PAPASCHASE PROPOSAL FOR THE SETTLEMENT OF THE UNLAWFUL SURRENDER OF PAPASCHASE I.R. #136

Submitted By Chief Calvin Bruneau (Download Word Document)

Table of Contents
1. background
2. Historical Information
3. A Fresh Approach
I. Past Claims
II. A New Vision Is Needed

4. Who Is Eligible To Participate In The Settlement
I.    Bonafide Descendants – Determining The Process
II.   Papaschase First Nation
III. Other First Nations

5.  Papaschase Descendants on Settlements, Bill C-31, Bill C-3  
I. Non-Status and Urban Descendants

6.  The Papaschase First Nation’s Position
I. Legal Position and Status -
II. Political Will and Co-operation
III. Legitimate Descendants’ Legal Status
IV. Recognition of Papaschase First Nation Sovereignty

7.  Other First Nations and Their Roles
I. Legal Positions
New Band/Band Ammalgamation (NBBA) Policy
II. Joint Ventures to build a better future

8.  Membership – Who Is Eligible
I.   Probationary Members
II.  Transfer Process - Releasing The Descendants
III. Papaschase Band Sovereignty Over Band Membership

9.  Lands and Available Lands
I.  Southside Edmonton including cemeteries
II. Rossdale Flats and Historic Cemetery – Papaschase Spirit of Edmonton Proposal
III. Burial Ground by Elinor Lake and Surrounding Crown Lands

10. Compensation – Settlement Package
I. 3rd Party Interests
II. Cash and Land Package

11. Role of Canada, Province of Alberta, City of Edmonton.
I. Political Will – Doing The Right Thing
II. Recognition and Accommodation
III. Compensation and Fiduciary Obligations

12. Rebuilding and Restoring the Papaschase First Nation
I.     Location of Reserves – Urban and Rural Reserves
II.     Capacity Building – Administration and Council Support
III.    Building Membership – One Descendant At a Time
IV.    Housing/Housing Supports and Infrastructure
V.     Economic Development and Investments
VI.    Training and Employment
VII.   Social Programs
VIII.  Education and Schools
IX.     Cree Language Classes
X.      Daycare and Child Services
XI.     Health Commission and Health Services
XII.    Policing and Security - Papaschase Tribal Force
XIII.    Cemeteries and Burial Grounds - Protection and Perpetual Care
XIV.   Fire and Ambulance Services - Emergency Response
XV.    Community Centres
XVI.   Sanitation and Recycling Services
XVII.  Forestry and Environmental Services
XVIII. Roads - Construction, Maintenance and Repair

 
1. Background

The Papaschase case has been an ongoing issue. For at least 100 years there has been discontent surrounding the issues of the supposed surrender and sale of the Papaschase Indian Reserve. This reserve today is within the boundaries of the southside of Edmonton, AB. It wasn't until the early 1970s that a concerted effort was taken by Papaschase descendants to address this case. Enoch Cree Nation hired researcher Ken Tyler to research the history of the Papaschase Band. After compiling the research, Enoch filed a claim in 1973 with the Indian Claims Commission but it was rejected in 1975.

Since then a number of groups have come and gone who have done research and wanted to advance this case. This happened in the 70s, 80s and 90s. In the mid-90s two groups surfaced who wanted to advance the Papaschase cause. One group was the Papastayo First Nation Association of Alberta (mainly Metis) and the other was an Interim Papaschase Committee (mainly Treaty). They both approached the Chiefs of the Confederacy of Treaty Six seeking support for this case. The Confederacy did offer support in the form of resolutions recognizing the Papaschase Descendants and their case.        
    
However, the Chiefs at the time stated that both groups get together and organize an election to determine who would be the leaders of the Papaschase Descendants. With advice from Papaschase elders from various First Nations and with the assistance from legal counsel Ron Maurice, a custom council code was developed. Then an election date was set for August 21, 1999. This was a historic date for the descendants, since it was on August 21, 1877 when Chief Papaschase and his brother, Headman Tahkoots, signed Treaty Six along with Chief Alexis and Chief Alexander. After the election, Rose Lameman from Onion Lake Cree Nation was declared Chief and 9 councillors were elected as well.  There were 7 council positions for Treaty Status descendants and 2 positions for Non-Status/Metis council positions.

Only bona fide Papaschase Descendants could vote in our elections. In the Papaschase Descendants Custom Council Election Code under Section 1(f) it states: “eligible voter” or “voter” is any Papaschase Descendant who has signed an affidavit or statutory declaration in the form prescribed and who is at least 18 years of age. Also, Section 1(g) states: “Papaschase Descendant: is a person who is a direct descendant of a bona fide member of the Passpasschase Indian Band who was listed on the treaty annuity paylists between 1877 and 1886, including persons who are direct descendants by virtue of being adopted by law or custom as members of the Band. For greater certainty, this shall include registered Indians, non-status, Metis, and enfranchised individuals providing they can prove that they are direct descendants and regardless of whether they are members of another First Nation or Metis Settlement;

And Section 1(h) states: “Papaschase Descendants Council” or “Council” shall consist of one Chief and 9 Councillors duly elected by the eligible voters of the Papaschase Descendants to represent the collective interests of all Papaschase Descendants;.

