Canada and the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation settle 1919 Soldier Settlement Board Surrender specific claim
From: Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
August 4, 2022
Today, Chief Kelly Wolfe of Muskeg Lake Cree Nation; and the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, announced that Muskeg Lake Cree Nation and the Government of Canada have reached a settlement of the 1919 Soldier Settlement Board Surrender specific claim. This marks a significant step toward addressing the wrongs done to the community and rebuilding Canada’s relationship with Muskeg Lake Cree Nation. Over 100 years have passed since this wrong took place and before the community received recognition, acknowledgement, and replacement resources for the lands taken.
Submitted by Muskeg Lake Cree Nation in February 2014, this specific claim concerns Canada’s breach of pre-surrender and post-surrender obligations to the First Nation in relation to the 1919 surrender of 8,960 acres of Muskeg Lake reserve land for the purpose of providing settlement lands to veterans returning from the First World War.
In the settlement agreement, Canada agreed to provide compensation totaling $127.9 million. The settlement agreement also provides the option for the community to acquire up to 8,960 acres of land and have it added to their reserve in accordance with the Additions to Reserve/Reserve Creation Policy.
This agreement between Muskeg Lake Cree Nation and Canada represents a shared understanding to address a historical wrong, both for the current members of the community and for the generations to come.
Honouring Canada’s legal obligations to Indigenous Peoples and working collaboratively to resolve historical grievances is fundamental to advancing reconciliation in Canada.
“Our Nation is one that thrives and while the initial decision of Canada to expropriate lands created hardship for our community we survived. We view this settlement as an investment in our future – our future children and lands to ensure our continued success as a Nation. We continue to build our relationship with Canada in a respectful way for our members and Nation.”
Chief Kelly Wolfe
Muskeg Lake Cree Nation
“We are taking an important step to renew and strengthen our relationship with Muskeg Lake Cree Nation. This settlement helps address a past wrong and creates new opportunities for a brighter future as we continue to move forward together.”
The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations
- The Muskeg Lake Cree Nation is a Cree First Nation band government in Marcelin, Saskatchewan, which is located in central Saskatchewan, 93 kilometres north of Saskatoon, and is bordered by the towns of Marcelin, Leask, and Blaine Lake.
- The Muskeg Lake Cree Nation is affiliated with the Saskatoon Tribal Council, along with six other First Nations.
- The 1919 Soldier Settlement Board Surrender Specific Claim was accepted for negotiation in August 2017. Settlement was reached in June 2021 and the First Nation held a successful ratification vote in February 2022. The settlement agreement was executed by Minister Miller in July 2022, formally concluding the claim.
- Canada has a longstanding policy and process in place to resolve specific claims by negotiating settlements with First Nations. Since January 1, 2016, it has settled more than 205 specific claims with First Nations, totalling $5.1 billion in compensation.
- In the fiscal year 2021–22, 56 claims were filed with the Minister, 83 were “assessed” (77 were accepted for negotiation, while six claims were not accepted for negotiations), and 26 were resolved (23 claims were settled through negotiations and three were awarded compensation at the Tribunal).
- Working in partnership with First Nations, Canada has resolved over 610 specific claims since 1973 totaling close to $9 billion in compensation.
For more information, media may contact:
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations
CIRNAC Media Relations:
Email: [email protected]