Ottawa, Saskatchewan government sued over treaty rights - APTN NewsAPTN News

Ottawa, Saskatchewan government sued over treaty rights

Larissa Burnouf
Kathleen Martens
The chief of Carry the Kettle First Nation says her people have had enough.

“We don’t have any fishing rights. Our hunters have to travel halfway across the province to hunt and so these are infringements of our treaty rights and our treaty obligations when we signed,” said Chief Elsie Jack.

Jack said her community’s traditional territory in southern Saskatchewan has been divided, developed or destroyed by the provincial and federal governments over the years.

So, they are taking both governments to court in a lawsuit filed Dec. 21.

“The promises made to Carry The Kettle (CTK) in Treaty 4 have been broken and the rights protected therein have been breached,” the lawsuit states.

The civil suit could wide-ranging impact for Indigenous communities across Canada, predicts lawyer Robert Janes, who represents the Nakota band.

“Anybody living in southern Saskatchewan now knows that…there is extensive development in terms of agricultural, land settlement, there are mining operations and…there is almost nowhere left,” he told reporters Wednesday.

Janes said the suit aims to force governments to talk about the cumulative effect of development – now and in the future – and take that into consideration when pitching projects.

But ultimately, he said, it’s about finding “a fair way” to share the land so the First Nation isn’t “pressed out of existence.”

A spokesperson for Saskatchewan confirmed it had been served and declined to comment further now that the matter was before the courts.

Janes, who is with JFK Law, said the band is looking specifically for guidelines for the development of Crown land surrounding the reserve, input on legislation that affects its traditional practices and possibly financial compensation.

He said it’s the first legal action of its kind taken by a First Nation in Saskatchewan.

Tags: , ,

5 Responses to “Ottawa, Saskatchewan government sued over treaty rights”

    Kathy Trauter January 21, 2018 at 8:18 am #

    I encourage you all to keep fighting!!
    Start a fundraiser for your costs!
    Don’t give up!!!
    You got this!!!

    Clifford Cardinal MPH January 21, 2018 at 3:06 am #

    The Ones who broke these laws is so obvious, The same People who advertised our Lands in Canada in exchange for Loyalty, to be Farmers, to toil the Lands of our People where every flower/plant was a medicine and not a weed. I am Proud of the Chief of Carry the Kettle for doing this, but it shouldn’t stop there. I see your Nation’s Territory when I go through Highway #1. My Point being that Native Urbanites should do likewise as there are many FN’s People in Major Cities, nearly every Provincial Capital is populated by our own. We have zero Representations, taken off Band Elections after so many years, reason, there is now no work in the Majority of our FN Reserves, we have to have a sustenance of some Kind for our Children. Should we as a Native-owned Company in Water do business with non-Native or with European Countries, now that INAC has decreed they will not fund the WTPlants we build, despite having produced Pure Water. INAC lied to the Provincial Chiefs saying our Water is below standards when we surpass all Global Water Standards. H ow come we are not approved for funding to build WTP’s even though; the Water was developed for Water Problem, a Prophecy told to our People prior to the coming of Settlers. All that is left for us to do is, seek Contracts off-Canada to survive as a Company. Keep the Solidarity going and strong, that was born out of Need and Despair.

    April Howard January 19, 2018 at 9:58 am #

    Very wrong that our rights are slowly tooken away. I’m Bill C 31. My kids- kids have no rights – unless they marry a native. As if. So discrimnatory and just as the stupid saying is “Indian giver”. We deserve our rights and treaty as well as status; its a promise that we got a long time ago and the Government should hold it in truth as well as honer it. Think they can slowly cut us off our promised land, Starve and have no jobs. Confine us to our lil reserve lands plus make our kids pay for even braces now. Our kids should have what we were promised too. My son wants braces so bad to smile beautiful, why cant he have the same right as I did 21 years ago?

    Sharon Baptiste January 18, 2018 at 5:04 am #

    Kudo’s to your community.

    Lester Howse January 18, 2018 at 12:41 am #

    Going to court and allowing the decendants of thieves and liars to make a decision is not only submissive to them but dangerous for all “native 1st.Nations” but sets govermebt policy against all others….