Lac La Ronge Indian Band spreads its wings

Submitted photo. LLRIB Chief Tammy Cook-Searson, Mayor Charlie Clark, of Saskatoon, members of the LLRIB and City of Saskatoon councils and Elders, following the signing of two Agreements in the process to transform the property at 211 Wheeler Street into a LLRIB Urban Reserve in Saskatoon Sept. 11.

The Lac La Ronge Indian Band (LLRIB) made history for itself Sept. 11 by signing two agreements in the process to create an Urban Reserve in the City of Saskatoon.

Using a 2016 federal government amended process providing for the Addition of reserves for First Nations, LLRIB was able to complete the work with the City of Saskatoon in “record time” – about one-and-a-half years, Chief Tammy Cook-Searson said in an interview with the Northern Advocate.

The property and business, CanNorth Environmental Services, which LLRIB owns through its economic development arm, Kitsaki Management Limited Partnership (KMLP), is at 211 Wheeler Street in the northern end of Saskatoon.

“The intention for establishing this Urban Reserve in Saskatoon is to ensure that LLRIB members, who re studying science, technology, engineering, math at a post-secondary level have a landing place for their degrees,” Cook-Searson said.

Chief Cook-Searson and several LLRIB Councillors were in City Hall with Mayor Charlie Clark and some of the City’s councillors for the signing of two agreements with the City, a Policing Agreement and a Municipal Services Agreement, which outline the services which will be provided by the City.

The signing of the Agreements is a big step in this historic move for LLRIB, bringing the Urban Reserve process closer to completion.

“Now, the final process is it has to get approval through the Federal Government,” she said.

Valerie G. Barnes Connell Jordan/Northern Advocate. The former Bingo Hall on Brown Street in La Ronge is one of the properties LLRIB is transforming working towards creating as an Urban Reserve.

CanNorth has also opened an office in La Ronge recently as well, Cook-Searson said.

KMLP has offices in Saskatoon as well as La Ronge.

The Town of La Ronge also signed Service Agreements recently for four plots of land, which LLRIB is in the process of turning into Urban Reserves in the Town of La Ronge at three locations.

The four plots are in three locations. They are: the former Kitsaki Meats property, which is next to the Band Office; the “Old Bingo Hall” on Brown Street; and two plots at the former NRT Training centre in the Town of La Ronge Industrial area.

The two plots are planned to become one Urban Reserve, Ty Roberts, LLRIB Lands. And Resources Manager, said.

Another historic agreement is being negotiated with the Northern Village of Air Ronge to turn the “Old Industries” property, on the south side of the Montreal River in La Ronge into an Urban Reserve.

When complete, this will be the first Urban Reserve within the Village, Cook-Searson said.

Cook-Searson thanked Saskatoon Mayor, Charlie Clark and the City of Saskatoon staff along with KMLP CEO Ron Hyggen and Roberts for their work in “expediting this important and meaningful endeavour,” in a news release.

She expressed appreciation for LLRIB Band Councillors, the Coucil of Elders and Ironswing Singers from Sturgeon Lake First Nation, for being part of the signing ceremony.