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In the Preamble of the Custom Code it states that it is the inherent right of the Papaschase Descendants to select their own leaders to act as their duly elected representatives to govern their affairs, to defend and advance the treaty rights and legitimate interests of the Papaschase Descendants, and to take all necessary steps to obtain a just settlement of the unlawful surrender of Papaschase IR #136 and plus the Chief shall be the representative and spokesperson for the Papaschase Descendants on all issues that affect them at the local, regional, national and international levels. One of the first issues to arise was that of the burial ground located west of Epcor's Rossdale Power plant and north of Walterdale Bridge in downtown Edmonton, AB.  Epcor wanted to expand the Rossdale Power Plant and hearings were held by the then Energy Utility Board (Now the Alberta Utility Commission) in 2000 and 2001. This will be addressed later in this document.

The second issue was to file a claim in the Canadian court system on behalf of all Papaschase Descendants. A class action lawsuit was filed in February 2001 at the Court of Queens Bench in Edmonton, AB. The case went through various phases. After an appeal was won at the Court of Queens Bench by the Papaschase Descendants, Canada's and the Province's lawyers appealed the case to the Supreme Court. The case was heading to trial but was tossed out by Supreme Court judges based on two technicalities. 

The first was that our group ran out of time based on Statutes of Limitations. However, a recent case won by the Metis dating back to 1870 proves that a case is never too old to be heard.  There are other cases that are older than ours and still valid. Therefore the Supreme Court judges erred on this point.

The second point was that we are not a recognized band. Our band list according to govt. Lawyers didnt exist in 1951. Apparently thats a magic date to unrecognize a band. However, some bands have been recognized and signed treaties well after this date. The argument was that our band didn't exist or wasn't recognized by the Federal government at this date. 

Given the history of what happened to the Papaschase Band its easy to say the band didnt exist because the Federal government used legislation, coercion and outright fraud to destroy the Papaschase Band and take away their land unlawfully. They selected a reserve and it was never ceded nor surrendered. Also, Metis scrip is illegal to be offered to Treaty people so the majority of the band shouldn’t have been forced to leave the reserve and be considered Metis. Plus the amalgamation agreement between Enoch and Papaschase was illegal as well.

Technically the band still exists on First Nations that absorbed the remaining descendants. Most of these bands are in the Treaty Six territory and include Enoch, Alexander, the Maskwacis bands (Ermineskin, Louis Bull, Montana and Samson), Saddle Lake, Beaver Lake, Goodfish Lake, Kehewin, Frog Lake and Onion Lake among others. These descendants have every right to reconstitute the Papaschase First Nation.

However, the Papaschase Band existed before the City of Edmonton, the Province of Alberta and the Corporate State of Canada. We still maintain our sovereignty. Our ancestors signed Treaty Six on a Nation to Nation basis just as other First Nations who signed Treaty Six in 1876, 77 and 78. Like other First Nations, the Papaschase people descended from Cree tribes who have been on this earth since time immemorial. Sovereignty is inherent to every First Nation including the Papaschase First Nation.

 
2. Historical Information

As with any First Nation their history is passed down orally from elders and knowledge keepers.. Tribes and clans have existed since time immemorial so its difficult to say when a band or First Nation began or was created.  Many of the Cree speaking people, like other Indigenous tribes, were nomadic by nature and lived in temporary villages. They had vast territories in which they hunted, gathered and occupied. Winter and summer grounds were common for their protection and survival. Mostly though, these nomadic tribes followed the game that was available in their territories plus pursued advantages available to them such as the Fur Trade.

Papaschase and his brothers, along with their extended family, were very active in the fur trade and roamed between Slave Lake and Fort Edmonton. Papaschase's english name was John Gladue Quinn and was born sometime around 1838. His family appears to move from Slave Lake to the Fort Assiniboine area, northwest of Edmonton. And they were in the Lac St. Anne area as well before they moved to the Edmonton area.

Chief Papaschase, his 6 brothers and their families moved to the Edmonton area in the late 1850's from the Lesser Slave Lake area. It appears they travelled and hunted in the Fort Edmonton, Fort Assiniboia and Lesser Slave Lake areas for some time before making Edmonton their home. Their band settled their and traded with the Hudson Bay Company and was employed with them from time to time.

The family settled in the area which was known as Ross Flats below Fort Edmonton which was located in present day Legislative grounds. They occupied the River Valley area and below the Fort known today as the Rossdale community and hunted in the area east of Fort Edmonton called the Beaver Hills. They were part of the Cree group called the Beaver Hills Cree.

In 1876, commissioners for Canada met with Chiefs and Headmen at Fort Carlton and Fort Pitt to negotiate the terms for Treaty Six. After much negotiation terms were agreed upon. After learning that there were other Cree bands further west in the Fort Edmonton area, the Commissioners planned to sign treaty with them the following year. On August 8, 1877, the four bands (Sampson, Ermineskin, Louis Bull and Bobtail) of the Bears Hills agency signed Treaty Six. Two weeks later, the Commissioners met with the Chiefs and Headmen of Alexis, Alexander and the Papaschase Bands at Fort Edmonton. On August 21, 1877, Chief Papaschase (also known as Passpasschase, Papastew, Pahpastayo, and John Gladieu-Quinn) and his brother Tahkoots, a Headman, signed an adhesion to Treaty 6 on behalf of the Papaschase band at Fort Edmonton.

