English River First Nation and the Government of Canada sign agreement on Canada’s failure to uphold the cows and ploughs promise in Treaty 10

News release

March 14, 2024 – English River First Nation, Patuanak, Treaty 10 Territory, Saskatchewan – Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada.

The Government of Canada is working to renew the relationships between the Crown and Indigenous Peoples in Canada based on the affirmation of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership.

Chief Alfred Dawatzare, Vice Chief Bruce McIntyre, Councillor Jenny Wolverine, Councillor Randy McIntyre, Councillor Joey Paul, Councillor Maurice Gunn and Councillor Lewis Black (“English River Chief and Council”), and the Honourable Gary Anandasangaree, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations have finalized a settlement of English River First Nation’s Agricultural Benefits Specific Claim.

The members of English River First Nation voted to accept the settlement agreement on October 13, 2023. 

Canada will provide English River First Nation compensation in the amount of $90,860,500 for failing to uphold its promise to provide assistance for agriculture or stock raising or other work, as well as Canada’s failure to provide flags, medals, suits of clothing, and ammunition and twine.

This settlement agreement is an important step to improve the economic and labour resources for English River’s present and future generations. The significant socio-economic gaps between First Nations and non-First Nations People in Canada are the direct result of inequitable and counter-productive colonial policies and Canada’s failure to honour and implement treaty promises, which often led to the marginalization of First Nations from the economy.

As we embark on a new era guided by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, honouring and implementing treaty obligations and properly compensating Indigenous Peoples for what was unjustly withheld is fundamental to advancing reconciliation in Canada and rebuilding trust with Indigenous communities. 


"English River First Nation has waited over a century for Canada to live up to its promises in Treaty 10. This settlement, approved by the members, is one small step in ensuring that Canada lives up to its promises. ERFN will now have the funds to use for the benefit of the Nation as a whole. This settlement is an important step forward, but a small step forward. ERFN will continue to ensure that Canada lives up to its end of Treaty 10.”

Alfred Dawatzare
Chief, English River First Nation

“ERFN signed Treaty Ten in 1906 on the shores of Ile a la Crosse to acquire the necessities for survival of our people. This settlement is a long time coming.  This settlement is a good start for the future generations.”

Randy McIntyre
Councillor, English River First Nation

“With the successful resolution of this settlement agreement, we take a step to renew Canada’s relationship with the English River First Nation. Canada failed to uphold the cows and ploughs promise in Treaty 10 and acted without considering the economic and historical implications. We will continue to rebuild trust in our relationship with the English River First Nation in order to address past wrongs.”

The Honourable Gary Anandasangaree
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations


Quick facts

  • English River First Nation is located in northern Saskatchewan, with two home reserves in Patuanak and La Plonge, which are about 5.5 hours north of Saskatoon. 

  • English River First Nation originally filed their claim in March of 2018. It was accepted for negotiation in August of 2021, and negotiations began in the summer of 2022.

  • The settlement agreement was ratified by the membership of English River First Nation on October 13, 2022. Following successful ratification of the settlement agreement, English River Chief and Council executed the settlement agreement on October 23, 2023, and Minster Anandasangaree executed the settlement agreement on behalf of Canada on February 2, 2024.

  • From January 1, 2016, to January 31, 2024, 283 claims have been resolved for close to $10 billion in compensation. Since the Specific Claims Program began in 1973 to January 31, 2024, 688 claims totalling $13.9 billion in compensation have been settled through negotiations.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Councillor Jenny Wolverine
English River First Nation
(306) 396-2066

Matthieu Perrotin
Press Secretary 
Office of the Honourable Gary Anandasangaree
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

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