Canada

Giant La Ronge land claim to be decided by appeal court

Saskatchewan's Court of Appeal decides Tuesday whether the Lac La Ronge Indian band is entitled to a record-breaking land settlement. The verdict could affect Indian people across the nation.

The case centres on a century-old document called Treaty Six. It entitled the band to one square mile of land for every five band members.

At the time, there were only 480 band members. Now there are 7,000.

The band says the treaty means it's it is now owed 3,000 square kilometres of land. That's a surface area more than 20 times larger than Saskatoon.

Two years ago, a lower court agreed with the La Range band. But both the provincial and the federal governments quickly appealed.

Whatever happens, the decision in the appeal court could have a big impact beyond this case. Indian bands across Western Canada have similar treaties and they could start making similar-sized land claims if the La Ronge band wins its appeal.

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