Keith Mirasty (Little Red)
Lawrence Halkett (Little Red)
Leon Charles (GMB)
McIvor Eninew (Hall Lake)
Larry McKenzie (Sucker River)
Linda A. Charles (SM)
Bernice Roberts (SM)
John P. Roberts (SM)
Sam Roberts (LLRIB)
Ann R. Ratt (LLRIB)
Cheryline Venne (LLRIB)
Irwin Hennie (LLRIB)
P.O. Box 480
La Ronge, Sask.
Ph: 425 2183
Stanley Mission – 635-2115
Little Red – 982-2499
Grand Mother’s Bay – 635-2069
Hall Lake – 425-4797
Sucker River – 425-4113
The Lac La Ronge Indian Band (LLRIB) is a progressive Woodland Cree First Nation located in the majestic boreal forest in north-central Saskatchewan. LLRIB is a multi-community Band and is the largest First Nation in the province. The central office is located on the Kitsaki reserve adjacent to the Town of La Ronge. LLRIB is pleased to report another successful year within all band initiatives.
Keethanow Food Supermarket
Keethanow Food Supermarket (´Keethanow´ means ´ours´ in Cree) officially opened for business on December 8, 2003. This 8000 sq. ft retail grocery store situated on-reserve and employing 15 Band members full and part-time. Having obtained a license the store will also serve a fur-buying outlet. Located between the Band office and bingo hall, the store offers a full line of groceries- dairy, fresh produce, meat and baked goods. It has a fully operational butcher shop and bakery that can provide custom orders.
Keethanow Lumber and Furniture
An on-reserve furniture store which sells furniture, household appliances, bedding, giftware, lumber and hardware supplies employing 7 Band members. The Band purchased the store ´as is´, meaning the building, equipment and inventory altogether.
Community Infrastructure Development
- La Ronge- Bells´ Point subdivision (stage II) include a 60 lot development.
- Stanley Mission- 62 lot subdivision development
- Hall Lake- Sally Ross School addition, Fire Hall renovation and equipment purchase
- Sucker River- Subdivision expansion, new Fire Hall and equipment
- Grandmother´s Bay- Fire Hall, truck and equipment
Community Projects and Activities
Gift of Language and Culture Project
The Lac La Ronge Indian Band, along with Onion Lake First Nation, Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation, and Prince Albert Grand Council have discussed the future direction of First Nations languages.Saskatchewan Learning is also partaking in the project. From those meetings came a proposal, called The Gift of Language and Culture, a 3-year project that is generally meant to address Cree language needs across the province. However, the specific concept behind the proposal is to create a resource-based nursery to Grade 12 instructional Cree language curriculum and nursery to Grade 9 Cree immersion program and curriculum.
In partnership with the Bank of Montreal (BMO), LLRIB will provide an alternative strategy for band members to own their homes, the first pilot project of its kind in Saskatchewan. LLRIB and BMO signed an agreement-in-principle on May 4, 2004 to launch an on-reserve housing loan program. The alternative financing program is designed to assist First Nations by providing affordable and quality homes for its members.
Lac La Ronge Arena Project
Construction for this 600-seat modern facility with an NHL-sized ice surface is ongoing with a scheduled completion date of mid-December 2004. The grand opening is tentatively scheduled for February 15, 2005 during which the arena will pay host to a ´home game´ of the La Ronge Ice Wolves, a junior hockey club of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
Fuel and Tobacco Settlement
The Mckercher McKercher & Whitmore law firm of Saskatoon successfully negotiated on behalf of LLRIB, a out-of-court settlement with the provincial government to recover $4.25 million in taxes paid by its members for tobacco and fuel taxes purchases on-reserve prior to June 5, 2000. Equal dividends were eventually paid out to the membership.
Sucker River Land Exchange
The Sucker River land exchange has been a slow process but was finally settled in August 2004. A couple of years ago the community of Sucker River requested additional land for its quickly expanding community in exchange for an equal amount of land from the Bittern Lake reserve, situated near the Montreal Lake reserve and Prince Albert National Park.
Hall Lake Self-Administration
The community of Hall Lake is seeking to run their own programs and services for the next fiscal year in the same fashion that Stanley Mission, Grandmother´s Bay, and Little Red River have done. A community questionnaire was provided to local residents and overall 92% of the people surveyed were in favour of the community administering its own programs and services. The community will become more independent and will attain more control of how community affairs are handled as a result of the unanimous support.
Cree Communicator Newspaper
Now in its second year, this exclusive 16-page newsmagazine with a circulation of 2000 copies continues to enhance and promote LLRIB as a credible and responsive organization through positive media-relations to Band membership and general public/mainstream society.
