Letter to Chief Shawn Atleo, Assembly of First Nations

Submitted by john.dorion on Thu, 02/23/2012 - 17:50

Kaministikominahiko-skak Cree People
Sub Office – 304D, 1401- 28th St. E., Prince Albert, Saskatchewan Canada S6V 6Z8

January 23rd, 2012

Chief Shaun Atleo, Assembly of First Nations
Trebla Building - 473 Albert Street (Suite 900)
Ottawa, ONT K1R 5B4
(Tel) 613-241-6789
(Fax) 613-241-5808

Re: Assembly of First Nations gathering to address:
• the Specific Claims Action Plan - “Justice at Last”;
• the engagement of the Assembly of First Nations with Canada to review and reform Canada’s ATR process; and
• the seven case studies to contribute to a full review of all policy

Dear Chief Atleo,

The following is a request on behalf of the Kaministikominahiko-skak Cree People that the John Cochrane Band be included in the Case Study of the ATR Project.

This letter is to inform you that 137 years ago our Chief John Cochrane concluded Treaty No.5 with the Crown on behalf of several Bands in the Cumberland House territories of northeastern Saskatchewan.

In 1875, Treaty 5 was signed by Chief John Cochrane through an amalgamation process. Through this process, the government of the day lumped together several separate, smaller, isolated bands into large, big, “super bands”. This was a process unilaterally set up by Indian Affairs without consultation with the people to speed up the Treaty signing process (to make it easier for the government).

When our Chief signed the Treaty 5 agreement it was understood that the larger “super band” named Cumberland House Band the government had created would be temporary. The Chiefs who signed this agreement in good faith understood that government would later de-amalgamate the super band of Cumberland House and re-instate and recognize each individual band as separate and distinct First Nations.

Over time the government did re-instate many bands across western Canada such as Shoal Lake Cree Nation and the Red Earth Cree Nation. An order-in-council was used to restore the Bands to their original condition, with each being recognized as individual bands consisting of its own status, land and membership.

For several Indian bands however, the process was abandoned in mid-stream. Such was the case for the Cumberland House super band. The government has never re-instated John Cochrane First Nation and 3 other separate bands in the Cumberland House territories.

One hundred and thirty seven years have passed since our ancestors made treaty with the government. We, the Kaministikominahiko-skak Cree People, are still waiting for the order-in-council to recognize our Bands status, traditional territories, reserve lands and membership.

For detailed background information please see the attached documents:

• Background and Options for Reinstating the John Cochrane Band - Oct 24, 2011
• Briefing Notes for AFN Regarding Reinstatement of the John Cochrane Band, Jan23, 2012
• Full accounts of our 137 year battle with the federal government and more information on the John Cochrane First Nation can be found on our web page: johncochrane.ca

At this time I respectfully request that your officials follow up with Sol Sanderson on the above at: 306-960-3023 (cell) or 306-922-3242 (Fax/Tel).

On behalf of the Kaministikominahiko-skak Cree People I thank you for the anticipated cooperation to facilitate our request.


Chief John Dorion
John Cochrane First Nation
Kaministikominahiko-skak Cree People

C.C. Sol Sanderson