Canada supports the nation rebuilding efforts of Indigenous groups in Saskatchewan to advance self-determination and reconciliation

News release

April 12, 2021 — Regina, Saskatchewan — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

The Government of Canada is rebuilding the nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown and government-to-government relationship with Indigenous peoples through supporting their right to self-determination. A key part of this work is through the Nation Rebuilding Program.

Today, the Honourable Jim Carr, Special Representative for the Prairies announced on behalf of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett,  Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, that Canada has provided $2.4 million this fiscal year to seven Indigenous groups in Saskatchewan through the Nation Rebuilding Program. Of these seven groups, Cowesses First Nations received $136,840 in funding, for the first time this year, to conduct research and undertake community consultation in order to develop their own culturally respectful laws.

In Budget 2018, the Government invested $100 million over five years to support Indigenous groups’ efforts towards developing their own path to reconstituting their nations. The program is an important step forward in supporting Indigenous groups in rebuilding their governance structures on the path towards self-determination.

Over the past three years, since the Budget 2018 announcement, Indigenous communities and groups in Saskatchewan have received $4.3 million in funding through the Nation Rebuilding Program.

The Government of Canada will continue to work with Indigenous peoples in Saskatchewan on advancing reconciliation and working in partnership with communities on fulfilling their right to self-determination.


“Cowessess First Nation is involved in a vibrant, creative effort to reclaim and develop governance tools and develop strategies that are appropriate to our constitution, culture, and circumstances. We are asserting our right to govern and doing so in our own way. With investment from the Native Rebuilding Program, Cowessess First Nation can rebuild our governance framework and become a stronger Treaty partner. This will ensure current and future generations can focus more on growth within Saskatchewan and across Canada while remaining proud Cowessess First Nation citizens at their core.”

Cadmus Delorme
Chief Cowessess First Nation

“Strong, self-reliant Indigenous nations, who are able to govern effectively and fulfill their right to self-determination, are critical to improving well-being and economic prosperity in Indigenous communities. The Government of Canada is pleased to support Indigenous groups in Saskatchewan as they develop their own path towards revitalizing and rebuilding their nations, through the Nation Rebuilding Program.”

The Honourable Jim Carr, P.C., M.P.
Special Representative for the Prairies

Quick facts

  • The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1996) recommended that Indigenous groups should begin to reconstitute themselves as nation.

  • Supporting Indigenous groups rebuilding their nations is also an objective outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

  • Under the Nation Rebuilding Program, $100 million in funding has been made available for five years, starting in 2018-19, to support Indigenous groups of the same nation in coming together to build capacity at the nation level.

  • The seven Indigenous groups in Saskatchewan who receive Nation Rebuilding funding for 2020-21 are: Anishnabek Nations Treaty Authority, Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs Inc., Cowessess First Nation, Meadow Lake Tribal Council, Prince Albert Grand Council, Red Earth Cree Nation and Treaty 10.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Ani Dergalstanian
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett,
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Cadmus Delorme
Cowessess First Nation

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