News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

December 14, 2016

MANITOBA GOVERNMENT TRANSFERS HOMES, LAND TO OPASKWAYAK CREE NATION



The Manitoba government has transferred ownership of land in the Big Eddy settlement to the Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN), including several homes previously owned and managed by Manitoba Housing, Families Minister Scott Fielding and OCN Chief Christian Sinclair announced today.

“This transfer recognizes the importance of community-led decision-making for essential services like housing and land development,” said Fielding.  “The Manitoba government has worked closely with the OCN chief and council to ensure this transition will be seamless for tenants.  This reflects our ongoing commitment to building local capacity, while also respecting our government’s obligations to Indigenous communities.”

Eleven houses, three duplexes and 14 vacant lots have been sold for a nominal amount.  The Manitoba government will provide $200,000 to OCN to address needed repairs at some of the properties.  OCN will also be making additional investments to upgrade the properties.

“The Opaskwayak Cree Nation recognizes and celebrates this important step for our people,” said Sinclair.  “Ownership of land and housing in the Big Eddy settlement will enable the Cree nation to manage and upgrade the existing housing for the benefit of the OCN members who reside there.  We will continue to work toward the eventual designation of the land as reserve in fulfilment of our treaty entitlement agreement.”

An agreement finalizing this transfer came into effect on Oct. 31.  Current tenants are able to remain in their homes with OCN as their landlord.  OCN also expects to meet with tenants in early 2017 to discuss the transition process and future plans, the minister noted.

In 1999, the land in the Big Eddy settlement was identified by OCN as part of a treaty entitlement agreement.

For more information about OCN, visit www.opaskwayakcreenation.ca.  For more information about housing programs and services in Manitoba, visit www.gov.mb.ca/housing.

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The Province of Manitoba is distributing this news release on behalf of the government of Manitoba and the Opaskwayak Cree Nation.