In 1877, the Hon. David Laird, Lieutenant Governor and Indian Superintendent for the North-West Territories, recommended to the Department of Indian Affairs that surveyors be sent to lay out Indian reserves for the Edmonton Bands, however, no action was taken by the Federal Government to survey a reserve for the Papaschase Band until 1880. The Papaschase Band continued to occupy the Rossdale Flats area until Dominion Land surveyors commenced to survey the Papaschase Reserve.
By 1879, the buffalo had become virtually extinct and the Indians in the Edmonton area were suffering from severe starvation. Although a general famine had descended upon the Indians of the North-West Territories, the Federal Government of Canada did not provide necessary and sufficient relief to the Papaschase band or other bands as promised under the terms of Treaty 6.

On August 2, 1880, George A. Simpson, Dominion Land Surveyor, was instructed to survey the boundaries of Passpasschase Indian Reserve No. 136 for the Papaschase Band. According to Simpson's information, 241 members of the Papaschase Band were paid annuities in 1879 so he promised Chief Papaschase that 48 square miles of land would be set apart as a reserve for the Band. The Federal Government should have known that in fact 249 members of the Papaschase Band were paid annuities in 1879 entitling the Band to at least 49.9 square miles of reserve land. Chief Papaschase selected a reserve approximately four miles south of Fort Edmonton and Simpson began to survey the reserve located within the present boundaries of the City of Edmonton.

When Chief Papaschase realized he was not getting the size of the reserve he wanted, a dispute arose between him and Inspector T.P. Wadsworth (Inspector of Indian Farms and Agencies for the Dept. of Indian Affairs). On August 3, 1880, Inspector Wadsworth maliciously transferred 84 members of the Papaschase Band to a new treaty pay list he created for the "Edmonton Stragglers". Then Inspector Wadsworth instructed Simpson to survey no more than 40 square miles of reserve land for the Papaschase Band and to not set apart any land for the Edmonton Stragglers. On August 4, 1880, Inspector Wadsworth paid annuities to only 188 members of the Papaschase Band.

Local settlers in the Edmonton area did not want the reserve to be located near Edmonton. Frank Oliver, a recent immigrant and businessman, through his newspaper the Edmonton Bulletin advocated for the removal of the band and its surrender. A mass meeting was held on January 13, 1881, to petition Sir John A. Macdonald, the Prime Minister to pressure Canada into moving the Papaschase Band and obtain a surrender of IR 136 for sale to non-Indians.

In the following year or so Frank Oliver, through his newspaper pressed Ottawa to move IR 136 and open the land for settlers. Use the heavy hand of the law to override the interests and treaty rights of the Papaschase Band when they conflict with the public interest. Oliver incited a number of settlers to squat and trespass upon IR 136. And he recommended that Canada induce the Papaschase Band to select a reserve at a more distant location in exchange for reasonable consideration.

On January 27, 1883, a second petition was delivered to representatives of the Crown to Ottawa requesting that IR 136 be moved away from Edmonton. Old Strathcona was a town on the south side of the North Saskatchewan River opposite of Fort Edmonton and settlers there didnt want to have the Papaschase Band living so close to them. The surveyors along with Indian Affairs officials heeded more to the settler's wood and hay claims and so pushed the north boundary of the Papaschase Reserve 2 miles further south. Today, the north boundary of the reserve should be around 76 avenue but instead is 51 avenue in South Edmonton.  The east boundary is 34 Street, the south boundary is 30 Ave south and the west boundary is approximately 119 Street (see map). This area comprises a total of 39.9 square miles which is a shortfall of 9.9 square miles.

The Papaschase Band moved to their reserve from Rossdale Flats but in the early 1880s they still held dances and ceremonies in Rossdale (Edmonton Bulletin). The Edmonton Stragglers continued to live in this area in the early 1880s until they were offered a reserve 5 miles west of Fort Edmonton and Enoch 'Tommy' Lapotack became their chief.

Eventually Mr. Oliver agreed that the Papaschase Band had a legal claim but he set about through his newspaper the Edmonton Bulletin and his position in politics to undermine the Papaschase Band and other reserves. He helped push for Edmonton to become the main town over Strathcona and for Edmonton to be the capital of Alberta over Calgary. In his efforts to promote Edmonton as a major settlement, Mr. Oliver lobbied to have the CP Railroad built from Regina to Edmonton. However, the Canadian government and the Railway company chose to build the railroad to Calgary instead. Furious but undaunted Frank Oliver and other settlers convinced the CP Railway to build from Calgary to Edmonton but the railroad company would build only if the Indians were removed from the Papaschase Reserve. Otherwise they would build the railroad to the south border of the reserve and not to the Strathcona area as requested. From 1905 - 1911, Frank Oliver became the Superintendent of Indian Affairs and in this position he advocated for the surrender of Indian lands in western Canada. Through his son-in-law, Mr. Oliver benefited personally by buying some surrendered reserve lands.

Living conditions for Indigenous people in the prairie regions deteriorated quickly. Between 1875 and 1885, settlers and hunters of European descent contributed to hunting the North American Bison almost to extinction; the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway brought large numbers of European settlers west who encroached on former Indigenous territory. European Canadians established governments, police forces, and courts of law with different foundations than indigenous practices. Various epidemics continued to devastate Indigenous communities. All of these factors had a profound effect on Indigenous people, particularly those from the plains who had relied heavily on bison for food and clothing. Most of those nations that agreed to treaties had negotiated for a guarantee of food and help to begin farming. Just as the bison disappeared (the last Canadian hunt was in 1879), Lieutenant-Governor Edgar Dewdney cut rations to indigenous people in an attempt to reduce government costs. Between 1880 and 1885, approximately 3,000 Indigenous people starved to death in the Nortthwest Territories.

