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Welcome : Community Administration : The Pas Band Development Authority


151 Fischer Ave, 2nd floor The Pas
Box: 1000
Opaskwayak, MB R0B 2J0
Phone: (204) 627-7130
Fax: (204) 623-6236
Toll Free: 1-800-265-9638
Email: bda@opaskwayak.mb.ca

Mission Statement
The Pas Band Development Authority, Inc. is the legal entity of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation and oversees the operations of the Membership Department, TLE, Claims and the OCN Gaming Commission. The departmental staff oversee the development and implementation of By-Laws, seeking and referring legal opinions under the direction of the Board of Directors and Chief and Council.

The BDA Coordinator is responsible for the representation and management of these departments as well as the OCN Land Authority, to Chief and Council, Administration and outside agencies. Issues are presented to the BDA Board of Directors or OCN Land Authority for approval or recommendation to Finance and Administration/Chief and Council. The Coordinator also develops and monitors annual budgets for the different departments within BDA and the OCN Land Authority. The Executive Assistant is also responsible as By-Law Officer for Hawker/Peddlar Permits and Dog Licenses in addition to the regular duties.

There are several major projects that are being coordinated by the Departmental staff. The following is an outline and brief overview of these projects.

Dakota McGillivary Case
This is a court case on s6.2 of Indian Act (Bill C-31 provisions of the Indian Act). Savino and Co. (OCN Legal Counsel) were OCN's legal counsel for the Case which is a managed case under the Federal Court system. Since all Savino's files were taken under management by a law firm appointed by the Law Society our office and Dennis Valdron have been working with the MKO Legal Counsel to follow up on the status of this case.

The BDA Board have reviewed the options and have approved a recommendation to Council. The issue sheet is being drafted by Legal Counsel and will be presented to Chief and Council in the immediate future.

Hydro Settlement
A settlement was reached in 1991 with Manitoba Hydro for flooding in the amount of $4 million (approximately). OCN is presently pursing a court case against the Federal Government on this issue. OCN was proceeding with Vic Savino as Legal Counsel. Vince Sinclair represented OCN's as their key witness. This case is also under the management of the Federal Court process.

This case requires an ongoing major financial commitment on the part of OCN in the coming years. As Council is aware there are currently no funds allocated in the 20042005 budget for this item. The Finance Department has suggested they hold a bingo to raise funds.

The Council has contracted the firm of Duboff Edwards Haight & Schachter with Legal Counsel Harley Schachter to proceed with this case subsequent to the ruling by the Law Society on Savino's practice. Council met with Mr. Schachter in Winnipeg and he provided an update. He advised that the files he received from the custodian did not contain all the information and that some seemed to be missing. Dennis Valdron advises that we have copies of some of that information in our files and he will prepare a package for Mr. Schachter.

Mr. Schachter was scheduled to attend a Case Conference on Tuesday, April 6, 2004 to seek an extension of time to answer Undertakings. Ongoing updates will be provided for Council's information.

One of the issues in this case was whether to proceed alone or to coordinate a case with other First Nations. Communication with Grand Rapids First Nation (who were also using Savino as Legal Counsel) have occurred and Mr. Schachter was recommended but as far as we know GRFN has not yet retained a new legal counsel.

Carrot Valley Water Project
Discussions began in 1996/97 between OCN and the RM of Kelsey to provide water to residents in the Carrot Valley. A commitment was made by OCN through Band Council Resolution to contribute to the project. An understanding was reached whereby OCN would contribute $400,000 toward the capital cost of the project for 80 connections. OCN would also pay for connections to residences.

Ongoing negotiations are completed and a formal agreement and access permit are being finalized. INAC has agreed that this project will be included in the major capital infrastructure project currently in the planning stages. Installation is planned for the spring of 2004. The CWO Manager has advised that this project is at the tendering stage.

SCTC Lands & Trust Project


The Pas Band Development Authority Inc. Board along with the Chief and others who may be appointed from time to time.

Staff: The TLE Staff also take care of the Specific Claims program.

The BDA Board of Directors act as the Negotiating Committee on behalf of Chief and Council. Our Councilor has been Chief Negotiator for OCN since negotiations began in 1994. The BDA Board reviews negotiating positions with Legal Counsel (Paul Forsyth - Taylor McCaffrey) and researcher (Ralph Abramson - TARR Centre). Negotiation positions are presented to Chief and Council for approval. Any settlements are presented to Chief and Council for approval and voted on by OCN membership for acceptance.

The Agency Grounds and Birch River Surrender Claims have been in the negotiation process over the last seven (7) years. Delays were caused by Federal Negotiators (office closure & 3 negotiators). A proposal was received and a response was forwarded on the Agency Grounds. A settlement had been expected by the fall of2001, however, the latest negotiator and federal legal counsel reversed the position of the Federal Government. The OCN Legal Counsel is now in the preparing our written response.

The Birch River studies on land valuation are nearing completion. Negotiations will continue until a settlement is reached and may occur at the same time as the Agency Negotiations to save costs.

A plan is underway to develop and further pursue potential and existing claims. The Streets and Lanes Claim and the claim for street widening was forwarded to Indian Claims Commission and accepted for review. Several planning sessions have been held with all parties in preparation for a Hearing. A valuation study of the land occupied by streets and lanes is being carried out. The ICC is coordinating the planning process which will lead to the official hearing.

The CN Railway lands claim (from SK River to the Station) still remains with the Department of Justice pending a court case in Alberta. Research into other railway issues is currently being conducted by the T ARR Centre. The 1906 Surrender has not been acted upon.

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Opaskwayak Cree Nation   The Pas, Manitoba, Canada    tel 1-888-763-1566    email