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Historic Signing Ceremony

Rodney Gopher, Tribal Chief

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      APRIL 1993      v22 n04 p02  
Jerry Gopher, Julias Thomas and Fred Gopher
Chief Gabriel Gopher, Council:
(l-r) Jerry Gopher, Julias Thomas and Fred Gopher
Confederation of Tribal Nations Rod Gopher
Confederation of Tribal Nations Rod Gopher

Chief Gabriel Gopher
Chief Gabriel Gopher

On April 7, 1993 the Saulteaux First Nation celebrated the ratification of its Treaty land Entitlement (T.L.E.). The Saulteaux Band is located 35 km north of North Battleford. The band will receive $15,400,000 over a 12 year period. This money will be set aside to earn interest until it is ultimately used to purchase 56,000 acres of land anywhere within Saskatchewan. The signing of the Treaty Land Entitlement Framework Agreement took place on September 22, 1992. The Saulteaux's ratification vote was held on March 28, 1993. A majority of the 365 eligible voters voted to ratify the agreement.

The band's T.L.E. trustees are Edward Night, Archie Moccasin, Ray Thomas, Jones Katcheech, and Rod Gopher. Ray Heilman acts as an independant trustee advisor and the trustee from council is Dennis Night. The land selection committee head is Brian Moccasin. This committee has set up to look at purchasing farm land, crown land and land for tourism, commercial, urban and residential purposes. The land selection committee will begin holding Treaty Land Entitlement workshops immediately.

Chief Gabriel Gopher and council members Fred Gopher, Gerry Gopher, Dennis Night and Julias Thomas would like to thank the T.L.E. chairman Leo Night for all his work and dedication. The Saulteaux Band Treaty Land Entitlement team would like to wish other First Nations success in their T.L.E. ratification votes.

On behalf of the Confederation of Tribal Nations, I want to congratulate the Chief and Council, the Saulteaux Band Staff and the Band Membership on the successful ratification of the Treaty Land Entitlement (TLE) package. I know that the Chief and Council and their staff have work diligently and spent many nights on the road to ensure that all Saulteaux Band Members were informed on the TLE package. The Saulteaux First Nation has overwhelmingly ratified the TLE package.

For the Saulteaux Band, the ratification of the TLE resolves the hundred year old Treaty Land Debt owed by the Government of Canada to the Saulteaux First Nation.

The Saulteaux First Nation will now embark on intensive strategic planning processes which is required to undertake land purchases, economic development projects, and social and community development initiatives in a manner which will serve the needs and aspirations of the Saulteaux First Nation. The impacts of TLE monies will be significant. It will provide the Saulteaux First Nation with the resources which it needs to successfully tackle the economic and social condition of its people and provide a brighter and more prosperous future for their children and their children and their children's children.

The Confederation of Tribal Nations has five other First Nations who will be holding TLE ratification votes in the future. These First Nations are Moosomin, Onion Lake, Red Pheasant and Thunderchild Bands. At the present time, these First Nations are working to inform their membership on the TLE Package and will be holding their ratification votes in the future.

The Confederation of Tribal Nations wishes these First Nations success in their ratification process.

Again, I congratulate the people of the Saulteaux First Nation on the historic ratification of the Treaty Land Entitlement Package.

Thank You
Rodney Gopher
Tribal Chief