From 1879 to 1886, The Federal Government of Canada did not provide necessary rations or relief to members of the Papaschase Band who were suffering from starvation. Some First Nations such as Papaschase and the Maskwacis bands were threatening violence if they did not get rations as they were promised.
In the midst of the Riel Rebellion, the Half Breed Scrip Commission arrived in Edmonton on June 3, 1885 offering scrip to people of mixed Indian and white ancestry, including any treaty status Indians who could show they were of Metis ancestry. The commission issued scrip to 202 treaty Indians from June to July, 1885. This included 12 members of the Papaschase band. All recipients of scrip were discharged from Treaty 6 and this resulted in the loss of treaty status, any interest in Indian reserve land and their right to treaty annuities.

During this time land speculators induced treaty Indians to accept scrip with the lure of cash and the lie that the Indians would not be forced to leave their reserves if they took scrip. When the Half Breed Scrip Commission returned to Edmonton on July 3, 1886, the Papaschase Band motivated by starvation, poverty and general discord over Canada's failure to honor the terms of Treaty 6, requested scrip.

On July 19, 1886, Indian agents were instructed that any treaty Indian who could clearly show they were of mixed ancestry and who do not lead the 'same mode of life as Indians' should be allowed to withdraw from Treaty.

Inspector Wadsworth granted discharges to Chief Papaschase and his brothers, constituting a family of 58 members. This triggered a mass exodus from the Papaschase and Enoch Bands. A total of 102 members of the Papaschase Band, who were in starving condition and of poor health were induced to accept scrip. The Papaschase Band was reduced to only 82 members, most of whom were elders, women and children.

After receiving scrip, Chief Papaschase and other members of the Band continued in the honest belief they could use and occupy IR 136 because the Federal Government contributed to this belief by allowing the Papaschase band to harvest their crops in the fall of 1886.

In August 1886, local politicians, residents and the Edmonton Bulletin renewed their campaign to remove IR 136 and throw the land open for settlement. The Dept. of the Interior advanced a proposal made by the Edmonton Bulletin that the remaining members of the Papaschase Band be amalgamated with another band. Around December 30, 1886, Agent Anderson falsely and deliberately misstated that the Papaschase band requested that they be amalgamated with the Enoch band on the Stony Plain Reserve.

If the Papaschase Band wanted to join the Enoch Band they simply would have left without seeking permission from the Indian agent. Also, the Papaschase Band's reluctance to move to the Stony Plain Reserve in the spring of 1887 was inconsistent with Agent Anderson's assertion that they wanted to voluntarily join the Enoch Band. Agent Anderson encouraged a member of the Papaschase Band to move to Enoch and draw others with him so he could be Chief of the amalgamated bands. This went against a previous recommendation of the Dept. that the position of Chief for the Enoch Band should not be filled. An amalgamation agreement was purportedly signed between principal men of the Papaschase and Enoch Bands.

In January 1887, Commissioner Dewdney was directed by Indian Affairs to remove the Papaschase with their consent and to obtain a formal surrender of IR 136 so the land could be sold for their benefit. On August 12, 1887, Assistant Commissioner Reed persuaded the remainder of the Papaschase Band to move to the Enoch Band's Stony Plain Reserve. Asst. Commissioner Reed made no attempt to comply with the instructions to obtain a surrender from the Papaschase Band before they moved.  However, based on elder’s accounts, there are stories in which Papaschase Band members who didnt want to leave willingly were shot and killed. They’re bodies apparently were dumped in the Blackmud Creek Ravine. So there is some dispute from our council and some elders that our ancestors left the Papaschase Reserve more out of fear than anything else.

Commissioner Reed then evicted Chief Papaschase and other discharged members of the Papaschase Band. They denied relinquishing their rights to live on the land and through a Cree translator they informed Commissioner Reed they did not understand the meaning of the language contained in the declarations they purportedly signed. On a few occasions in late 1887 no attempts were made to convene a surrender meeting even though 8 - 10 members of the Papaschase Band were paid annuities at Enoch at different times. On November 19, 1888 Inspector Wadsworth purported to obtain a surrender of 39.9 square miles of land within IR 136 from only 3 adult male members of the Papaschase Band living on the Enoch Reserve. The descendants of the Papaschase Band agree that the purported surrender is invalid and void ab nitio because it did not comply with the strict procedures governing the surrender of Indian reserves as set out in section 39 of the Indian Act, R.S.C. 1886.

According to the terms of the surrender instrument, all lands within IR 136 were surrendered in trust to the Crown to be disposed of "upon such terms as the Government of the Dominion of Canada may deem most conducive to our welfare and that of our people."
 
The Govt. also undertook to collect all monies received from the sale or lease of IR 136 lands and to deposit the net proceeds after deducting management expenses into an interest bearing account to be held in trust. The surrender instrument expressly states that only the interest accruing from such monies shall be paid annually or semi-annually to the Papaschase Band and to "our descendants forever."

