A historic agreement has been reached by Zagimē Anishinabēk, the federal government and the government of Saskatchewan. The tripartite agreement addresses the Zagimē Anishinabēk Treaty Land Entitlement Claim.
When Treaty 4 was signed in 1874, Zagimē Anishinabēk was to receive 128 acres per person. They received roughly 31,829 acres of land, however, the population at the time of entering Treaty 4 was 271, instead of the 248 that was used for the determination of land, resulting in a shortfall of acres.
"We look forward to the benefits, for current and future generations, that will result from this settlement," Zagimē Anishinabēk Chief Lynn Acoose said. "In addition to supporting Zagimē Anishinabēk community and economic development goals, we anticipate ongoing positive relations with Canada and Saskatchewan as the work of adding to our land base proceeds under the settlement agreement."
The settlement provides Zagimē Anishinabēk with compensation of $20.5 million. Of this, $14.5 million is coming from the federal government and the provincial government is paying the remainder. The agreement will also allow for Zagimē Anishinabēk to add up to 18,629 acres of land to reserve.
The agreement also sets aside $3.1 million for rural municipalities and school divisions as compensation for taxable land transferred to the reserve.
"The Government of Saskatchewan is pleased to have fulfilled past promises to Zagimē Anishinabēk regarding their Treaty Land Entitlement Agreement," said Don McMorris, the Minister Responsible for First Nation, Metis and Northern Affairs. "There will now be opportunities for land investment, economic development, and community enhancements. The Government of Saskatchewan is committed to working together with First Nations and Métis partners to advance reconciliation."
Zagimē Anishinabēk was formerly known as Sakimay First Nation, and are of Anishinaabe and Ojibway descent. They are a combination of the Zagimē, Shesheep and Little Bone Band, having merged in 1907.