office lease won’t be renewed at the end of the month, staff members have been laid off and office equipment and furniture are being put in storage.


Long-time Treaty Commissioner Judge David Arnot will see his term expire at the end of the month.


Arnot has expressed hope that a replacement will take over when he leaves, but he admits Indian Affairs officials aren’t offering any assurances.


A spokesman for the department has told Arnot that an application for a renewal of funding might be heard by the federal treasury board next month, but there are no guarantees.


However, Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Chief Lawrence Joseph insists the OTC is not closing — it is just in a “transition period”.


Joseph says Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice agrees with the FSIN that there is a need for the OTC to continue. Joseph also says he has received a written commitment to that effect from federal officials.