Obishikokaang Community Trust Consultation Project
A Message from Chief Bull
Dear Lac Seul First Nation Members,
When I was much younger, I heard the stories of my Elders telling us about the devastation that was visited on Lac Seul First Nation when it was flooded in the 1930’s. Houses were flooded so that families suddenly had no place to live. Wild rice, fish and animals that live on the shorelines disappeared causing many of our band members to go hungry. Many of our members dispersed to other parts of Ontario and across country. Some have never returned, and many of our children and grandchildren have never been to Lac Seul. This is the legacy of the flooding of our homeland.
Those who suffered through the flooding are now gone. The Chief and Council want to honour those ancestors by ensuring that if we ever do receive compensation for the flooding that happened many years ago, it is used appropriately. We hope to receive funds for that devastation that our forefathers suffered through. If it does happen, we want to honour their memory by doing the right thing with those funds. Passed down to us by those who went before us.
I have asked former chiefs Percy Ningewance and Roger Bull to meet with you and gather your opinions about what are the top priorities for our First Nation, and to report back to Chief and Council. Based on those recommendations we went to establish the Obishikikaang Community Trust. We welcome all ideas, recommendations, and comments from our members about this project and how the leadership should work to meet those priorities and for the future of our community.
In Unity and Success
Chief Clifford Bull
For many years, Lac Seul First Nation has sought justice for illegal flooding of our reserve and traditional lands. The flooding was caused by construction of the Ears Fall dam in 1929. The flooding devastated the lives of our people who enjoyed the rich and plentiful lands that our forefathers selected at the time of the treaty. We hope that we will soon get the justice that we have been seeking for so long.
The Chief and Council want to ensure that if any funds are received as compensation for the flooding of Lac Seul, they are used according to the wishes of the members of Lac Seul First Nation, and in that honours the memory of those who suffered through the flooding. The plan is to have a community trust set up based on community priorities that will direct how the First Nation can use any money received as compensation for the flooding.
The Chief and Council want to know what members believe are priorities for our community, and for our children and grandchildren. For this reason, we will be meeting with you and recommendations by mail, by email, and online to get as many opinions as possible, and to get input from as many band members as possible.
We want to hear from you because your opinion matters! Please contact us or send us your ideas, comments, and suggestions. This is your opportunity to participate in the planning for the future of your First Nation.
Percy Ningewance, Roger Bull
The purpose of this project is to collect recommendations from the members of Lac Seul First Nation about how any funds received as compensation for the flooding of Lac Seul should be used for the future. The Chief and Council will set up a trust with trustees who will direct the use of any compensation received according to the priorities that are chosen to direct the trust. Some of the priorities for the trust could include:
- Promoting the health of Lac Seul Members
- Repatriating members who wish to return to Lac Seul
- Preserving or promoting the First Nation language and cultural heritage
- Infrastructure – Elders’ residences, roads, bridges, recreational facilities
- Scholarships and bursary funds for Lac Seul
- Job training opportunities
- Small business start-up loans to Lac Seul Members
- Acquiring land to be added to reserve or development
- Pay out to members
- Developing band-owned business opportunities
Timeline & Consultation Process
What’s happening in September 2015?
Consultations with members will take place by:
- Informal one-on-one discussions
- Planned roundtable discussions
- Planned community meetings
- Mail Outs/questionnaires
- Online posting and forums, or Facebook
What’s happening in October 2015?
We will collect opinions, answers & comments, prepare a report of what we head from members and make a presentation to Chief and Council that explains what members told us.
How can you get involved and have a say?
- Complete a questionnaire on paper or online
- Look for upcoming meetings and discussions and attend
- Contact us by email, phone or through Facebook (see Below)
- Drop in to see us at our office
- Join the discussion by posting comments and ideas online
We welcome and opinions from all Lac Seul First Nation members!
Please send your comments, opinions and ideas to:
Address: Box 38, Hudson, Ontario P0V 1X0
Phone: (807) 582-3228