A First Nation near Saskatoon will soon become the first self-governing Indigenous nation in Saskatchewan.

On Tuesday, Whitecap Dakota First Nation announced the results of a membership vote from last week in support of the First Nation signing a Governance Agreement with Canada.

According to the First Nation, over 90 percent of members voted in favour of the motion.

Whitecap will now enter negotiations with the federal government for what their self-governance will look like.

“I am very thankful to our members and their commitment to move the Whitecap Dakota Nation forward as a self-governing nation that is no longer under the control of an outdated Indian Act,” said Chief Darcy Bear in a media release on the vote.

“In approving our Constitution, we are asserting our inherent right and establishing broader law-making powers and fiscal certainty to continue to build our nation. Our lessons to date have taught us that taking more control over our affairs such as land management have paid incredible dividends in economic and social growth in our community.”

According to the release, negotiations with Ottawa on the self-governance agreement have been undertaken over the past ten years.

78 other nations across the country are have various agreements with Canada on self-governance with Whitecap the first in Saskatchewan.

“Congratulations to the people of Whitecap Dakota First Nation on their vote for this historic self-government agreement,” said Marc Miller, minister of Crown-Indigenous relations in the media release. “This is an important step for Whitecap in moving away from the Indian Act, implementing their inherent right to self-determination and seeing a better future for their community.”

Leaders from the First Nation, hope the new agreement will be in place next year.