The Town of La Ronge has formally reached an agreement with the Lac La Ronge Indian Band over the formation of an urban reserve.
Last month, the federal Minister of Aboriginal Affairs signed the necessary documents to declare the land an urban reserve.
In March 2011, band members voted to accept a payment of $950,000 from the federal government.
The money was for the Crown’s failure to provide the proper amount of ammunition and twine under treaty.
The settlement included $660,000 cash and $290,000 worth of land.
Chief Tammy Cook-Searson says no decision has been made on how the land will be used:
“It will have to come up to council for their consideration to have some kind of development in the area or what we’re going to be planning for the future. But, right now, we’re just going to be doing a moosehide cutting ceremony . . . and celebrating the reserve creation in downtown La Ronge.”
La Ronge Mayor Thomas Sierzycki says a number of issues had to be worked out for the land to become an urban reserve:
“There will be a grant-in-lieu in order to pay for the services that the reserve will be receiving from the municipality. Of course, we have a very good working relationship on several regional initiatives with the Lac La Ronge Indian Band and I don’t foresee this being any different. We’ll make sure that we provide the best services to the reserve, and of course the Lac La Ronge Indian Band has indicated that they’ll continue to sit down at the table and discuss future development and things like that.”
The land in question includes the old hospital grounds, a cemetery and other lots in downtown La Ronge.
The moosehide-cutting ceremony for the new urban reserve will be held next Tuesday morning.