George Gordon First Nation Treaty Land Entitlement Settlement Agreement was ratified on February 15, 2008 and became effective on August 11, 2008.

Canada and Saskatchewan agreed to pay George Gordon First Nation – Canada – $20.662 million – Saskatchewan $6 million over 6 years as compensation for 8,960 shortfall acres which is included in the 115,712 Saskatchewan Formula Quantum acres.

The Settlement specifies a corporate Trustee and eligible uses of Settlement money.  The audit lists the money as “externally restricted capital”; meaning that there are limits on the use of the money.  The corporate trustee is Royal Trust; all TLE accounts are at Royal Bank of Canada.

Vision

  • The opportunities presented through TLE acquisition enables George Gordon First Nation to generate a source of wealth for future generations.

What is Treaty Land Entitlement (TLE)?

  • Under the terms of Treaty 4 (1874) the Crown was obligated to complete a Census of Cree, Saulteaux, and other Indians.
  • Reserve land was to be set aside at the rate of one square mile per family of five (5). This equates to 128 acres per person.
  • Some people were absent when the census was done. This resulted in George Gordon First Nation not having the proper amount of Reserve land set aside.  (Shortfall)
  • When TLE Settlement Agreements are reached, a formula calculates a pro-rated adjustment based upon current population. (Equity Acres)

Shortfall

As of March 28, 2018, George Gordon First Nation has achieved Shortfall by turning 10,128.86 acres to reserve status.  

George Gordon First Nation has achieved Shortfall which will provide new advantages.

  • Upper limit on the purchase price per acre will be removed.
  • TLE Principal Trust can be used to leverage additional finances.
  • Mineral rights will not be required for reserve creation but will be a critical purchase decision.
  • access to $4 million for Band Development is available.

GGFN TLE Mandate is to:

To acquire lands surrounding the George Gordon First Nation and other areas.

To acquire lands with long term economic development potential including agricultural     lands, lands in & around urban centers, and land with mineral development potential. TLE Coordinator primarily responsible to work in partnership with Chief & Council and TLE Board.

Use of TLE Funds

To acquire lands, costs associated with land acquisitions (board expense, associated expense, operating expenses, other expenses, reinvestment fund for land purchase), and band development.

Working together in Collaboration:

George Gordon First Nation Membership

The membership represents the ultimate beneficiary of the Treaty Land Entitlement Settlement.  The membership of George Gordon First Nation includes both on and off reserve members.  Outside of band elections and employees of band administration, members currently do not have a formal role in land acquisition and development.

Chief & Council (Band Council)  

The Band Council is the duly elected Chief and Council of GGFN.  The Band Council is the single shareholder in George Gordon TLE Holdings Inc.  Through its Band Council membership on George Gordon TLE Holdings Inc. it provides oversight to the corporation and approves land acquisition.  Chief and Council have final approval on land acquisition opportunities.

TLE Board

The George Gordon First Nation Treaty Land Entitlement Board (TLE Board) is responsible for guiding TLE land acquisitions and ensuring proper process and due diligence are made related to acquisitions and land use.  It makes recommendations to the Chief and Council of the George Gordon First Nation regarding specific land acquisition opportunities and band Development.

TLE Coordinator

The TLE Coordinator is responsible for overseeing the TLE land acquisition and management activities on behalf of GGFN. TLE Coordinator works with the Board and Chief & Council throughout the evaluation phase and conducts the due diligence on land acquisition.

George Gordon TLE Holdings Inc.

George Gordon TLE Holdings Inc. is the holding corporation acting as a trustee on behalf of George Gordon First Nation to receive, hold, manage, and transfer title to lands acquired by GGFN. The holding corporation is responsible for acquiring and accepting title to Entitlement Land purchased by GGFN, entering into agreements regarding Entitlement Land, repair, maintenance, and management of Entitlement Land. Furthermore, the holdings corporation is responsible for the fiscal management, including revenues and expenses, related to Entitlement Lands. The Band Council is Board of Directors.

George Gordon Developments Ltd.

George Gordon Development Ltd. is the economic development corporation set up by GGFN. The economic development corporation will be the lead on business development for GGFN and is focused on building partnerships and identifying business opportunities for GGFN. It is critical that George Gordon Development Ltd. is involved in the land acquisition and development process because they will play a lead role in project development once lands are acquired.

Land Acquisition Procedures

On July 30, 2013, GGFN adopted the George Gordon First Nation TLE Land Acquisition and Management Policy. This policy outlines, among others, the goals of the land acquisition program, the role of the TLE Coordinator and the procedures for land acquisitions.

The general procedural steps are outlined in the graphic.

Project File Initiated

Stakeholders: TLE Coordinator

Summary: All inquiries received by stakeholders are forwarded to the TLE Coordinator who creates the project file.  The file will include all general information about the site. The TLE Coordinator will provide a description of Land and Minerals and current mineral titles for the subject property.

On-Site Inspection

Stakeholders: TLE Coordinator

Summary: TLE Coordinator visits the project site, documents the general condition of the land, and takes photographs.

Internal Review of Potential Acquisitions

Stakeholders: TLE Coordinator, Band Council, TLE Board

Summary: The TLE Coordinator will review one or more project files with the Band Council and TLE Board for analysis and recommendations.  In order to move forward to formal negotiations with prospective vendors, the TLE Coordinator requires:

  • A motion from the TLE Board recommending the formal commencement of negotiations.
  • A motion from the Band Council indicating the same.

The group will also decide on the need to consult with legal counsel on land acquisitions.

