In late-2011, Saturn Minerals Inc. and Fishing Lake First Nation, Kinistin Saulteaux Nation, The Key First Nation and Yellowquill First Nations launched Inowending Exploration & Development Corp. as a First Nations natural resource company. Saturn and its First Nations partners believe that partnership is always more powerful than patronage, and that First Nations and Industry co-ownership of natural resource projects creates the opportunity and wealth as envisioned by Treaty and desired by all.
In accordance with its founding provisions, Saturn and its First Nations partners are building Inowending with the mission to become a powerful and effective entity through which First Nations may meaningfully participate in the natural resource industry in Canada.
For more information please visit www.inowending.com. or refer to the founding document below.
'Inowending' is a Saulteaux First Nation word which means 'relationships'. The formation of Inowending is the result of a special relationship developed between Saturn and the First Nations over a period of two and a half years of dialogue, co-operation and certain mutual benefits as discovered by both sides during exploration for coal, oil and other minerals in eastern Saskatchewan and western Manitoba. In recognition of these synergies and the mutual desire for economic opportunity, Saturn and the First Nations executed a non-binding Letter of Intent in February, 2011 which stated the shared intention to evaluate a commercial framework for partnership to pursue natural resource projects. Inowending is the result of that evaluation.
As a First Nations exploration and development company, Inowending will complete assessments of, negotiation for, acquisition of, consultation over and partnerships in exploration and development projects. As co-owner and industry partner of a majority First Nations owned exploration and development company, Saturn will provide technical, administrative and corporate guidance to Inowending. Saturn and the First Nations (the "Founding Partners") believe that an exploration and development company that is co-owned by First Nations has potential advantages within the natural resource industry. It is the hope of the Founding Partners that Inowending may also serve to address the much sought after solution to certain issues facing First Nations, industry and government regarding natural resource projects. It is the strong belief of the Founding Partners that partnership offers the greatest leverage for economic success in respect to natural resource projects in Canada as detailed by the Founding Provisions of Inowending described below.
The Spirit & Intent of Treaty
Treaty is a living bond between First Nations and their partners. It is fundamental to the economic pursuit of natural resource projects and is based on mutual respect, co-operation and recognition of a mutual desire for prosperity and profitable enterprise between First Nations and their partners. Inowending is to be an entity guided by the Spirit & Intent of Treaty.
Natural Resources & the Land
Under Treaty, the land is the basis of all co-operative enterprise for natural resources. Economic development of natural resources brings with it a responsibility for the improvement of life for those affected. Responsible economic development which recognizes that the land provides gifts for development in a respectful and sustainable manner is fundamental to Inowending and its Founding Partners.
First Nations have a clear and defined interest in participating in and benefiting from the development of natural resources on their ancestral lands. Exploration, mining and energy entities have a clear and defined interest in participating in and benefiting from the development of the same natural resources. Inowending is to be a conduit through which these complimentary interests meet for mutual benefit.
Inowending and Saturn Minerals Inc. share a 'Special Relationship' based on mutual respect, understanding and support which resists greater definition. Aspects of this 'Special Relationship' are codified between Saturn and Inowending and include co-operative and preferential provisions between the two companies with respect to shared opportunities, preferred partnerships and co-investment in each other. Certain aspects of this 'Special Relationship' will also be extended to other First Nations beyond the Founding Partners who express a desire to directly participate in or with Inowending. Inowending is to be a partner for First Nations who desire greater involvement in natural resource exploration & development.
"It is about time," said Chief Clarence Papequash of The Key First Nation, "First Nations have an ancestral connection to the land, and have a responsibility to ensure that responsible, sustainable development occurs while creating opportunities for future generations. This partnership is different, and was developed on mutual respect and understanding between First Nations and Saturn Minerals. Inowending represents the development of a positive, working relationship...it is my hope that this new company will lead the way in how to work with First Nations people."
"Understanding and recognizing our Treaty and Inherent Rights to our traditional lands is paramount. We believe that what we have created with Saturn and other First Nations is one step forward towards strengthening that understanding and recognition" stated Chief Larry Cachene of Yellowquill First Nation. "This venture is a remarkable opportunity for Yellowquill First Nation to attain ownership and create mutually beneficial partnerships in an exploration and development company, while ensuring that we do not impair our unique position as Treaty First Nations. Looking forward, we see Inowending as a move forward towards a vibrant level of community investment by creating a venue that can foster education, training and capacity development. We are aware of the challenges our communities face and we want to respond to the value-based issues our community members care about and its impact on the social, human and cultural needs as well. We embrace this opportunity to forge ahead in a proactive and productive way, bringing forward solutions to the issues that have not been dealt with effectively in the past. Our strategy is to reinforce systems of good governance and business practices while operating under the principles of accountability, transparency and integrity. Inowending will help to foster meaningful relationships that are innovative, respectful and positive and reflect our vision for the future. I am very proud to be a part of this new and exciting company."
Chief Albert Scott of Kinistin Saulteaux First Nation stated, "It is good to see First Nations and an exploration company come together to create a unique opportunity built on partnership and ownership. It is very encouraging to have Saturn approach First Nations, the original inhabitants of this land, and understand that before Treaty, we, as First Nation people, took care of Mother Earth in a respectful and sustainable way. Building a partnership based on those understandings will open doors for other unique and positive partnerships, and fosters a different approach for governments and industries in doing business with First Nations. Saturn and Inowending understand the importance of including First Nations laws and ceremonies in our relationship, and it is only natural that we work together to ensure that we create opportunities for the future, as well as continue the respect and sustainability of the land. It is my hope that this will set a standard for all industry and First Nations to develop positive partnerships."
"Saskatchewan has tremendous natural wealth and potential beneath the ground in the form of mineral wealth such as coal, oil, potash, and above ground in the form of First Nations," stated Stan Szary, President of Saturn. "Inowending will strive to establish a framework for our First Nations partners and Saturn to share the risk and reward as we unlock both of these potentials in a form that was originally envisioned by the Treaties. Indigenous populations taking ownership of the natural wealth of their homelands is a well-understood story, and Saturn is proud and happy to stand with our First Nations in their inherent desire to bring hope and prosperity through the exploration and development of mineral and natural resources. Success for Inowending will mean success for both Founding Partners that is mutual and forms the core of Treaty."