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Historic Agreements Between Federal Government and FSIN

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      MAY 1989      p03  
Historic Agreements Between Federal Government and FSIN History was made at the Chiefs Conference held on the Beardys Reserve June 6,7, and 8, when FSIN Chief Roland Crowe and Indian Affairs Minister Pierre Cadieux signed three agreements on treaty related issues.

The first of these accords is a Memorandum of Agreement and Understanding to establish a bilateral process on treaties. This process will allow for the review and the investigation of the issues which exist between the Federal Crown and the Treaty Indian Nations of Saskatchewan.

Because of the scope of the work involved, DIAND and the FSIN have agreed to the establishment of an Office of the Treaty Commissioner, the second of these agreements. The objective of this independent Office will be to make progress on matters related to treaties "by directing the process of resolution on the issues and by making recommendations to the Minister and the Treaty Indians."

Both groups agree that the critical areas demanding immediate attention are land entitlements and education.

The third agreement is a Letter of understanding concerning the post-secondary education of Treaty Indians in Saskatchewan. The letter outlines the bilateral process which will allow discussions to take place between the Government of Canada and the FSIN. This process will deal with issues of immediate concern, and also look into long-term policy improvements.

In a speech to a committee of Saskatchewan Indian leaders, Minister Cadieux stated: "in regards to the establishment of the bilateral process to deal with treaty issues and the establishment of a Treaty Commissioner's Office, I feel this to be a precedent - setting event. The FSIN is the first Indian group to enter into this type of discussion." Cadieux also expressed a hope that the Saskatchewan efforts are recognized and spark the realization in other first Nations that the federal government is open and forthcoming with them.

FSIN Chief Roland Crowe welcomed the governments initiative, saying this is the first opportunity the Indian people have had to directly discuss treaty issues on a one-to-one basis. Chief Crowe is optimistic the negotiations will result in some very positive activity in areas which have long presented some difficulty to both Indian people, and the people in surrounding communities. The Chief is particularly encouraged with the decision to set up an Office of the Treaty Commissioner, as that has long been a Federation goal. As well, addressing the immediate needs pertaining to post-secondary education are also viewed as a first, but very positive, step towards solution of the educational needs of Indian people.

Senator Ernie Mike
Senator Ernie Mike spoke on the importance of the Treaties.
Elders present Cadieux with jacket
The Elders presented Cadieux with a beaded Leather Jacket.

Pierre Cadieux and Roland Crowe
Pierre Cadieux and Roland Crowe signing the historic Agreements.