Land Appraisal

Stakeholders: TLE Coordinator, Band Council, TLE Board

Summary: There may be an option to require a land appraisal, which is to be carried out with an accredited land appraiser with the results being shared with the Band Council and the TLE Board.

Negotiations

Stakeholders: TLE Coordinator

Summary: Negotiations and discussions are undertaken with the prospective vendor and the TLE Coordinator is responsible for recording all information and maintaining it in the project file.

Purchase and Sale Agreement Approval

Stakeholders: TLE Coordinator, TLE Board, Band Council

Summary: There is a multi-step sequence for the development and approval of the Purchase and Sale Agreement which includes:

  1. TLE Coordinator drafts the Purchase and Sale Agreement including all terms of the acquisition.
  2. TLE Coordinator presents the draft Purchase and Sale Agreement to the TLE Board for review. If the TLE Board is prepared to recommend approval, it does so through a motion.
  3. Following a recommendation from the TLE Board, the TLE Coordinator will bring the draft Purchase and Sale Agreement to the next available Band Council meeting. The TLE Coordinator will also be responsible for preparing any initiating, purchase, or other Band Council Resolutions (BCRs) required for consideration and approval of the acquisition.
  4. If approved by the Band Council, the Band Council executes the initiating and purchase BCRs which will immediately be forwarded to AANDC for processing. The BCRs will also be forwarded to the Trustee and the Purchase and Sale Agreement shall be forwarded to the prospective vendor for execution.  All documents will be maintained in the project file and copies will be sent to George Gordon legal counsel.
  5. The TLE Coordinator will work with George Gordon legal counsel to finalize and process all transactions.

Transfer of Funds

Stakeholders: TLE Coordinator

Summary: Prior to closing the transaction, the TLE Coordinator will arrange for placement into the trust account of George Gordon’s legal counsel funds sufficient to complete the transaction including all closing costs.  There are two separate processes depending on where the money is coming from:

  1. If proceeds are coming from the TLE Revenue Account, the TLE Coordinator shall arrange for a cheque drawn on the TLE Revenue Account deposited with George Gordon legal counsel.
  2. If proceeds are to come from Principal Trust Account, the TLE Coordinator will arrange for execution of a Band Council BCR authorizing proceeds can be transferred to George Gordon legal counsel.

Transaction Close

Stakeholders: Legal Counsel

Summary: Upon closing of the transaction, title to the acquired land will be transferred into the name of the holding company and managed by the holding corporation and managed by the holding corporation pending its placement into reserve status.

TLE Holdings

Stakeholders: TLE Holdings Manager, Band Council

Summary: George Gordon TLE Holdings Inc. is the holding corporation acting as a trustee on behalf of George Gordon First Nation to receive, hold, manage, and transfer title to lands acquired by GGFN. The holding corporation is responsible for acquiring and accepting title to Entitlement Land purchased by GGFN, entering into agreements regarding Entitlement Land, repair, maintenance, and management of Entitlement Land. Furthermore, the holdings corporation is responsible for the fiscal management, including revenues and expenses, related to Entitlement Lands. The Band Council is Board of Directors.

Reserve Creation Process/Reserve Status

Stakeholders: TLE Coordinator, TLE Holdings Manager, Band Council, Legal Counsel, Federal & Provincial

Summary: “After the land is purchased and held by the First Nation and all occupant and third-party interests have been met, the land selection is eligible for transfer to reserve status. The land selection then goes to the Additions to Reserve Committee at Canada for conditional approval. After approval, the land selection is again forwarded to the provincial government for the remaining provincial actions which may include the preparation of Orders-in-Council to transfer Crown minerals to reserve status, Orders-in-Council to transfer wholly enclosed waterbodies to reserve status and Replacement Public Utility

Agreements.” https://publications.saskatchewan.ca/api/v1/products/84796/formats/98192/download

Click to Enlarge

Strategic Planning

  1. Shortfall acres has been reached and has opened a wide range of opportunities for land acquisitions.
  2. Continue to make use of provincial and federal crown land sales.
  3. Hold lands in fee simple for a longer period to increase value from development, economic activity, maintain the liquidity of the land, and collateralize the land.
  4. Review the band development priorities social or business development.
  5. Collaborate with the business development arm George Gordon Developments Limited.
  6. Engage Membership – inclusive and receive direction from membership.
  7. Urban Land selection and development – wealth creation and respond to social needs.
  8. Resource exploration and extraction – Mineral, oil, and gas development.
  9. Impact Benefit from Resource extraction – Purchase land in key areas to participate in mine and mineral activity.
  10. Water – create a sustainable water development strategy, potential for an agreement with Sask Water Agency.
  11. Develop Agriculture Strategy
    • Land Management – currently we have “passive” management of our lands leasing it out to local farmers and ranchers. Active would require promotion of agriculture as a career or lifestyle for our young and interested members.
    • Make better use of our existing reserve land.
    • Take inventory of type and quality of our land and assets, identify members who are ranchers and farmers.
    • Invest in member businesses through grants and supports.
  12. Develop legislation for the management of land.
  13. Wealth Creation and Distribution – Capital account

For more information, please contact:

Charlene Longman
Treaty Land Entitlement Coordinator
George Gordon First Nation

PH: 306.835.2575
FAX: 306.835.2592
CELL: 639-909-7550
EMAIL: tle@ggfn.ca

Lucille McNab
Treaty Land Entitlement Clerk
George Gordon First Nation

PH: 306.835.2575
FAX: 306.835.2592
CELL: 639-909-7551
EMAIL: tleclerk@ggfn.ca