Proposal for Newly Constituted Band


1. Name:
John Cochrane First Nation

2. Address:
Sub-Office – Apt. 304D
1401 – 28th St. E.
Prince Albert, SK
S6V 6Z8

3. Contact Person: John Dorion
Position: Chief
Phone: (306) 922-7998
Cell: (306) 960-1393

4. The Proposal

The John Cochrane Band proposal is being forwarded to complete unfinished business under Treaty Five. The families and members have asked that we be considered a “newly constituted Band” so that our reinstatement as the Kaministikominahiko-skak Cree Nation (Cumberland Island) also known as John Cochrane Band is authorized post haste via an Order-in-Council, or any other legal procedure that is deemed appropriate by the Crown.

The goals of the Band are as follows:

• To have the federal government ratify the John Cochrane Band as a party to Treaty Five by an order-in-council;
• To undertake research to determine Band membership;
• To reinstate the John Cochrane Band members with full Indian Status;
• To develop and carry out a variety of programs and services for its members;
• To reclaim land based on treaty and to seek additional lands entitled to; and
• To seek compensation for loss of land and loss of use of land

5. Introduction

The following communities existed in the Cumberland district prior to the signing of the adhesion to Treaty Five:
Cumberland Island (Kaministikominahiko-skak);
Budd’s Point;
Pine Bluff; and
Birch River.

It was recognized and acknowledged by practices of the Crown that Indian communities/camps were in existence prior to both treaties and the Royal Proclamation of 1763, however, through the Royal Proclamation of 1763, the Crown recognized
“Indian Nations” in order to implement the Treaty making process. As a result of Treaty making with Indian Nations, the Crown then recognized Indian Communities and their respective membership as “Bands” and acknowledged them as parties to the treaties.

In order to arrange for the adhesions to the numbered treaties the Crown through the Treaty Commissioners identified the communities and camps of Indian Nations individually and collectively. The Crown also acknowledged and recognized the jurisdiction and control of membership of the communities and/or bands by the Indians and their respective leadership.

Because the central and northern territory of Saskatchewan was so difficult for travel and communications, the treaty commissioners implemented a process that provided for amalgamating communities/camps (now known as “Bands”) in order to expedite their signing adhesions to the numbered treaties.

The Crown recognized the above four (4) communities in the adhesion to Treaty Five as the “Cumberland Island, Pine Bluff, Budd’s Point, and Birch River” and formed them into the “Cumberland Band” to facilitate signature to Treaty #5.

6. The Treaty Making Process Between Indian Nations and the Crown

The British Parliament and the Crown issued royal instructions through the Royal Proclamation of 1763 that only the Crown had the authority to make treaties with the “Indian Nations”.

The Crown recognized the treaty making powers of Indian Nations and implemented a treaty making process between the Crown and Indian Nations known as the numbered treaties. It is also recognized that the Indian Nations entered into treaties with each other throughout North America prior to any contact with any non-Indians.

The Crown implemented treaty making using Treaty Commissioners. The Treaty Commissioners initiated a process of arranging for treaty making sites for each of the numbered treaty areas.

The families and members assembled with their respective leaders for the purpose of making treaty with the Crown. The Crown through the treaty making process recognized the jurisdiction of the leaders and families to determine their own membership.

The Treaty Commissioners extended the treaty making practice to include the process of arranging for families and leaders to enter into an adhesion to the numbered treaties where communities and/or camps of families and the leaders could not participate in the treaty making at the original treaty making site.

This was done by the “temporary” amalgamation of the scattered Bands into one so the Treaty could be signed expeditiously. Then the usual practice by the Crown was to restore the natural order by undoing the artificial Band and granting recognition to the original Bands, for example…

Treaty Number Five (5)

The “St. Theresa Point”, “Garden Hill”, “Wasacamack”, and “Red Sucker Lake” were amalgamated in order to create the “Island Lake Band” for the purpose of entering into an adhesion to Treaty Number Five.

Treaty Number Six (6)

The Peter Ballantyne, Lac La Ronge, and the William Charles (Montreal Lake) communities/camps were amalgamated by the treaty commissioners in order to create the “James Roberts Band” for the purpose of entering into an adhesion to Treaty Number Six.

