By Tawnya Plain Eagle
With files from Robin Lee Twigg.
A referendum is expected to be held on Oct 16 for Piikani Nation members to vote on the designation of Piikani reserve land for the government use of 15.3 hectors.
If voted yes, the lease would be for 99 years and could be used by Canada for commercial, light industrial, educational, institutional, residential, recreational specifically set forth by the nation’s Chief and Council.
Three information meeting will be held that can provide more information on the referendum.
September 19 in Piikani at the Piikani Multipurpose Centre, September 20 in Calgary at the Blackfoot confederacy office and September 21 in Lethbridge at the Sik-Ooh-Kotoki friendship society.
Electors may vote by mail in ballot or in person at a polling station.
Land designation is a process available to First Nations to assist in the management of reserve land.
Before any reserve land can be leased, it must first be designated.
As part of the reserved land base, income earned by First Nation people on designated is non-taxable.
As well as any laws passed by Chief and Council will apply to designated land areas and any projects that are located on that land.