In the last year, Hall Lake and Sucker River have created small-scale community development projects by opening up gas bar/confectionary stores in their communities to provide some shopping convenience to local residents. Profits generated primarily from the sales of fuel and tobacco products will remain in the community.
Policy Development Gaining Importance
The Band is expressing the desire to become more policy-oriented. To that end, the Band has developed a draft copy of an Executive Act, which will cover the roles, responsibilities, and authority of the Chief, Councillors, and the Council of Elders. Another policy introduced is a draft Communications Policy to address who speaks publicly on behalf of the organization. The personnel department has ratified a new Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual that speaks to all staff issues and procedures. The Public works and Housing department has approved in principle a new Housing Policy.
Long-Term Care Facility
A long-term care facility is presently in the planning stages. The project will entail an Elder´s home with up to level 3 services in La Ronge. A committee has been established. A site has been selected on Elder´s Road in Bell´s Point, which has a lake view and all the required services. The Band has set aside some funds but will continue to seek additional funding opportunities for the project.
Dog Control Program
The Band has developed a proposal to develop an onreserve dog control program, noting the current practice is ineffective. The health department will develop a program that deals with health and safety concerns including educating the public on dog control, building a low-cost facility to shelter lost or stray dogs, providing an immunization and sterilization program, and initiating a licensing program in the community.
Sally Ross School was among 36 schools across the country to receive the SchoolNet Award from Industry Canada to join a network of schools in applying information technology to learning.
Senator Myles Venne School was one of 191schools across Canada to be recognized with the Diamond School Recognition Award from the Canadian Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (CAHPERD).
Keethanow Elementary School was awarded the 2003-2004 Platinum School Recognition Award for Quality Physical education (QPE) also from CAHPERD.
Sports & Recreation
Kristen Charles received the SaskTel Aboriginal Youth Award in the recreation category. Keewatin, Sekwun, and Takwakin Trottier dominate provincial championships in cross-country skiing with gold and silver medals. Joseph Cook captured the gold medal in the Pentathlon Event at the 2004 Saskatchewan Summer Games in Weyburn.
Stanley Mission hosted the Annual Amachewespimawin Snow-Mobile Poker Rally and Fish Derby. This event continues to attract wide participation from people everywhere. The events are excellently organized, well-attended with all the winners taking home either cash or merchandise prizes. The community also hosts other smaller Ice Fishing Derbies throughout the summer and winter months.
Awards & Recognition
Band members Alice Parada, Wanda McKenzie, Ron Ratte, and Alex Bird received Northern Justice Awards. One of three First Nation companies recognized, Kitsaki Management Limited Partnership (KMLP) was once again listed in the Saskatchewan Business Magazine´s Top 100 Companies, ranked 94th overall in gross revenue. Band member Ray McKay, CEO of KMLP, was appointed by the Saskatchewan Government to serve on the Investment Saskatchewan Inc. Board, the new entity responsible for managing $600 million in government investments.
Kitsaki Management Limited Partnership
KMLP performs the “for profit” economic development activities of LLRIB. Chief and Council act as the Board of Directors and together they work to serve the band membership. The holding company understands it takes many years to have an economic impact on thousands of band members and to date, Kitsaki´s investments have proven successful. Kitsaki also aspires to provide employment opportunities for members of LLRIB to help strengthen the Saskatchewan economy.
- Kitsaki Management Limited Partnership continued to work with Northern Lights Foods Limited Partnership to expand the organic foods division. Greater emphasis was put on organic wild mushrooms to complement the work already done on wild rice. Europe and United States continue to be the major markets.
- Northern Resource Trucking Limited Partnership with an ownership group that also includes Peter Ballantyne, Cumberland house, Montreal Lake, Black Lake, Fond du Lac, and Hatchet Lake continues to expand the wood-harvesting segment of its operation in cooperation with the Woodland Cree.
- Athabasca Catering Limited Partnership, managed by Kitsaki and owned by La Ronge, Black Lake, Fond du lac, Hatchet Lake and English River had been doing the food service and janitorial work at the Cameco sites of Key Lake, McArthur River, Rabbit Lake and Cigar Lake. This partnership was also successful at obtaining the catering contract at Areva´s (Cogema) McLean Lake mine-site and the Woodland Cree Logging operation.
- Our efforts to expand in the softwood lumber industry have been hampered by the problems associated with the trade dispute between Canada and the United States. We continue to believe the softwood lumber industry can provide jobs in the North if and when this dispute is resolved. Similarly, the operations of Wapawekka Lumber Limited Partnership have been hampered by the international disagreement.
- Together with PAGC, Kitsaki is a partner in the Dakota Dunes Golf Course on the Whitecap Dakota First Nation near Saskatoon. The worldclass links style course opened in the spring of 2004.