Salt River First Nation votes on settlement
“After years of negotiating, I am pleased to place this offer of a final settlement before our membership for their review and ultimately, a final decision,” said Salt River First Nation Chief, Jim Schaefer.
Negotiators for Salt River First Nation (SRFN), Canada and the GNWT initialed a Final Treaty Land Entitlement settlement agreement in November. Salt River First Nation band members will be asked to vote on the settlement agreement on December 20 – 22, 2001.
The settlement agreement will become final if the majority of SRFN members of legal voting age turn out to vote, and vote in its favour. The agreement will also need to be signed by the Chief and Council of SRFN, the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs for the GNWT, and the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.
The settlement agreement seeks to provide a reserve land base for SRFN, and thus fulfil commitments made in Treaty 8, which was signed in 1899. The agreement proposes to set aside approximately 166 square miles of reserve lands at 16 sites in and around the Town of Fort Smith, and four sites in Wood Buffalo National Park.
Should Salt River First Nation band members vote in favour of the settlement agreement in December, a formal signing ceremony will likely take place early next spring.