This same process for adhesion to treaty was used at the Cumberland House area for Treaty Number Five. The treaty commissioner identified the John Cochrane (Cumberland Island) Budd’s Point, Pine Bluff, and Birch River and amalgamated them into the “Cumberland” Band for the purpose of entering into an adhesion to Treaty Number Five.

7. Treaty Business, Treaty Administration, and Unfinished Treaty Business

The Crown implemented a treaty administrative process in Treaty 5 and 6 that provided for the recognition and reinstatement of the respective Bands:

Treaty Number Five (5)

The Crown has formally provided recognition of each of the Bands by an Order-In-Council. The Crown now recognizes the St. Theresa Point Band, Garden Hill Band, Wasacamack Band, and Red Sucker Lake Band. Each of the Bands has their own Band list identifying their membership, their own Chief and Council, and their own reserve land. The Bands were reinstated under Treaty Five in 1969. The Bands had their treaty land entitlement recognized and negotiated and settled in the 1980’s.

Treaty Number Six (6)

The Treaty Number Six example is as follows: The James Roberts Band through the treaty administrative arrangements provided for the establishment of the Bands now known as the William Charles Band (Montreal Lake), Lac La Ronge Band, and Peter Ballantyne Band. Each has their own Band, Band List, Chief and Council, and Reserve Land.

8. Unfinished Treaty Business Impacting on the John Cochrane Band

Unfinished treaty business and administration requires that the former “Cumberland Island” now called the John Cochrane Band, that entered along with the Pine Bluff, Budd’s Point, and Birch River Bands into the Treaty Number Five adhesion of September 7, 1876, receive Crown recognition as the John Cochrane Band similar to the arrangements accorded the other Bands as demonstrated in the examples above.

The families and members have authorized the reinstatement of the John Cochrane Band and the election of the Chief and Council. The families and members are identified and the list is included with this proposal.

The John Cochrane families and members that were struck off the list and identified as Métis have to be reinstated as Indians similar to the Duck Bay Band members, the Papaschase Band members and others.

The status of our Band, members, and lands needs to be implemented under the provisions of Treaty and the John Cochrane (Cumberland Island) Band has to be recognized as a separate Band in our own right.

*It should be noted that just prior to the development and writing of this proposal, families from the Cumberland Island (John Cochrane) Band and Pine Bluff Band were being recognized as new band members under Bill C31 and were being added to the Cumberland House Band, The Peter Ballantyne Band, and The Pas Band. Were the Crown to fulfill its Treaty obligations with us, such partial measures would be unnecessary.*

9. Post Treaty Policies and Practices

Both the Treaty making process and the powers of Treaty making recognized the authority and powers of the John Cochrane (Cumberland Island) Band to enter into an adhesion to Treaty Five when Chief John Cochrane signed the adhesion to Treaty Five on September 7, 1876. Chief John Cochrane, although Chief of the Cumberland Island people, was “temporarily” recognized as Chief of the artificial “Cumberland” Band, so that the people of Pine Bluff, Budd’s Point, and Birch River would also be included in the adhesion to Treaty Five.

The more recent “post Treaty Policies and Practices impacting on the so-called “Cumberland Band” as a party to Treaty Five has provided for the Crown to recognize the creation or constitution of new bands through the following arrangements:

The Cumberland House Band

The Cumberland House Band was created by INAC through the Indian Act amendments that recognized the Crown’s prerogative to recognize new Bands and membership under the Indian Act in order to fulfill unfinished Treaty business with the Pine Bluff community. All Pine Bluff members now appear on the Cumberland House Band list and, for all intents and purposes, are now members of the Cumberland House Band. The Cumberland House (Pine Bluff) Band now possesses the reserves formally set aside for the “Cumberland” Band under Treaty Five, and many of the reserves surveyed include lands occupied by the several communities identified as forming the Cumberland Band for the sole purpose of entering into the adhesion to Treaty Five.

The Peter Chapman Band

The Peter Chapman Band entered into the adhesion to Treaty Five represented by Peter Chapman and through the “Cumberland Band.” The Peter Chapman families and members relocated and established their own Band and reserve land in Treaty Six territory. The Crown provided recognition to the Peter Chapman Band as Band #100A and set aside the Cumberland #100A reserve for the Band in the Fort a la Corne area.

