Kapyong Barracks continues to be an issue for Long Plain First Nation in 2018.
“I believe we’ll achieve the agreement in principle in 2018,” says Chief Dennis Meeches. “I’m hoping January, February or March we’ll have that wrapped up. It’s a very very complicated file. But for Treaty 1 First Nations, we put a lot of time and work into that. I really believe it’s going to be a game changer in what urban reserves do.”
Kapyong Barracks was abandoned by the military in Winnipeg in 2004, and in plans to sell the land to a Crown corporation, Treaty 1 First Nations challenged the decision. Long Plain along with Roseau River, Peguis and Swan Lake First Nations claimed they had a right to the land according to outstanding Treaty Land Entitlement claims. The Federal Court ruled in favour of the First Nations, and the federal government initiated a series of appeals. Those appeals were stopped by then Prime Minister Harper, but chiefs are differing as to how to proceed with the land claim.
Meeches says they’re also holding an election in April, with some changes made in the General Election Code. He explains a referendum was held changing the term limit from three years to four.
He adds they’re also closing in on a resolution to the 1916 Land Surrender. The first nation filed a claim in about 2002 and the government acknowledged it in 2012.
“There’s been offers made to Long Plain First Nation,” says Meeches. “Of course, we rejected those offers. A case out of BC benefited the Long Plain position. The Federal Court of Appeal made a ruling on this particular case, and Canada chose not to appeal it, which is very good for Long Plain First Nation. So, we’re looking for possibly a very decent settlement for Long Plain First Nation.”
Meeches says the entrance to the community, where a major landslide occurred, should be completed no later than the end of June. He says 500 metres of rip-rap has to be laid along the bank of the Assiniboine river. Meeches says they’ve spent almost $8-million over the last two years in upgrades. Asphalting should occur in May. Meeches adds it’s changed the face of the community somewhat in that location, but he’s pleased with how nice the project will wind up.
(Article courtesy of Portage Online)