Federal legislation granting Whitecap Dakota First Nation self governance is now law.

On June 30 the First Nation put out a media release announcing that Bill C-51 had been given Royal Assent. The bill officially brings in a self government treaty for the Whitecap Dakota First Nation.

The media release said the treaty was developed in partnership with Whitecap Dakota First Nation and recognizes the First Nation as Aboriginal Peoples of Canada and affirms their inherent rights to self government as laid out in the constitution. With the self government treaty Whitecap Dakota will have law making powers on its reserve lands. With the passage of the legislation Whitecap Dakota First Nation is also no longer governed by the Indian Act.

Whitecap Dakota First Nation Chief Darcy Bear said the passage of the bill giving the First Nation self government was long overdue.

“This Governance Treaty is the first step towards recognizing our contributions to Canada and our rightful place today as one of the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada, recognition that we should never have been denied,” he said.

Crown Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller said the new Treaty is an important step for Whitecap Dakota. He added the government is looking forward to working with the First Nation.

“We look forward to continuing to work together to build upon this new Treaty relationship, advance shared priorities and support Whitecap’s vision of success for the benefit of their members today and for generations to come,” he said.

The Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC) congratulated Whitecap Dakota and Chief Darcy Bear on Twitter and called the adoption of the legislation an incredible moment.


(Top Photo: Whitecap Dakota First Nation Chief Darcy Bear. File Photo.)