From 1890 to 1930, the Govt. of Canada sold all of IR 136 lands to third parties and received monies as a trustee and fiduciary on behalf of the Papaschase Band and their descendants as per the terms of the surrender instrument. The Papaschase descendants allege that Canada has acted contrary to the express terms of the surrender and its trust and fiduciary obligations to the Papaschase Band by:

a) failing to hold the principle amount collected on account of the sale of IR 136 lands in trust for the exclusive benefit of the Papaschase Band and their descendants forever,

b) failing to distribute the interest generated from the sale of IR 136 land to the Papaschase Band and their descendants on an annual or semi-annual basis and,

c) distributing any portion of the proceeds of sale, whether it is principal or interest, to any person who was not a member of the Papaschase Band or a direct descendant.
Most members of the Papaschase Band who moved to Enoch remained but a few joined other Bands such as Alexander, Michel, Bears Hills Bands (Hobbema), Saddle Lake, Beaver Lake, Kehewin, Frog Lake and Onion Lake. Most of the discharged Papaschase Band members relocated to various locations such as Elinor Lake, Lac La Biche, Beaver Lake and Kikino. As a result of the Govt. of Canada's actions in unilaterally transferring members of the Papaschase Band to the Edmonton Straggler's list, discharging a majority of the Papaschase Band from Treaty 6 in 1885-86 through the issuance of scrip, and forcing the remainder of the Band to vacate IR 136, the Papaschase Descendants have suffered significant damages to their culture, language, and collective identity, including the loss of Indian status, band membership, economic opportunities and their lands.

Therefore we assert the surrender of Papaschase I.R. 136 was unlawful. The band was coerced into taking scrip and forced from their reserve. The amalgamation agreement between Enoch and Papaschase is of no force or effect since the surrender is of no force or effect either.

 

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3. A Fresh Approach

In the past 40 years, many people and groups along with the Enoch Cree Nation have filed a claim or attempted to research and file a claim regarding the unlawful surrender of Papaschase I.R. 136. Many descendants from many First Nations, Metis Settlements and scattered to the four winds have known about the history and loss of band status and land of their Papaschase ancestors. Many times it has been said, " My Moosom (Grandfather) used to talk about that Papaschase reserve all the time". Therefore, since the time the reserve was illegally disbanded and the land stolen the story has been passed down to the present generation. A wrong is a wrong today even though it was committed over 100 years ago.

The band members were scattered to other First Nations and beyond in the late 1880s and the Canadian government made it illegal in the early 1900s to hire a lawyer to file a claim against Canada. First Nations people were confined to the reserves by the pass system. Were discharged from Treaty if they wanted to join the army, become a member of the clergy or even to visit a pub for a pint. Not to mention the destructive legacy of the residential school system.

First Nations and Aboriginal people weren't given a chance to vote in Federal elections until the early 1960s. It was not until 1967, after all, that "Indians" were finally recognized in Canadian law as People, eligible for rights as Canadian citizens, protection by law, and having Human Rights. In light of the paternalistic behavior and the suppression that First Nations and the Papaschase people were subjected to, it took until the late 60s and early 70s for Papaschase Desdendants to research and file a claim.

In 1971, Enoch Cree Nation hired law student Ken Tyler who attended the University of Alberta. The result of his research was the thesis, A History of the Papaschase Band: A Tax Eating Proposition. Enoch filed a claim on behalf of the Enoch members in 1973 but the claim was rejected by the Indian Claims Commission in 1975. Basically the claim was rejected because there were other descendants that would need to be included in the claim from other First Nations. Enoch did not want to have these other descendants involved.

Upon reviewing the 'Enoch Claim', a Commissioner recommended that based on moral and legal grounds, it should not go to court or arbitration but instead should go through negotiation. Thus a new approach is needed. One of co-operation and mutual respect. Each First Nation would need to acknowledge there are Papaschase Descendants on their bands and that they want to come home.

The First Nations who have descendants on their membership lists should be ready to negotiate as well as the Federal Government and the Province of Alberta and the City of Edmonton. This case has gone on too long.

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4. Who is Eligible To Participate in The Settlement

 

I. Bona fide Descendants - Determining the Process
As mentioned earlier, many descendants know they originate from the Papaschase Band,, but the next step is to prove that. Many have found their link to an original Papaschase Band member. Myself and other members of our family have completed a family tree and have found documents to support our lineage back to Chief Papaschase himself. Each descendant would have to go through this process. There are an estimated 3000 to 10,000 descendants but there may be more.

 

II.   The Papaschase First Nation
Is made up of bona fide descendants who have completed their paperwork and have made that connection to a member of the original Papaschase Band. My family numbers over 120 persons but there are other relatives who are part of our band. That number exceeds the number of 33 that may be required to create a band. However, we have at least 1000 descendants who signed affidavits and probationary membership forms when our case was in court. Those descendants who have completed their paperwork are part of our band. The Papaschase First Nation is a sovereign nation and we determine our jurisdiction and who our members are. The only criteria for membership is that they are a bona fide descendant. This is non-negotiable.

 

III.   Other First Nations
After the Papaschase Band was broken up and members were forced to move from Papaschase I.R. 136, many of them relocated to other First Nations in the Treaty Six area. They ended up on the band lists of Enoch, Alexander, Michel and the Muskwacis bands. However, many continued onto other reserves for various reasons especially marriage or employment. As a result there are descendants on every First Nation in the Treaty Six territory in Alberta. However, we have been contacted by descendants who are in the Treaty Six territory in Saskatchewan plus in the Treaty 7 and 8 areas as well. I have been contacted by descendants from Treaty Six First Nations in Alberta who want to leave these bands and join the Papaschase First Nation. That is one reason for this proposal. It is in response to the Treaty Six Chief's request in April 2012 after I made a presentation and indicating that there were descendants who wanted to leave but they need a place to move to. Hence the need for a plan to accommodate the transfer of these descendants to the Papaschase First Nation. There would be a need for capacity building to assist the Papaschase Chief and Council and administration to process these transfers. A building with administration staff would be necessary. Funding is needed for the Chief and Council to provide direction and manage portfolios and pay for staff salaries, office space, computers, desks, office supplies and miscellaneous items. A van would be needed so insurance and gas expenses would need to be covered as well. A yearly budget for 5 years would be necessary or until we are able to be self-sufficient or are properly compensated as Papaschase Descendants

