Muskeg Lake Cree Nation

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Muskeg Lake Cree Nation

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The Muskeg Lake Cree Nation has determined the importance of preserving the Treaty Land Entitlement documents. The Treaty Land Entitlement Process began in the early 1980's when Chief Wallace Tawpisim discovered that Muskeg Lake may be an Entitlement Band. With the assistance of Cy Standing, from Wahpeton, Sol Sanderson, Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Chief, and the Council of Muskeg Lake, consisting of Alpha Lafond, Dave Lafond, Sam Arcand, Andrew Greyeyes and Clifford Tawpisin, research began on the possibility of Muskeg Lake having a claim to Land. Once the research was completed, and Muskeg Lake realized that the Nation had a valid land claim, Chief Wallace Tawpisin and the council hired Lester Lafond as the Treaty Land Entitlement Coordinator. Lester Lafond pursued land that would possibly be available for purchase, and came across the 45 acres in the City of Saskatoon. Along with this 45 acres were other lands in different areas of Saskatchewan that the Band was looking at to put a claim on. Once the initial claim was made, the negotiations began. Negotiations were held with the Federal Government and the City of Saskatoon. In 1984 the mayor of Saskatoon was Cliff Wright; Federal Indian Affairs Minister was David Crombie. In 1986 Honourable Bill McKnight was assigned as the Minister of Indian Affairs and continued negotiating and assisting Muskeg Lake in the negotiations for the Sutherland Land Entitlement Claim. Two years later after many negotiation meetings and a lot of work, the purchase of the "Sutherland Property" became reality. In September 1992, the Treaty Land Entitlement Frame Work Agreement was signed with the Saskatchewan Entitlement Bands, the Federal and Provincial Governments. After the Band signed the Framework Agreement, a Trustee Committee was formed to oversee the Land Purchases and look after the funds in Trust to the Band. The first Trustees were, Lorne Larson, Band Lawyer, Mervyn J. Arcand, David Greyeyes-Steele and Bernard Arcand and Chief Harry Lafond. In 1998 under the leadership of Chief Harry James Lafond, the Band acquired the 3072 acres of new reserve land under the terms of the Treaty Land Entitlement Settlement Agreement. Throughout the years and to the present, lands and business purchases are being made. The Treaty Land Entitlement process is a complicated and difficult process to understand. It is the Council's hope that with this collection, researchers, community members and the upcoming generations will be able to discover how important the Treaty Land Entitlement Process was and continues to be for the economic stability of Muskeg Lake Cree Nation.


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