Gas station on Idylwyld designated as urban reserve land

The land is owned by Thunderchild First Nation; the agreement was approved in Monday’s council meeting

Retro Petro, owned by Thunderchild First Nation, is Saskatoon’s 6th urban reserve land

Saskatoon now has six urban reserves. (Courtney Markewich/CBC)

Saskatoon City Council has approved a request by the Thunderchild First Nation to have the land they own at 1135 Idylwyld Drive North turned into an urban reserve.

The Retro Petro gas station and the land it sits on at the corner of Idylwyld Drive and 33rd Street has been designated an urban reserve after the city and Thunderchild signed the agreement Monday afternoon.

"We are very excited to finally conclude the urban reserve process with the City of Saskatoon," said Chief Delbert Wapass in a news release.  

"This would not be possible without the prayers and support of our Elders/membership and the hands-on support of our Mayor Charlie Clark and his council. Today is a good day and the beginning of a new chapter in Thunderchild First Nation's road to economic sovereignty."

The First Nation will pay the city an annual fee, which will amount to what they would have paid per year in property taxes, for the provision of city services.

"Our long history of establishing urban reserves has proven the shared benefits they bring in investment, job creation, and services that benefit the Indigenous community and all citizens of the community," Mayor Charlie Clark said in a news release.

"Tangible partnerships like these are meaningful steps in the journey of reconciliation."

Reserve designation is a federal issue, which means that the land is no longer under city jurisdiction.

Through bylaws, First Nations who enter into agreements like this ensure that the buildings on urban reserve land have the same zoning and building standards as surrounding buildings.

Thunderchild First Nation is located around 200 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon, near Turtleford.