Katl’odeeche FN calls out NWT Metis Nation

Dene Leaders at the Katlodeeche First Nation March 1-2, 2017 (Photo Submitted by Bill Erasmus)

A spat is brewing between the Northwest Territories Metis Nation and the Katlo’deeche First Nation in Hay River.

According to the First Nation there is now a sign at the junction of Highways 2 and 5, welcoming visitors to the Metis Nation’s traditional territory.

In a news release issued Tuesday, the KFN states that the territory,  including the Hay River Corridor as well as Buffalo Lake and the Buffalo River are in fact the traditional territory of the Katl’odeeche First Nation and its members.

It says its members and their ancestors have inhabited those areas “since time immemorial.”

The news release goes on to state that when the KFN signed Treaty 8 in 1900 with respect to these areas, the ancestors of the Metis Nation were living in and occupying the Akaitcho Territory, not the KFN Traditional Territory which lies in the eastern portion of the Dehcho Region.

The KFN states that Metis descendants of the Akaitcho Dene are recent arrivals to these areas, following the establishment of the Town of Hay River.

It adds that it does not appreciate organizations attempting to claim KFN traditional lands and with that in mind, the KFN does not accept or condone the posting of a NWTMN Traditional Territory sign within the KFN Traditional Territory.

CKLB News reached out to NWTMN President Garry Bailey for reaction Wednesday morning. In a phone call Bailey said that he has not seen the complaint as he is one the road. He added that he could not comment on it at this time.

It is not yet clear whether the KFN is calling for the removal of the sign. KFN Chief Roy Fabian was not available for comment.

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