 

5. Papaschase Descendants on Metis Settlements, Bill C-31, Bill C-3
There are a number of descendants who would be eligible to participate in a claims settelement and be able to join the band.  They would be the descendants of those who accepted scrip and were discharged from the original band or whose ancestor took scrip in 1899 and were discharged from Treaty. The ex-Treaty Metis as they are known as, wandered the Alberta forests and became the road allowance people. Some intermarried into reserves but most are classified as Metis. They are bona fide descendants and should be included as members and as eligible in any settlement of Papaschase IR 136.

The same goes for those who are considered Bill C-31. They are the children of women who lost their status for marrying a non-status man. They still carry the same blood as men who married non-status women yet they remained status Indians and their wives acquired status through this union. Those who are descendants would be included in our band, men and women, who can prove they are a descendant from the original Papaschase Band.

The same goes for their children, those who are classified as Bill C-3. They are descendants as well. As long as they can prove they are bona fide descendants they can be included in a settlement and included as a member of the Papaschase First Nation.

Many descendants have moved to the City of Edmonton and are classified as Urban Aboriginals. They would be included if they chose to transfer but would be included in any compensation package to the Papaschase descendants. Also any eligible descendant would be eligible for programs and services created for the descendants.

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6. The Papaschase First Nation's Position

I. Legal Position and Status
The Papaschase First Nation, Chief and Council and members affirm and recognize our inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty Rights and those of other First Nations. As stated earlier the descendants today are descended from Cree ancestors who have been on this continent and on our lands since time immemorial. We maintain our sovereignty. We’ve determined our tribes and clans and our place in history. As a Sovereign People we determine who our people are, our lands, our jurisdiction and territory. Our ancestors occupied various territories but mainly they lived in what is known as the River Valley and Ross Flats below Fort Edmonton. The Papaschase Indian Reserve was surveyed and is located on the south side of Edmonton. Also our ancestors hunted and gathered as the Beaver Hills Cree in the territory east of Edmonton all the way to Beaver Hills Lake on the other side of Elk Island Provincial Park. Historically these are our territories and therefore our jurisdictions. Also, we assert jurisdiction over burial grounds where we have ancestors buried such as the Fort Edmonton Historic Burial ground which is located north of the Walterdale Bridge. Any burial site on the south side of Edmonton and the Kiskayo Cemetery by Elinor Lake where Chief Papaschase is buried.

As stated earlier, our legal position is The Papaschase Band is sovereign and signed a Treaty with representatives of Canada. Canada reneged on the terms of this treaty by breaking up the band and essentially stealing their land. A fiduciary obligation is owed to the descendants. We are owed land and compensation. Based on a international law a contract has been breached. That is our legal position. We have a legal case and it can be processed through the Indian Claims Tribunal within 3 – 5 years. A settlement would help build the Papaschase community from the ground up. Businesses, housing, programs and services can be developed to build our Nation.
We reject Canada’s Supreme Court decision as fraudulent, shortsighted and unlawful.

 

II. Political Will and Co-operation
In recent years there has been the political will to acknowledge past historical wrongs against the First Nations peoples by the Canadian government. Most notably the residential school abuse and scandal has be apologized for and compensation provided. However, there are still a lot of outstanding grievances that have not been addressed including land cases. These are not claims since these cases are based on fact. In recent years the City of Edmonton has demonstrated the political will to acknowledge past wrongs and contributions of urban aboriginals in Edmonton as stated in its Declaration: Strengthening Relationships between the City of Edmonton and Urban Aboriginal People. However, the political will to settle the Papaschase case has to extend to the Province of Alberta and the Federal Government. All three levels of government have to acknowledge the moral and legal wrongs committed against the Papaschase people. It would be in the best interests of all levels of government to co-operate to settle this case. The Papaschase First Nation has been peaceful in its dealings with the governments on different matters especially when it comes to burial grounds. We are thankful for the co-operation of the City of Edmonton and the Province of Alberta when it comes to the protection of our burial sites. We expect the same co-operation in return in settling our case.

 

III. Legitimate Descendants’ Legal Status
Any legitimate descendant can join our nation. We are Treaty people. The descendants would be eligible for compensation, membership and any program developed on their behalf.

IV. Recognition of Papaschase First Nation Sovereignty
All levels of government and First Nations should recognize our sovereignty. Letters of support and resolutions are requested to state official recognition of our band.

 

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7.  Other First Nations and Their Roles

I. Legal Positions
The Papaschase First Nation acknowledges and affirms the entities of First Nation’s in Canada. Our Nation recognizes and affirm the Federal Government has a fiduciary obligantion to First Nations and these First Nations Treaty and Aboriginal Rights are entrenched in the Canadian Consititution of 1982. Further we recognize that most First Nation’s have a Treaty relationship with Canada and these Nations adhere to the Indian Act. Section 16 of this Act states that when members leave one band to join another then the former band would give land and resources to the new band. These lands and resources would give us a land base and resources used to develop an administration building to process transfers, run programs and services for descendants who join us. We propose that other First Nations from the Treaty Six territory set up their own urban offices with us in one building to stream line programs and services. The land and building would have to be set up on the southside. This would create an efficient service for urban aboriginal people in Edmonton. This plan is open to other First Nations from other Treaty areas who have descendants on their membership lists and to provide support for those First Nations members who have moved to the City of Edmonton.

