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Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Saskatchewan

SASK WATER SIGNS CO-MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT

Maynard Sonntag, minister responsible for Sask Water, today announced the corporation has reached a water co-management agreement with the English River First Nation. This is the first water co-management agreement signed in Saskatchewan and fits with the government's recently released Water Management Framework which highlighted consultation with First Nations as one of its objectives.



"This is truly a historic day for both Sask Water and the English River First Nation," Sonntag said. "This agreement gives us the opportunity to draw upon the wealth of knowledge of the people of English River regarding water issues and concerns so that we can manage the water within a framework of trust and mutual respect."



The agreement provides a mechanism for the English River First Nation to participate in the planning and management of the water that affects their cultural, economic and social way of life and includes all water bodies situated within its traditional lands. The 1100 member band is located along the Churchill River at Patuanak in northern Saskatchewan, approximately 100 kilometers north of Beauval.



"The protection of the water resource is essential to the continuation of our traditional economies of hunting, trapping and fishing," said Archie Campbell, Chief of the English River First Nation. "We want to be part of water management decisions on our lands and we also want to learn ways to ensure its sustainability for generations to come. We believe this agreement allows for both of these goals to be achieved."



Under the terms of the agreement, a joint council consisting of three English River and three Sask Water representatives will be struck. The council will provide a forum for both parties to regularly exchange information and identify water management issues in the watershed.



"The English River First Nation is to be commended for taking the initiative to see this agreement to fruition," Sonntag said. "We anticipate this agreement will serve as a model and pave the way for other co-management agreements with First Nations in Saskatchewan."



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For more information, contact:



Wayne Dybvig

Sask Water

Moose Jaw

Phone: (306) 694-3950



Chief Archie Campbell

English River First Nation

Patuanak

Phone: (306) 396-2066
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