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Three Inquiries To Be Held Into Lac La Ronge First Nation Claims

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      MARCH 1993      v22 n03 p11  
Ottawa The Indian Claims Commission announced today that it will conduct a series of three inquiries into specific claims of the Lac La Ronge First Nation involving lands in that area of Saskatchewan. These claims have previously been rejected by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.

The first inquiry will investigate the First Nation's claim to an outstanding treaty land entitlement under the terms of Treaty No.6. The second involves lands at Candle Lake, Saskatchewan, which are alleged to have been reserved for the First Nation in the 1920s and 1930s. The third claim is to former school lands in the Town of La Ronge. The Commission will complete each inquiry in turn before proceeding with the next.

Chief Commissioner Harry S. LaForme confirmed that notices have been sent to the parties advising them of the inquiries. "Many First Nations have more than one claim to bring forward," he said. "Lac La Ronge, however, is the first to bring more than one to the Commission at the same time."

The Indian Claims Commission was established as an independent agency to assist parties in specific claims negotiations. On the Lac La Ronge claims, it will exercise powers under the Inquiries Act to review the validity of these claims and make reports and recommendations to the First Nation and to government.

Since October of 1992, the Commission has been conducting similar inquiries into claims arising from the creation of the Primrose Lake Air Weapons Range in the 1950s. A panel of three Commissioners has held community sessions in Cold Lake; Alberta and Canoe Lake, Saskatchewan and Commission staff are now consolidating the documentary record on those claims.