The Ermineskin Cree Nation
Settlement Planning Committee


Short details of the timeline of events leading up to now.
The ECN Oil and Gas Action was commenced in 1993. The action covers a broad range of claims relating to the Crown’s management of Ermineskin’s oil and gas resources and the revenues from those resources up until that date and the action falls within a few categories.
• The Money Management claims were dismissed through a lengthy trial process that occurred from 2000- 2005. Although ECN lost at trial, ECN and Canada agreed that Canada would no longer manage ECN’s oil and gas revenues and the NT Trust was created.
• The Oil and Gas claims include: “Inequitable production”, “Royalty” claims, “Survey” claim (Pigeon Lake boundary), and the “Export” claim. The Export claim was also dismissed based on a statute of limitation (time limitation) regarding when the action was brought forward.
• “Programs and Services” claim was severed from the main action pending the resolution of other claims.
• “PCD” Claim
In 2014 ECN began the discussion with the Crown on resolving the remaining claims outside of Court through formal mediation. Preparation for mediation by both parties took time and mediation occurred in 2018 in Toronto for 5 days facilitated by Supreme Court judge Lacobucci. Even after compromise on both sides, Judge Lacobucci suggested a number that he thought was fair and both parties agree in principle to that number subject to approvals.
Approvals took time on Canada’s side and approval of the Settlement Agreement is now needed on ECN’s side.
Please note there other actions that overlap with the Oil and Gas claim, but those actions will not be included in the settlement except for the parts of the actions that make the same claims that are made in the Oil and Gas claim. The purpose of the settlement is to resolve all of the claims that are made in the Oil and Gas action and no other claims.

Committee Timeline

November 30th, 2021
A referendum was done by ECN to accept and allocate these funds. The committee is following this decision as they decide on how funds should be allocated.
June 16, 2022
Committee positions were posted for opportunity for members to apply for these positions. Interviews were held on June 16, 2022. Committee members were appointed from there.
July 1st, 2022
Introductory committee meetings started in July, 2022. The committee’s mandate is to determine and recommend to Chief and Council as to how funds will be allocated within the Ermineskin Cree Nation’s departments and programs
July 6, 2022
The settlement money was received July 6, 2022, it was since put into an interest generating account in September.

Purpose and Principles:

  1.  It is acknowledged that the power of the Ermineskin Cree Nation to govern and administer its resources flows from its members to Council according to Ermineskin Cree Nation custom and law.
  2. The Settlement Planning Committee is responsible for overseeing all matters relating to the financial administration of the Ermineskin Cree Nation Agreement money allocated under: “programs and services”
  3. The purpose of these terms is to assist the Settlement Planning Committee in the performance of its duties and responsibilities by authorizing the Settlement Planning Committee to help gather and assess information, and to provide advice and recommendations to Council on the Settlement Money set aside for “programs and services”.
  4. In administering these terms, the Settlement Planning Committee shall act in the best interests of the Ermineskin Cree Nation.
  5. The settlement Budget Planning Committee’s role, subject to direction by Council, is to ensure that these terms are established and adhered to by the Settlement Budget Planning Committee and by its individual committee members. Further, subject to direction by Council, the Chair of the Settlement Budget Planning Committee shall be responsible for overseeing the implementation of these terms.


The Settlement Planning Committee shall prepare and make recommendations to Council on a financial plan for the allocation and use of the ECN Settlement Money including:
  1. Recommendations to guide the development of the annual budget as it relates to the ECN Settlement money;

  2.  Submission of proposals and business cases for a project to be approved;

  3. Presentation of a recommended overall financial budget as it relates to the ECN Settlement money.

The Settlement Planning Committee has the mandate to:

  1.  Ensure, using appropriate methods and processes, the overall integrity of the financial records of the Ermineskin Cree Nation through the offices of the Administrator, Finance Director, and External Affairs Director

  2. Oversee the preparation of the Settlement Planning Committee recommendations of the Ermineskin Settlement money

    NOTE: Criteria Letter has been sent out to all Department Managers and Directors; within the letter, the committee is asking to identify the following;

    • How does it benefit individual, ECN as a whole, and future benefits (ie 7 generations),
    • Sustainability
    • Not to be for wages
    • For large projects, phased planning is to be identified
    • Matching grants

How will the Settlement be distributed?