 

II. New Band/Band Ammalgamation (NBBA) Policy
I acknowledge Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) is the department that is to serve First Nations. Under the New Band/Band Ammalgamation Policy (NBBA), the Papaschase Descendants fit under two criteria. Those who are members of First Nations who want to leave and those who are Status Iindians who don’t have a parent band. This policy states that First Nations who have members who want to separate or create another band would need the co-operation of the Chief’s and Councils. This is a process that needs to be addressed. When a new band is created or recognized, INAC has stated that there is no new funding for these new bands unless a settlement is reached for the unlawful surrender of Papaschase I.R. 136. Creative funding solutions are then necessary to help build our Nation. Which leads to the next point. How to build an economy and develop programs and services for the Papaschase First Nation and descendants.

 

III. Joint Ventures to build a better future
Each First Nation has a budget for Economic Development. Im asking each First Nation that releases Papaschase Descendants to utilize part of this funding to create companies with our Nation. Section 87 of the Indian Act states that “When an Indian has an interest in property on reserve land or surrendered land, that land is tax exempt. If we set up businesses then our Nation would develop shares in these companies. Any Nation that allows descendants to join us would have shares. Based on the profits from these businesses/companies, each Nation would get dividends annually or semi-annually. Our Nation would have majority of these shares. This is non-negotiable. Our Nation is prepared to create holding companies to manage and protect our interests. It would be imperative that these companies are managed properly for this plan to work. It can be a win/win situation. I’ve met with Mayor Don Iveson in March and I’ve stated that should this plan take place we would pay the municipal tax to help cover costs for services the City of Edmonton provides. These ventures would help build our economy for housing and programs and services. These companies would employ our own members as well as those who would have sound management experience.
Additional investment would be required to finance these companies.

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8.  Membership – Who Is Eligible

 

I.   Probationary Members
As stated earlier, the Papaschase First Nation has approximately 1000 probationary members. Probationary in that these people have to prove their connection to the band plus sign statements of intention if they want to leave their parent band and want to join us.

 

II.  Transfer Process - Releasing The Descendants
Each First Nation would have to release these descendants. However, it would make sense to get land and resources to set up an administration plus land and services to create something stable for these descendants to move to.

 

III. Papaschase Band Sovereignty Over Band Membership
The Papaschase First Nation reserves the right as a sovereign to determine who our members are. As stated earlier the only criteria is that they be a bonafide descendant. We would develop our own membership code. We developed one years ago but that was shelved and scrapped. Individual descendants would have to apply on their own behalf unless they have minors under their care. In which case they would apply on their behalf as well.

 

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9.  Lands and Available Lands

 

I.  Southside Edmonton including cemeteries
All cemeteries and burial sites with Papaschase ancestors are under our jurisdiction. Families with blood ties to these ancestors have the strongest tie and have final say over these sacred places. There is a cemetery on the southside by Blackmud Creek close to 111 street.that is called Kaskitayo Aski which h we have yet to locate. Late Francis Saulteaux of Pigeon Lake was a member of our council and he was interviewed for a report. He used to visit with his family but lost track as the southside was developed. Our band would like  to acquire funding to conduct a traditional land use study and interview elders to get a complete Papaschase history and hopefully locate this burial site.
 
We consider Papaschase I.R. 136 as our territory and still unceded land. It was surrendered unlawfully. Section 39 of the Indian Act states that a surrender is valid if a majority of voting members agree to the surrender. Voting members were men over the age of 21 in the 1880s. There was 8 men at Enoch who could have voted. Only 3 men attended a meeting to vote. They all agreed to the surrender but the Act goes on to say that if the first group agreed as a majority then a second meeting is to be called to get a majority from that group. This never happened. Plus other men from Alexander and Maskwaciys (formerly Hobbema) should have been able to vote but they were never included. Therefore, a majority never agreed to a surrender and this surrender is of no force and effect. The City of Edmonton is built on stolen land.
 
There should be a reserve and a community on the southside of Edmonton. Today descendants should be benifitting socially, culturally and economically by virtue of living on these lands. We would like to get land for residential, commercial and industrial purposes. We would need land and housing for those who choose to reside, work and go to school in Edmonton.

 

II. Rossdale Flats and Historic Cemetery
Before signing Treaty Six on August 21, 1877 at Fort Edmonton, Chief Papaschase and his band occupied the Ross Flats now known as the Rossdale community. They lived, hunted and worked in the area. They hosted other bands as the host band. This included bands who came to trade at Fort Edmonton or who came to hold ceremonies and/or cultural dances (Edmonton Bulletin). These lands are also our traditional lands. We would like land back to set up our own businesses, archives etc and to help protect the Fort Edmonton Traditional Burial site that is located adjacent to Epcor and the new Walterdale bridge. As you may know we have a great relationship with the City of Edmonton and are involved in the consultation process regarding the new bridge construction close the burial site. This is precedent setting. We want to continue this spirit of cooperation  with the City of Edmonton and those First Nations and/or organizations we work with such as Sun and Moon Galleries and the City’s Aboriginal Relations Office.

