Heritage Site / Ethnography Site / Dene / Governance

Article: Issues

This Commission has the mandate to inquire into and report on whether a claimant
In April 1954, the range lands were taken up for the exclusive use of the Department of National Defence. The government did permit periodic access to the range for hunting and fishing, usually during the Christmas and Easter holidays. Otherwise, the Indians were absolutely excluded from the bombing range from 1954 on.
The Buffalo River First Nation, which was trapping in FCA A-21 and the Kazan Game Preserve, lost access to a 3-by-35-mile strip on the southern edge of A-21, or approximately 15 percent of its trapping area. The Flying Dust and Waterhen Lake First Nations lost access to approximately one-third of their shared trapping area, FCA A-37. The Joseph Bighead First Nation lost none of its FCA when the range was created.


In 1951, Saskatchewan and Canada had entered into an agreement under which the range was created. The agreement provided as follows:

2. (a) Canada will assume responsibility for payment of compensation to persons or corporations having rights in the area, including rights in respect of timber . . . trapping, fur farming or land settlement; . . .

The government carried out an ?intensive study and survey? of who would be displaced by the creation of the PLAWR, and provided compensation to certain individuals who had trapping and fishing rights in the range. More particularly, those who had fixed registered traplines located within the PLAWR, or whose communal trapping rights could not be absorbed elsewhere within the communal FCA, received compensation. The Canoe Lake Cree Nation and Cold Lake First Nations received some compensation under this scheme. In contrast, it appears that few members (perhaps one or two) of the claimant First Nations received compensation. It appears that the claimants were never the subject of any comprehensive compensation or economic rehabilitation program, because the government did not consider them to be ?directly or materially affected? by the creation of the range.

Bibliography of resources and web links:
Blondin George. When the World was New: Stories of the Satitu Dene.
Yellow Knife: Outcrop, The Northern Publishers, 1990.
Campbel, Joseph. The Power of Myth. Double Day, 1988.

Elder, Disain, P. (1977). Stony Rapids Saskatchewan.
Elder, Robillard, P. (1999). Stony Rapids Saskacthwean
Dr Maslow. Theory of Human Motivation, (2001)
Heber, W. The Buffalo River Chipewyan: A History of the Dene of Northern
Saskatchewan, (1988).
The Curriculum from the Inuit Perspective; Introduction to Inuit Values and Beliefs.
P. 8 (1996).
Rich, E.E. Founding of Chuchill. Hudson's Bay ArchivesSociety, XXI.
The History of the Hudson's Bay Company 1670- 1870. Vol. II. London: 1969
Sharpe, H.S. 1987. Giant Fish, Giant Otters,and Dinosaurs: "apparently irrational beliefs" in Denesúøiné Community." American Ethnologists 14 (2): 226-235.
Fort McMurray Historical Society
Glenbow Museum- Library and archives File No. " NA -949-66"
Provincial Archives of Alberta
Fort Chipewyan Museum
Hudson's Bay Company Archives Provincial Archives of Manitoba
Reference, B.239/a/1 fo.43 (N6405)
B.239/a/3fo.23d (N11647)
Website: Saskatchewan Dene Land Claims.
Buffalo River Land Claims, Aboriginal Claims Saskatchewan,
Natural Resources Transfer Act of Saskatchewan