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Special Claim Settled At Treaty No. 4 Grounds

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      FALL 1995      p21  
Fort Qu'Appelle (September 14, 1995) ---Representatives of the Government of Canada and the Treaty No. 4 First Nations announced the signing of a full and final settlement of the Treaty No. 4 grounds claim today. The settlement ends a long-standing disagreement over the interpretation of a treaty which dates back more than 100 years regarding Treaty Grounds, located at Fort Qu'Appelle.

Bernie Collins, Member of Parliament for the Souris-Moose Mountain Constituency, on behalf of the Honourable Ron A, Irwin, Minister of Indian Affairs and Indian Development, said, "This agreement honours Canada's obligation under Treaty Four signed in 1874. It also further emphasized the federal government's Red Book commitment to the resolution of outstanding Aboriginal land claims."

"This agreement represents a significant step towards execution of a Treaty commitment that has been unresolved for over 114 years," said Perry Bellegarde, on behalf of the Treaty no. 4 First Nations. "Over 100 years of discussions have led to this historic day. Members of the Treaty No. 4 First Nations look forward to the day when our people can once again hold the grounds that was initially set out as promised for the Treaty Grounds".

Treaty No. 4 First Nations will receive a monetary settlement of $6.6 million under this agreement, $5.8 million of which will be placed in trust for the use and benefit of their members. The remaining amount of money will be used for repayment of funds received by Treaty No. 4 First Nations to cover negotiation costs.

As part of the Settlement Agreement, the Treaty No. 4 First Nations can obtain up to 526 hectares of available and undeveloped land within a 10 km radius of the Treaty no. 4 Reserve Grounds, which the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development has agreed to recommend to Cabinet be set apart as reserve upon the fulfillment of certain conditions.

This agreement is unprecedented in the sense that any reserves created, pursuant to the Settlement Agreement, for the use and benefit of Treaty No. 4 reserves, will be joint reserves.