The Specific Claims Tribunal has dismissed an application from both the Keeseekoose First Nation and the federal government to be granted a six month stay to the Tribunal’s proceedings as the parties enter into negotiations over a land claim.
The claim arises from the Crown’s actions in 1909 to obtain a surrender of 7,600 acres of reserve land originally set apart as Indian Reserve No. 66 for the Saulteaux Band adhesion to Treaty 4 in September, 1875.
Keeseekoose First Nation is the successor in interest in the Reserve.
The Tribunal must determine if the Crown breached its duties in relation to the taking of the surrender vote and if the surrender complied with the Indian Act.
In the Tribunal’s ruling in late September it noted “If the order requested is granted, and the Parties fail to reach agreement on the basis on which the Claim may be considered valid, it will be necessary to re-schedule the hearing of expert testimony and reset the hearing date. It is unlikely that the hearing could be concluded in less than 4 months from March 2019. This delay of at least 6 months after the present hearing date frustrates the exercise by the Tribunal of its mandate to “resolve specific claims…in accordance with law and in a just and timely manner.”
“There is no impediment to the Parties entering negotiations to resolve any or all issues raised by the Claim while the matter remains active before the Tribunal.”
The Tribunal is expected to hear from expert witnesses in the Saskatoon area on the claim next month, with further oral submissions in February.
(Photo: Keeseekoose First Nation Facebook)