Cote First Nation is located north of Kamsack, Saskatchewan, and is sixteen (16) kilometers west of the Manitoba border. Cote First Nation has a land size totaling approximately 8,088 hectares (19,986 acres). The band has a current membership of 4,130 people and 1161 living on reserve. Cote First Nation is one of the six (6) First Nations that are members of the Yorkton Tribal Council and is also part of the Treaty Four.
Anishinaabe is the native language.
Anin Sikwa Cote First Nation Members,
On behalf of the membership of Cote First Nation in Treaty 4 Territory, I bring you greetings from the governance leadership. The past term has been challenging and, I thank the Elders, Council, Staff, and Membership for their input and the work we are all doing to move forward. Being re-elected has allowed me to continue with the vision I have prepared for a promising future for our next generations.
Cote First Nation has been working on a plan of action to meet the needs of our Nation. With the recommendations of the Community Comprehensive Plan survey submitted by the Cote band members, we have identified issues that we wish to address. One of the main issues is Governance based on the Treaty and Inheritance rights for Cote First Nation; we are preparing a constitution and amendments to the election act to govern our land; however, this is being ratified by our membership. I am a strong supporter of protection for our Treaty rights and ensure the Queen exercises the promises made to our Nation through the Government of Canada. I have confidence in our Elders, children, leaders, staff, and membership both on and off-reserve that we shall be restored as a united nation. Thankful for all the prayers and ceremonies to bring this to pass.
We have set new ventures in place for our First Nation. Our planning includes: housing renovations and new housing, infrastructure improvements with our Capitol projects which have provided employment and economic development; youth development from our youth workers who are doing a great job, education is to include our history of Cote First Nation through culture and language, health and safety of our members with new programs in the future to help the issues of mental health. Upgrades on the technology in our offices, school, and other departments to be more efficient to our membership. The Cote landfill sites are in the process of being decommissioned. This action is to make room for our new transfer station which will be environmentally safe. I am thankful to the staff of Capital and Housing for cleaning up the sites of old buildings and the roads, grass cutting. All the training which was done for firefighters, security, A1 drivers, summer student employment, and future programs coming for community improvements. There is good work coming forth from all the portfolio council and staff which was carried on from past leadership.
We have four land claims and one agricultural claim in negotiation, and hopefully, these will be settled soon with an offer to be approved by the membership. There is a plan of action on how these land claims will be utilized based on the surveys; for example, housing, buying land, new rink, new governance center, farming our land, language and cultural, infrastructure, elders lodge, and youth development. Nonetheless, this action plan will be presented to the membership to get further input and approval. A Lot of good work being done and restructuring of our Governance and Administration to provide more opportunities for employment and training. Furthermore, in Cote First Nations planning efforts, we want to include opportunities for off-reserve membership in the areas of homeownership and, to continue to assist in any way our resources allow us to meet your needs because you are just as important as on reserve.
I give thanks to past leadership for their guidance and present council to work together and move forward. The Elders of our community are a blessing to give guidance and to give our youth hope through sports and education. Many great workers and volunteers to make this happen. I would like to commend our members for the way they came together and protect our community through this Covid-19. Thank you for the prayers and challenges we have been through to come together.
In closing, in the protection of our Treaties with a constitution based on our laws of the land, our Nation will have a governance structure to assist our future leaders to lead our Nation into restoration and prosperity. Cote First Nation has great resources for our people of all ages both on and off-reserve. Let’s make it work together in unity and not in division. It takes a community to raise a child. We can do this and in prayer, we thank the Creator for all He provides.
Chief George Cote
Cote First Nation
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