10. Legal Framework
1. INAC/Federal Jurisdiction
A) The Constitutional and Treaty Framework
The current constitutional and treaty relations between Canada and First Nations are recognized and governed through a framework of inherent rights and titles; treaties (including Treaty Five), The Royal Proclamation of 1763, the Constitution Act 1982 and the BNA act 1867 and the Indian Act.

The BNA act of 1867 by virtue of Section 91(24) recognizes the federal powers for Indians and Indian lands; Sections 25 and 35 of the Constitution Act and the Royal Proclamation of 1763 recognizes the inherent and treaty rights that impact on the John Cochrane (Cumberland Island) Band.

This framework governs the capacity to recognize and establish new Band/or reinstate Bands that were party to Treaty. The outstanding Treaty obligations to the John Cochrane (Cumberland Island) Band are related to unfinished Treaty business and administration of Treaty policies and practices by the Crown.

The legal framework for the Crown’s capacity to recognize the John Cochrane (Cumberland Island) Band is lawfully sanctioned by the current framework as identified above. The legal obligation of the Crown to provide recognition of the John Cochrane (Cumberland Island) Band is provided for by the framework and Treaty Five.
B) The New Bands/Band Amalgamation Policy

The new (in 1991) policy is implemented based on the framework of federal policies flowing from Parliament through the Indian Act, and INAC’s specific policies related to gathering strength, inherent rights policy, sustainable development strategy, comprehensive and land claims policies and/or mandates.

The majority of these policies are not linked to any constitutional or Treaty authority, unlike the framework identified in (A) above.

However, the policies provide for the groups of Indians who were not previously members of an existing Band but have formed a new Band to invoke the “newly constituted Band” policies as identified in the NBBA.

Section 11.6.1 Stage I Declaration of Intent

The Region must receive a formal written request and the process is to
invoke the “parent” Band. The John Cochrane proposal is submitted initiating the formal request to reinstate the John Cochrane (Cumberland Island) Band, constituting a new Band.

C) Parent Bands and Duty to Consult

The Crown entered into the adhesion with the parent band, known as the
“Cumberland” Band. It has since ceased to function as a Band. The current “Cumberland House” Band is not the parent “Cumberland” Band, rather it is, as mentioned earlier, the latest evolution of the Pine Bluff Band.

It is recognized that the Crown has the duty “to consult and to accommodate.” Supreme Court decisions have made this abundantly clear. Since Treaty Five continues to exist and be implemented, our families and members are invoking the Crown’s obligations to consult and accommodate the John Cochrane (Cumberland Island) members and leaders in order to conclude the outstanding Treaty business impacting on the status of the John Cochrane (Cumberland Island) Band.

2. John Cochrane Band Jurisdiction

The families and members of the John Cochrane community have inherent rights and title that remain intact as result of our ancestry, heritage and membership/citizenship of the Cree Nation. The John Cochrane community is a Band of the Cree Nation with inherent rights and title granted by the creator and we are born with inherent rights and title and we pass them from generation to generation. All of our inherent rights and title pre-exist the Proclamations issued by the Crown, the Treaties, the Constitution Act 1982 and laws of Parliament.

The John Cochrane (Cumberland Island) Band is a party to Treaty Five through the “Cumberland” Band and our inherent rights and title are reserved, recognized and confirmed by the treaties from number one to eleven, including Treaty number Five.

The Royal Proclamation of 1763 recognizes our inherent rights and title, the Indian nations and mandates the Crown to make Treaties with Indian Nations, including the John Cochrane (Cumberland Island) Band of the Cree Nation. Section 25(2) of the Constitution Act 1892 recognizes the Royal Proclamation of 1763 and forms the supreme law as provided for by Section 52 of the Constitution Act 1982.

The Constitution and Treaty framework identifies the outstanding legal and trust obligations of the Crown respecting the John Cochrane (Cumberland Island) Band. The John Cochrane (Cumberland Island) Band has assembled the families and members in order to…

• Recognize and establish the John Cochrane Band;
• Recognize and document the membership of the John Cochrane Band;
• Elect a Chief and Council; and
• Adopt and accept the John Cochrane laws and policies for:
- Constitution
- Membership code
- Election Act
- Band resolutions
- Chief and Council resolutions

3. Status of the John Cochrane Band

The John Cochrane (Cumberland Island) community entered into an adhesion to Treaty Five through the “Cumberland” Band represented by Chief John Cochrane who was authorized to sign Treaty Five on behalf of the people of the “Cumberland Island, Pine Bluff, Budd’s Point, and Birch River Bands.”

The John Cochrane community, families and members continue to exist and have assembled to reinstate the old Cumberland Island Band as the “John Cochrane” Band (as we were known in pre-Treaty days) and to confirm membership of the Band.

The John Cochrane community, families and members have authorized, by constitution and resolutions, the re-establishment of the Cumberland Island Band that was signatory to Treaty Five through the “Cumberland” Band; and to avoid the confusion that exists between the “Cumberland,” “Cumberland Island,” and “Cumberland House” Bands, be hereafter referred to by its pre-Treaty name - the “John Cochrane” Band.
Treaty commissioners and Indian agents during and post Treaty instituted practices of unilaterally terminating Indian status for the John Cochrane families and members by striking them off the Indian list and identifying them as Métis. This was a commonplace practice in what now are central and northern Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

However, our proposed research and subsequent documentation will demonstrate how the Crown reinstated the Indian status of those they erroneously identified as Métis. In recent years, under Bill C-31, many John Cochrane members been reinstated with Indian status and are now included on several different Band lists.

The John Cochrane Band asks the Crown to recognize our membership and establish the John Cochrane (Cumberland Island) Band as provided for by administrative procedures post-Treaty Five.

11. Examples of Reinstated Bands

a) Pas Mountain Band adhesion to Treaty Five:
Pas Band – Red Earth Band – Shoal Lake Band, now reinstated.

b) Island Lake Band adhesion to Treaty Five:
Wasakamak Band – St. Teresa Point Band – Red Sucker Lake – Garden Hill Band - now reinstated.

c) James Roberts Band adhesion to Treaty Six:
William Charles (Montreal Lake) Band – Lac La Ronge Band – Peter Ballantyne Band, now reinstated.

d) Reinstatement of Bands from Métis status:
Duck Bay Band – Papaschase Band – Calahoo (Michel) Band, Bill C- 31’s

12. Membership List

See Appendix 1 for membership list.

13. Research Areas

Tasks to be carried out are listed below:
-examine government records;
-Indian status and processes;
-Métis status and processes;
-genealogical research; and
-preparation of a land claims submission

These tasks need to be carried out by a legal consultant, general consultant,
researcher, and genealogist.

14. Election of Chief and Council

On January 15, 2001, the John Cochrane families and members agreed to reinstate John Cochrane Band. They also agreed that elections of the Chief and 4 Headmen, and the appointment of family representatives be conducted based on our customs and traditions. The election would include members declaring their membership in the John Cochrane Band and the terms would be for three years. Election results were as follows: John K. Dorion – Chief; Laurent McLeod – Headman; Pierre Dorion – Headman; Colleen Gullickson – Headwoman; and Herman Cook - Headman.

New elections were held in January of 2004 and the results were as follows: John K. Dorion – Chief; Denise McKenzie - Vice Chief; Darren Deschambeault – Headman; Herman Cook – Headman; and Pierre Dorion – Headman.

New elections were held on March of 2008 and the results were as follows: John Dorion, Chief, Pierre Dorion, Headman, Joe Laurent Mcleod, Headman, Harold Fosseneuve, Headman, and Clinton Carriere, Headman. All the positions are three year terms..

15. Resolutions and Mandate

See Appendix 2 for resolutions

16. Impact of Loss of Social and Economic Benefits

The Crown’s delay in meeting its fiduciary responsibility to the John Cochrane (Cumberland Island) Band has done incalculable harm. What becomes of a people when their identity is taken away? Years of pain and doubt and suffering. Despite this fact, we still hold together as a people, and only ask for what is rightfully ours. We are pleased with the Crown’s desire to make amends for past omissions, and offer ourselves for your consideration.