Muskoday First Nation is located in central Saskatchewan along the banks of the South Saskatchewan River. It encompasses over 25,000 acres on three reserves in the Prince Albert area. For the last 15 years, Muskoday has governed its lands outside of the Indian Act, as they were an original signatory to the Framework Agreement on First Nations Land Management.
This government-to-government agreement allows the First Nation to opt out of the land management sections of the Indian Act and take control over their lands and resources. One of the provisions of the Framework Agreement is adopting a Land Code, which is the fundamental law of land management and also a land use plan, which sets out zoning requirements, similar to zoning bylaws in a city or municipality.
Muskoday adopted a Land Use Plan in 2002 and this served its purpose for over a decade until new lands were purchased through the Treaty Land Entitlement process. As the community has grown, there were changes that were required to the original plan. Muskoday began looking at ways to involve the community to generate a document that can be used 5, 10 and 20 years into the future.
Planning requires having a vision for the future, so the First Nation engaged community members through community
meetings with the elders, members at large both on and off reserve, and also with kids in the community school. This gave an opportunity for every one to have input on how they saw their community in the future.
Muskoday First Nation Vision Statement is:
“We believe that the health and strength of our community depends on the spiritual, physical, social, economic and cultural health and strength of each of our members, and the community as a whole.”
This is very apparent through the planning process, as community involvement was very high in the community meetings and surveys of members that were done online and door-to-door.
The Muskoday Land Use Plan contains 15 land use classifications, ranging from country residential, general commercial, community infrastructure and general industrial. It should be noted that existing land use may differ from proposed classifications.
Over time it is anticipated that redevelopment of lands will occur and land use will align with future intended uses at that time, as noted in this Land Use Plan. Furthermore, there are some land uses that have not been assigned to the Land Use Map (i.e. commercial tourism) but have been included in the Land Use Plan policies. At the community’s request, these land use policies were developed through consultation with membership in anticipation of future land uses that could be presented to the community. It is felt that in doing so, decision makers will be provided with the confidence they require to advance decisions that are reflective of the community’s desires.