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Bill C-104 Receives Quick Passage In House Of Commons

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      MARCH 1993      v22 n03 p01  
Chief Roland Crowe, FSIN Chief Roland Crowe, Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations

On March 11, 1993, Bill C-104 dealing with Treaty Land Entitlement in Saskatchewan was debated and discussed in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. While Bill C-104 was unanimously supported by the three major political parties of Canada, there were general matters related to First Nations and Aboriginal people that were debated, of which living conditions and housing was of much concern. Although Ethel Blondin-Andrews, M.P., Liberal designate to address Bill C-104 and here counterpart in the NDP, Len Taylor, M.P., supported the bill and its quick passage, they did not agree generally with Tome Siddon, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and with the Government of Canada on other issues related to Aboriginal people.

During the debates, the Assembly of Entitlement Chiefs were all acknowledged in the House. Although some names were mispronounced, it was nevertheless a day to be remembered by their respective First Nations. The speakers for all three parties acknowledged and paid tribute to the leadership of Chief Roland Crowe of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and gave himself much credit, along with the Assembly of Entitlement Chiefs, for realizing this historic agreement.

The Treaty Land Entitlement Framework Agreement will satisfy, for approximately 27 First Nations in Saskatchewan, outstanding land debts created at the time the reserves were first established. These 27 First Nations will receive approximately $446 million dollars to acquire 1,573,552 acres of land that will be given reserve status. It is also generally understood that there are other First Nations claims that have yet to be settled either in the form of Treaty Land Entitlement or under specific claims.

Bill C-104 is expected to be dealt with as expediently in the Senate of Canada, as it was in the House of Commons.