For Immediate Release: September 9, 2010
(Saskatoon, Sk) FSIN Chief Guy Lonechild says the time is now for a resource revenue sharing agreement between First Nations and the Province of Saskatchewan. The Federation wants to develop a long-term strategy that includes First Nations' participation in current and future potash developments in Saskatchewan. According to Treaty, First Nations have rights to resources in the Treaty territories.
"As commendable as this government's commitment is to teaching Treaties in the classroom, it has so far failed to honour those treaties in accordance with their original spirit and intent of mutual benefit," says Chief Lonechild. "It is my role and duty to point out that First Nations never ceded their rights to minerals below the depth of a plough, and that no government can point to documents or processes where First Nations consented to the transfer of these assets."
Chief Lonechild has had the opportunity to meet with a number of large mining interests, and believes many of them are interested in working with First Nations. What needs to be in place is the regulatory and fiscal policy framework to ensure that this transpires.
"The potash mining operations that have been operating since the early 1960's within Treaties 4 and 6 have provided virtually no benefit to First Nations in the area, and further, the province has not shared the royalties it has extracted from those operations with First Nations, either directly or indirectly," says Chief Lonechild. "First Nations in the north have a proven track-record in working with large mining companies. We need to build upon this experience in southern Saskatchewan potash industry."
The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan. The Federation is committed to honouring the spirit and intent of Treaty, as well as the promotion, protection and implementation of the Treaty promies that were made more than a century agol
For more information visit www.fsin.com
Mervin Brass, Executive Director of Communications