Saskatchewan

Muskoday First Nation members vote in favour of trespassing law

A trespass law was voted in on the Muskoday First Nation on Friday.

80.1 per cent voted for, 18.7 per cent voted against law

Chief Austin Bear said there is still much work to be done in regard to the application of the trespass law after it was voted in on Friday. (CBC)

The Muskoday First Nation held a referendum on a trespass law on Friday.

Members of the community — located approximately 150 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon — voted overwhelmingly in favour of a trespass law.

More than 80 per cent of the community voted in favour of the law, while approximately 19 per cent were against. 

The law involves three parts, said Chief Austin Bear. 

Bear said the trespass law is fairly straight forward and will involve putting up signs and warnings indicating people are on private reserve land.

The trespass law is just the first part an overall process, which will also include a curfew in the community and the exclusion or banishment of someone from a community.

"There is still much to be done," Bear said, in regard to the application of the law.

The trespass law is not to prohibit people from visiting Muskoday or doing business in the community, Bear emphasized. 

There are still regulations, processes and procedures to be drafted up before the other parts can be applied, he said. It's expected some form of penalty will be part of the law, but Bear couldn't say what that might be.

Non-community members can be banished immediately, but when it comes to Muskoday band members, it will take more time, Bear said. 

With files from Courtney Markewich

now