Council worked together to come to a consensus on the allocation of the 60 Million Monies:


Programs and Operations of the Nation


Per Capita Distribution


Neyaskweyahk Trust

Ermineskin Cree Nation Settlement Planning Committee Members

Audrey Ward

Committee Chairperson

Tansi! Kisikaw Pisim Iskwew, nisikason…Hello, my name is Audrey Ward. I’m proud to say I was/am born and raised here on Ermineskin Cree Nation, Neyaskwayahk! My late parents are Andrew and Jemina Ward. Nimosompanahk, Paul Oskatamin ekwa Thomas Lightning. Nokompanahk, Annie Oskatamin (nee Whitemudeye) ekwa Mary Lightning (nee Buffalo). I have 3 children, and 4 grandchildren. My life revolves around them! It’s always been my desire to be a part of Neyaskwayahk nation building. This is why I applied to be part of the ‘Settlement Planning Committee’. I am looking beyond todays needs of Ermineskin. Mainly thinking of the children, 7 generations ahead. I hope that some of my ideas will become a reality and make Ermineskin a prospering community! Planning, planning and more planning is key for our nation!

S. Collin Wildcat

ECN Representative from the Executive Management

Collin is the Ermineskin representative from the Executive Management of Ermineskin. His role is as a liaison between the Nation’s Administration and the settlement committee. Collin’s educational background in political science and economic development will be an asset to the facilitation of the committee. In addition to his roles with ECN, Collin is a father and a mosom. He has served as a former member of Council and has played key roles in our Nation’s economic development initiatives.

Ken Cutarm

Committee Elder

Ken is the male elder for the settlement committee. He is a father and a mosom. Kens professional experience is vast ranging from his Journey Man in Carpentry to his Executive experience as one of our nation’s Corporate Directors in the past. Ken has also served Neyaskweyahk as a Member of Council for many terms in the past. This experience will allow Ken to further assist our Nation in the planning for the use of our settlement dollars.

Rose Makinaw

Committee Elder

Rose is the female elder for the settlement committee. Rose is also a mother and a kokom. Roses professional experience reaches into the areas of education, governance, leadership, and nehiyaw language and culture. Rose has also served Ermineskin in leadership and played a role in the development of the Ermineskin Constitution. Her diverse background will be a great asset you our planning committee.

Chester Morin

Committee Member

Hi! My name is Chester Morin I am an Ermineskin Band member. I joined this team to try and help our people better their lives. I am a hard-working man but health has slowed me down. I’ll do my best to serve Ermineskin Cree Nation. Chester is a mosom and father, local entrepreneur, Musician, hobby farmer.

Michelle Littlechild

Committee Member

My name is Michelle Littlechild, I’m a mother of 3 adult sons. I have my degree in Bachelor of Indigenous Social Work from University of Regina /First Nations University. I applied for this committee and wanted to utilize my experience and knowledge to develop a community plan that well benefit the whole Ermineskin Nation citizens

Jana Montour

Committee Member

My name is Jana Montour. I work for CIBC Bank for the past 3+ years. I grew up in Maskwacis and lived here most of my life. I went to school at Maskwacis Cultural College for First Nation’s Business Management followed by MacEwan University for Strategic measurement. My hobbies include billiards, crafts and listening to music. My interest in joining the Settlement Planning Committee was support education and job creation. I feel we owe it to our youth to give them something to look forward too. The fact that I’ve been working at CIBC I believe would be beneficial to the ECN citizens.