The Government of Canada and the Treaty One First Nations signed a settlement agreement on Friday for the former Kapyong Barracks land in Winnipeg – officially handing over the land to the First Nations group.

In a news release, the feds said the deal is the result of a successful process that brought together the First Nations group and the government to reach a solution for both sides.

“In the spirit of Tecumseh, we acknowledge our Treaty One family for their perseverance and dedication to Kapyong,” said said Chief Dennis Meeches, Treaty One First Nations spokesperson. “We acknowledge Canada and DND for coming to terms, and in the spirit of reconciliation, with the Treaty One Government after 17 years. The promise of tomorrow is upon us.”

Chiefs from seven First Nations, along with representatives from the federal government held a signing ceremony in Winnipeg.

The agreement outlines the terms for the sale of the land, based on the shared understandings outlined in a principle agreement in April 2018.

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Jim Carr, minister of international trade diversification and MP for Winnipeg South Centre, attended the ceremony on behalf of the federal government.

“After years of negotiation and dialogue between the Crown and the Treaty One First Nations, I am pleased to have participated in today’s ceremony,” said Carr.

“The transfer of this land is important for building a just and inclusive future for all Manitobans.”

The feds said the agreement represents a renewed, positive relationship between Canada and the Treaty One First Nations.

Carolyn Bennett, minister of Crown-Indigenous relations, said the agreement is a historic step forward in an effort to renew and strengthen the relationship with the Treaty One First Nations.

“The transfer of the Kapyong Barracks land to the Treaty One First Nations is a concrete demonstration of our commitment to work together to build healthier, more sustainable communities,” said Bennett.

The Kapyong Barracks land was formerly part of Canadian Forces Base Winnipeg and is comprised of approximately 65 hectares of land.