The Government of Canada Formally Apologizes to Peepeekisis Cree Nation for File Hills Colony Scheme

News release

August 3, 2022 — Peepeekisis Cree Nation, Saskatchewan — Crown–Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

The File Hills Colony Scheme, which was in place from 1898 to 1954, involved the involuntary relocation of graduates from residential schools and industrial schools in Saskatchewan and Manitoba to the Peepeekisis Cree Nation’s reserve. The federal  Agent arbitrarily allocated agricultural land on reserve without the Nation’s consent and without compensation.

Just under a year ago, Peepeekisis Cree Nation and the Government of Canada concluded the settlement agreement regarding the File Hills Colony specific claim.

Today, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, formally apologized on behalf of the Government of Canada to Chief Francis Dieter and the members of the Peepeekisis Cree Nation for the File Hills Colony Scheme.

The Government of Canada will continue to work alongside Peepeekisis Cree Nation to build the relationship between our two nations for the benefit of all Canadians.

Quotes

“Our Nation and its Peoples have experienced harm, trauma and disruption in their ways of life through the forced imposition and transfer of graduates to Peepeekisis from other Nations. It not only displaced the Peoples of Peepeekisis from their lands but it also displaced the graduates from their homes and families in their own Nations. The File Hills Colony Scheme left a legacy of division, however through the recent settlement and the acknowledgement of its wrongdoing, Canada’s apology to our Nation and our People, can allow us to move forward on our path to healing our Nation and becoming one People of Peepeekisis.”

Chief Francis Dieter
Peepeekisis Cree Nation

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I am truly sorry for the harm, trauma, and significant loss in agricultural land the community of Peepeekisis Cree Nation has experienced due to Canada’s role in the File Hills Colony Scheme. Acknowledging our past wrongs and addressing them is critical to building trust, and renewing and improving our relationship with Indigenous Peoples.”

The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations

Quick facts

  • Peepeekisis Nation is located in the Qu’Appelle Valley in southern Saskatchewan.

  • On August 10, 2021, Peepeekisis Cree Nation and the Government of Canada announced the conclusion of the File Hills Colony Specific Claim, with compensation in the amount of $150,000,000, and additions to reserve for Peepeekisis to purchase.

  • Canada has a longstanding policy and process in place to resolve specific claims by negotiating settlements with First Nations. Since January 1, 2016, it has settled 210 specific claims with First Nations, totalling $6.4 billion in compensation.

  • In the fiscal year 2020-2021, 56 claims were filed with Canada and 36 claims were resolved.

  • Working in partnership with First Nations, Canada has resolved 625 specific claims since 1973.

Associated links

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Renelle Arsenault
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations
renelle.arsenault@rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca

CIRNAC Media Relations:
Email: RCAANC.Media.CIRNAC@sac-isc.gc.ca
Phone: 819-934-2302

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