Band loses bid for Cypress Hills reserve

The Indian Claims commission has rejected a land claim by Carry the Kettle First Nation.

It currently occupies land south of Indian Head and in Maple Creek. But the band wants a reserve in the Cypress Hills area. Its Assiniboine ancestors lived there more than a century ago, before the federal government had them relocated.

In a report released Tuesday, the commission states the band has no legal claim to a reserve in that area.

Members of Carry the Kettle say they will keep fighting. Elsie Jack Koochicum says historical treaties indicate her ancestors did receive a reserve in Cypress Hills.

"Basically we've fought and dealt with this our whole lives," she says. "Our oral history is there, and we're saying, 'This was our homeland and these were where our people are buried' and so forth. To us, we maintained our side of the promise and they didn't."

Koochicum says Carry the Kettle now plans to settle the issue in court.