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Local Context and Land Claims

Treaty Land Entitlement (TLE) is a process where the Government of Canada and the Provincial Government of Saskatchewan are fulfilling Treaty commitments of land made to First Nations.  Saskatchewan is legally obligated to participate in TLE settlements because of the Natural Resources Transfer Agreement (1930) that was signed between the Province and the Federal government.

In September 1992, twenty-five First Nations  in Saskatchewan signed a TLE Framework Agreement.  Since 1992, eight other First Nations have signed TLE Framework Agreements.

Cowessess First Nation signed a TLE Agreement in 1996 that will increase the Reserve land base by 189,367 acres (76,634.1 hectares).  Approximately 81,365 acres of land have been purchased through the TLE Agreement.  As of May 31, 2009 58,849 acres now have reserve status providing a total land base of 88,457 acres at the present time.  The land purchased consists of both agricultural and commercial development land in eighteen municipalities within the southern portion of the province and around the two major cities of Regina and Saskatoon.

The agreement recognizes the Band's claim to receive additional land under Treaty 4, which they were entitled to after the original Reserve was surveyed.  Through the ratified TLE agreement, Cowessess is required to purchase 53,312 shortfall acres and has the ability to add another 136,368 acres to the community's land base.  The total value of the TLE settlement was $46,662,314.

Trustees are in place and are responsible for managing and administrating the Cowessess Treaty Land Entitlement Trust.