No action taken as deadline passes for eviction of non-band members on Fishing Lake First Nation

Some non-members were told to be out of their homes by Jan. 9. No action has been taken by the First Nation as of the next day.

Deadline to vacate was Jan. 9

Leroy Buffalo said his family is one of the original families on Fishing Lake First Nation. (Emily Pasiuk/CBC News)

The eviction date has come and gone for non-members of Fishing Lake First Nation served notices on Nov. 9. 

Non-band members living on the First Nation were told they had to be out of their homes by Jan. 9.

Quewezance received this letter Nov. 9. It gave the family 60 days to vacate. (Submitted by Celina Quewezance)

For Celina Quewezance, the meantime has been fraught with uncertainty. 

"It's been terrible," she said. "It was emotional, especially over the holidays and knowing that it's winter." 

The house Quewezance lives in used to be her grandmother's. She moved there three years ago.

She lives with her partner and two children and said her grandchildren visit often as well. Her mother lives next door with one of Quewezance's daughters.

Celina Quewezance is in the back row, in the middle. Her mother is to the left and her partner is to the right. The children pictured are her children and grandchildren. They are standing in front of the family home they have been told to vacate. (Submitted by Celina Quewezance)

Quewezance said her and her family are not going anywhere.

"It's a hard thing to do, to be in limbo and not to prepare," she said. "I think all of us who were evicted agreed that we were staying put."

She has also filed a human rights complaint and is waiting on the results of that.

Leroy Buffalo was a member of the Day Star First Nation, but said he has since had his new membership to Fishing Lake registered by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC). 

He said he hopes this can serve as protection should the Chief and council try to evict him again. 

Buffalo said that the eviction letters galvanized the community. 

"There's a lot of off-reserve members here that have been protesting along with us," he said. 

CBC contacted Chief Derek Sunshine and he said he didn't have a comment on this story at this time.

Fishing Lake First Nation is 210 kilometres southeast of Saskatoon.

About the Author

Emily Pasiuk

Emily Pasiuk is a reporter and web writer for CBC Saskatchewan and an associate producer for The Morning Edition. She has also reported at CTV Saskatoon and written for Global Regina. Reach her at emily.pasiuk@cbc.ca.