 

III. Burial Ground by Elinor Lake, Elk Island Park and Surrounding Crown Lands
The Papaschase Band’s traditional hunting territory was the Beaver Hills. This territory was from Edmonton to Beaver Hills lake located east of Elk Island Park and from Fort Saskatchewan to Hay Lakes to the south. We would like to get land at Elk Island park for residential, farming/ranching and businesses purposes. This is to accommodate descendants who want to live outside the City of Edmonton. Chief Papaschase is buried at Elinor Lake with other ancestors and members of his family. Our band and descendants who live in the hamlet of Elinor Lake has been actively protecting this sacred place since 2001. We have been cleaning and having pilgrimages to this site. In 2012, members of our council took members of Enoch and two staff members of Alberta Culture and Community Spirit to clean and protect this sacred place. We would like to acquire crown land in the area to build homes for our members and to maintain the burial site.

As part of the Treaty and Aboriginal Rights Research (T.A.R.R. Files) that was conducted by the Indian Association in the 1970s, descendants of Chief Papaschase were interviewed. One of his grandsons, Jerry Quinn stated: “Chief Papaschase said that in the future when his grandchildren ask for it (the land)..then you will return it to them”.

 

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10. Compensation – Settlement Package

 

I. 3rd Party Interests
Depending on the situation, we would address third party interests. In the City that would be anyone who owns lands, buildings and businesses plus the City of Edmonton. For Provincial Parks we would sit down with the Province to acquire available lands as well as land owners.

II. Cash and Land Package
Compensation is owed to the Papaschase Descendants for loss of use of the reserve, loss of economic opportunity, loss of culture, language and identity. The City of Edmonton has been collecting taxes from our lands for almost a century. Businesses and individuals have benefited by acquiring our lands. We would require compensation for these wrongs committed against our ancestors to help rebuild our nation to be a viable and self sufficient and self governed First Nation. Also lands would have to be made available in the locations that are mentioned earlier to accommodate and benefit our members and descendants.

11. Role of Canada, Province of Alberta, City of Edmonton.

I. Political Will – Do The Right Thing
All three levels of government would need to support this proposal and help build and restore the Papaschase First Nation. That would mean participating in a fair and open negotiation process. However, we have plans to take our case to the U.N. level and gather international support for our cause
II. Recognition and Accommodation
The City of Edmonton and the Province to some degree have recognized us mainly due to the burial sites issue. Companies such as Atco, Epcor and Worely Parsons recognize our First Nation and are accommodating our council by negotiating with us for monitoring. I would like to thank the City of Edmonton and the Province of Alberta for recognizing our place in history, our lands and jurisdiction. We have been accommodated by being included in consulting with the City and Province regarding burial ground issues and site monitoring.
III. Compensation and Fiduciary Obligations
The Federal government owe a fiduciary obligation to the Papaschase First Nation and the Papaschase Descendants. Canada has failed to honor and maintain the terms of Treaty Six to our Nation. They broke up the band and essentially stole the land from our ancestors. Therefore compensation is overdue to the Papaschase Descendants. Any and all trusts should revert back to us for our use and benefit.

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12. Rebuilding and Restoring the Papaschase First Nation

Many of these programs and services are self explanatory but some will require additional information. The purpose is to have a plan in place to help our Nation keep focused on rebuilding our community. There will be other programs and services that can be developed as the need arises. These programs are to give us a strong base to build our nation from.

 

  1. I. Location of Reserves – Urban and Rural Reserves
This has been addressed earlier. This is to accommodate those who choose to live in the City of Edmonton and those who want to live in a country setting.

 

  1. II. Capacity Building – Administration and Council Support
Our council would need an administration building to better serve the descendants and we would require competent staff to assist us. Field offices may be required to serve those who are out of town.

 

  1. III. Building Membership – One Descendant At a Time
We would require funding to help descendants with their geneology so we can determine their membership eligibility.

 

  1. IV. Housing/Housing Supports and Infrastructure
Our Nation wants to build or buy homes for our members in the City of Edmonton. We would need to build homes at Elk Island and Elinor Lake. We would work with Homeward Trust and other housing authorities and home builders. Building homes would create employment and reinvest in the local economies.

 

  1. V. Economic Development and Investments
To be an independent and self sufficient Nation we need to build and develop our economy. This would mean setting up on the southside and at Rossdale plus setting up businesses along Highway 16 at Elk Island Park. We would need to attract investors and work with other First Nations to create profitable businesses.

 

  1. VI. Training and Employment
Our nation would develop employment programs and liaison with companies in different sectors. Rebuilding our Nation would require employing many people to make the rebuild successful. We would fund training for our members to further their careers.

 

  1. VII. Social Programs
To Be Determined

 

  1. VIII. Education and Schools
We would fund our members to get the best training and skills then provide employment for them.

 

  1. IX. Cree Language Classes
Self Explanatory – Could be part of our school curriculum

 

  1. X.  Daycare and Child Services
To be determined as the need arises.

 

  1. XI.  Health Commission and Health Services
To be developed for our members to provide excellent health services.

 

  1. XII. Policing and Security - Papaschase Tribal Force
As a soverign Nation we reserve the right to develop our own police/security force.

 

  1. XIII. Cemeteries and Burial Grounds - Protection and Perpetual Care
Staff would be required to maintain our sacred sites plus we would continue to lobby to strengthen existing laws. Create our own NAGPRA (North American Graves Protection & Repatriation Act).

XIV.   Fire and Ambulance Services - Emergency Response

XV.    Community Centres

XVI.   Sanitation and Recycling Services

XVII.  Forestry and Environmental Services

XVIII. Roads - Construction, Maintenance and Repair

 

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