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ACFN applying to add new reserve lands

PHOTO. Supplied. Northern Alberta hamlet, Fort Chipewyan.

The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation wants to add to the community’s reserve land. Chief Allan Adam is speaking at tomorrow’s council meeting, asking it to enter discussions with the band regarding the Municipal Services Agreement. ACFN is applying to take jurisdiction over 107 properties in Fort Chipewyan.

In documents prepared for council, it says Fort Chipewyan’s economy collapsed in 1968 when the Bennett Dam on the Peace River caused permanent environmental devastation, and members in the region were relocated to the northern hamlet under a provincial and federal program.

“Moving off the Reserves created an anomaly in the relationship between the ACFN and Canada. […] This Addition to Reserves is the most appropriate solution Canada and ACFN have been able to identify to resolve the anomaly,” documents say.

The proposal would have only the 107 lots become part of reserve land, not the roads and infrastructure around them. ACFN says the Municipality won’t lose any revenue and there won’t be a change to municipal services. The band notes that about 75 ACFN and Nunee Health Board workers will be shielded from most federal and provincial taxes with the change. It also says it wants to be involved in future planning and development that affects its reserve properties.

“This first step will open a meaningful dialogue and allow us to begin a new relationship rooted in our joint commitment to Fort Chipewyan,” the documents say.

A draft of a Municipal Services Agreement was given to RMWB council for consideration.