The Aseniwuche Winewak Nation says it wants in on a deal signed last weekend with the Simpcw and Stoney First Nations.
That deal gives the bands a stronger voice in park management and opens the door to limited harvesting in the park.
The agreement, which renews an age-old treaty between the Stoney Nation in Alberta and Simpcw First Nation in British Columbia, is to be marked in a ceremony, which will involve the hunting of a small number of elk, deer and mountain sheep.
But AWN president David MacPhee says his people were cast out from the park in 1911.
He says they maintain a strong connection with the area and have traditional lands immediately north of Jasper.
In a letter to the park’s superintendent, MacPhee says his people don’t want to deprive other First Nations, but want the same rights as others and to safeguard their own.
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It was signed in 1899 and includes all of northern Alberta, as well as First Nations from northeastern B.C., northwest Saskatchewan and part of the Northwest Territories south of Great Slave Lake.
“Whether it was the remote location of our community, lack of communication or the grueling two-week trip it would’ve taken our Ancestors to get to the closest commissioner, AWN members do not have status,” the Nation’s website said.
“We do not fit under what the Government of Canada defines as First Nations or Métis under the Indian Act. We are not recognized as an Indigenous group and therefore do not share the same rights afforded to recognized Indigenous communities across Canada.”
A response from Parks Canada was not immediately available.
— With files from Karen Bartko, Global News
&© 2023 The Canadian Press
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