The head of the Saskatoon Tribal Council says the Bridge City continues to lead the way in the creation of urban reserves in Canada.
STC and the city announced the creation of the sixth reserve in Saskatoon Wednesday.
The latest one is under the authority of the Yellow Quill First Nation and located on 4th Avenue South in the city’s downtown core.
Tribal Council Chief Mark Arcand says Saskatoon’s urban reserves are proof of what can be accomplished when Indigenous and non-Indigenous governments work together.
“Thirty years ago Muskeg Lake, they were the first urban reserve thirty years ago, they just celebrated that last month,” he says. “So, from that effect it snowballed into the City of Saskatoon and we led the way across the country. Now we see the benefits of three of our First Nation bands within the Saskatoon Tribal Council actually have land inside the city.”
The newest urban reserve in Saskatoon is the current home of the First Nations Bank of Canada.
Yellow Quill already has reserve land on the same street right beside the bank.
Arcand says urban reserves benefit both the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.
“So there’s tax benefits for First Nations people. So whoever’s working here, they don’t have to pay taxes. So those are the benefits. If I was to go purchase a vehicle, I’d ask it to be delivered to a First Nations land, this specific land, and I wouldn’t have to pay taxes on that vehicle.”
The two urban reserves Yellow Quill now has on 4th Avenue South equal about 1.5 acres in total.
The First Nation also owns about 253 acres in the Rural Municipality of Corman Park.
The Yellow Quill First Nation is located about 300 kilometres east of Saskatoon.
(PHOTO: Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Mark Arcand speaks at the official announcement of the Yellow Quill First Nation’s newest urban reserve in Saskatoon. Photo by Fraser Needham)