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A Landmark Decision: Peguis First Nation Votes in Favour of Treaty One Joint Reserve Land Code
Second Community to Support Treaty One Joint Reserve Land Management Regime
October 6, 2023 – Treaty No. 1 Territory – Treaty One Nations is thrilled to announce official results of the Peguis First Nation community vote on the Treaty One Joint Reserve Land Code. Members of Peguis First Nation exercised their right to participate in the Joint Reserve Land Code Ratification vote on October 4, 2023, a pivotal decision that places greater control over the Treaty One Nations’ jointly held lands at Naawi-Oodena in Winnipeg, MB. Results echo the steadfast commitment and forward-thinking aspirations of the Peguis community.
Following a thirty-day voting period with online, mail-in, and advanced poll voting options, 96% of Peguis First Nation members who cast their ballots voted in favour of the Treaty One Joint Reserve Land Code. This vote is the next critical step towards assuming control over Treaty One’s jointly held urban reserve lands.
“I commend our Peguis First Nation members who participated in this historic vote. Your resounding support for the Treaty One Joint Reserve Land Code Ratification emphasizes our shared commitment to self-governance,” said Chief Dr. Stanley Bird, who shared his sentiments on this momentous occasion. “Today, Peguis First Nation stands proud as we eagerly anticipate the world of opportunities that will open through development of Naawi-Oodena and our collaborative efforts with the Treaty One Nations.”
Treaty One Chairperson and Brokenhead Ojibway Nation Chief Gordon BlueSky also offered his perspective on the results, stating, “On behalf of Treaty One Nations, I extend my utmost congratulations to Peguis First Nation on this monumental achievement. The ‘YES’ vote is a testament to the community’s desire for progressive change and prosperity. The Treaty One Nations remain unwavering in their support for Peguis First Nation as they proceed with ratifying the Treaty One Joint Reserve Land Management Regime while ensuring our First Nations’ inherent Treaty rights and interests remain protected.”
The Joint Reserve Land Code Ratification vote for Peguis First Nation stands as an historic milestone in the ongoing journey of Indigenous self-determination in Canada. This vote reaffirms the significance of community engagement and collective decision-making. As we celebrate this remarkable achievement, we eagerly anticipate a future where First Nations across Canada may continue to assert their sovereign rights and forge destinies that benefit the generations to come.
In December 2022, the Naawi-Oodena (formerly Kapyong Barracks) lands were repatriated for the benefit of the Treaty One Nations and set apart as urban reserve land, under jurisdiction of the seven Treaty One First Nations.
Currently, three Treaty One First Nations operate under their own land management systems, while four remain under the Indian Act. To effectively govern and manage Treaty One jointly held lands, it is essential that all seven First Nations operate under one unanimous land system. All seven First Nations have elected to pursue sectoral self-governance for Treaty One lands through the Framework Agreement on First Nations Lands Management Act (FAFNLMA).
Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, Long Plain First Nation, and Swan Lake First Nation have received approval from their members to operate under the FAFNLMA by way of community vote. Adding additional reserve lands, including joint reserve lands, is a fundamental function of self-governing land regimes for these First Nations. The three First Nations have adopted a section specific to Treaty One Joint Reserve lands management as an addition to their existing legislation, with application to the joint reserve lands only.
After a successful referendum vote in Sandy Bay Ojibway First Nation on September 14, 2023, and now in Peguis First Nation on October 4, Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation is set to go to the polls on October 11, with Sagkeeng First Nation set to vote on October 24. Once all Treaty One First Nations have opted to ratify the Treaty One Joint Reserve Land Code, Treaty One Nations will be empowered to govern and manage the Treaty One joint reserve lands as ONE Nation under ONE self-governing system.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Director of Communications, Treaty One Nations