Indigenous leaders call on Saskatchewan government to stop the planned auction of Crown land on January 31

Published by Brent Patterson on

Share This Page

Photo: Onion Lake Cree Nation Chief Henry Lewis. Photo by Lindsay Newman/980 CJME.

Indigenous leaders are calling on the Saskatchewan government to stop a planned sell-off and lease of Crown Lands on January 31.

The Regina Leader-Post reports: “Indigenous leaders are repeating calls to the provincial government to stop the sale and auction of leases for Crown land as leaders say the government is failing in its duty to consult during the process.”

The article continues: “Representatives from Onion Lake, Ochapowace Nation, Yellow Quill First Nation and other Nations filled a conference room [at the Saskatchewan Legislature in Regina], standing in support of the message offered by leaders.”

“[Onion Lake Cree Nation Chief Henry] Lewis, to the agreement of the crowd gathered, urged the provincial government to halt an impending auction of a Crown land lease that would affect Onion Lake, set to begin on Jan. 31.”

The provincial government maintains that the “lease auction remains scheduled for February, 2023.”

CKRM further specifies: “On January 31, the Ministry of Agriculture is set to host an online auction to lease Crown land for agriculture purposes. The highest bidder will receive parcels of the land for up to 33 years.”

In that article, Chief Lewis says: “The loss of use due to Crown Land leases that are up to 33 years result in the unjustifiable infringement of our Treaty Rights to meaningfully hunt, trap, fish, harvest, and gather on our traditional territories.”

And Terri Quinney, the Duty to Consult co-ordinator with the Onion Lake Cree Nation, has stated: “This is a direct infringement on our Treaty rights and next steps we have no choice but to go legal. This is a real challenge for us. We’re not backing down on this.”

Photo: Terri Quinney, the duty-to-consult co-ordinator for Onion Lake Cree Nation. Photo by Kirk Fraser/CBC.

92.9 The Bull also reports: “The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations is also against selling and leasing Crown Lands. Vice Chief Heather Bear says the selling and leasing of our lands cannot continue and that’s why the Nations in this province are in litigation about this, because it ignores First Nations’ rights and is inconsistent with Treaties and the Treaty relationship.”

On Twitter, Janice Makokis, an Indigenous legal scholar and Board member of the Yellowhead Institute, has tweeted: “ I’m not sure how SK thinks they can override Treaty rights and bypass any consultation on this.”

The provincial NDP statement on this highlights: “The Official Opposition NDP reiterates its call for the Government of Saskatchewan to stop the sell-off and lease of Crown Lands, codify the Duty to Consult framework in legislation and stop the displacement of Indigenous peoples from their traditional gathering territories.”

We continue to follow this.

Share This Page
Categories: News Updates


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *