Manto Sipi Cree Nation – Chief Michael Yellowback representing the Manto Sipi Cree Nation filed a Statement of Claim today, September 9th 2015, in the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench against the province of Manitoba. The claim centres on the failure of the province to resolve outstanding mining claims that encumber ancestral lands selected by the First Nation and that should be acquired and converted to Reserve land. The province continues to favour mining interests to the detriment of First Nations. The First Nation alleges that Manitoba failed to uphold the honour of the Crown and to properly implement the First Nation’s outstanding Treaty land entitlement under Treaty No. 5.
Chief Michael Yellowback stated. “We have tried to resolve this dispute with Manitoba by other means but we have been forced to now file this claim. The honour of the Crown requires the province to implement our Agreement in a fair and equitable way. If we need the Courts to remind the province, then so be it.”
Councillor Daniel Ross said, “James Campbell, the purported holder of the mining claims that affect the First Nation’s Treaty land entitlement has also sued the province for failing to resolve the dispute. Manto Sipi Cree Nation is an Intervenor in that case.”
The Aboriginal law firm Devlin Gailus Westaway will representing the Manto Sipi Cree Nation.
Senior Legal Counsel, Cynthia Westaway commented, “This is another example of the failure of the Crown to implement Treaty land entitlement. Manitoba, in the shoes of Canada under the Natural Resources Transfer Agreement, must finally, after 106 years, do all that it can to resolve its outstanding legal obligations under Treaty No. 5. We hope that filing this Claim will inspire the province to positive action and reconciliation. ”