The Flying Dust First Nation is located on the northeast side of the City of Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan. The band has a current membership of 1471 people with 600 living on the reserve. The area is home to some of the most fertile farmland in northern Saskatchewan. The City of Meadow Lake is an important service centre to the north western part of the province and provides many services and conveniences to that region. The NorSask Sawmill, Meadow Lake Mechanical Pulp Industry and Meadow Lake OSB Ltd Partnership, all located just outside the First Nation, provide many employment opportunities for the people of the area.
The Flying Dust First Nation is one of the nine First Nations that are members of the Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC). The people are descendants of the Algonquian linguistic group that has Cree as their native language. The First Nation is governed by a chief and council who are elected every two years. The council has adopted a portfolio and committee system to deal with the everyday functions that arise in the operation of a modern-day First Nation. Every year the chief and council set goals and objectives for the band. The chief and council then work cooperatively with their members toward achieving these goals and objectives. The chief and council are also responsible for setting budgets and making or adopting policies and regulations that provide direction for band employees.
The Flying Dust First Nation currently consists of 12 parcels of land totalling 7764.32 hectares (19,185.64 acres). Under the current Treaty Land Entitlement (TLE) structure, the band is entitled to purchase an additional 4326.81 hectares (10, 691.78 acres) of land. To date, Flying Dust has purchased 9396.089 hectares (23,218.22 acres). The band is in the process of securing their full TLE.
Many facilities exist on the reserve for the mutual benefit of all band members. Most of the buildings are modern structures and are heated with natural gas. The facilities enable programs and services to be delivered to the members of the band. These programs and services are designed to meet the needs of the band membership and to empower them to reach their full potential as First Nations People of Canada.
Education is very important to the band’s members. The Kopahawakenum School offers a complete, modern educational program from kindergarten to grade four. Students from grades five to twelve attend school in Meadow Lake. The band makes funds available to cover tuition, books and a living allowance to those students who seek to further their education off reserve. As the education level improves, the people of the Flying Dust First Nation continue to develop skills that enable them to secure higher levels of employment in today’s society.
With the band being located close to Meadow Lake, a number of employment opportunities exist that are not available to bands in more northern areas of the province. The location also makes it easier for investment opportunities and the band is actively pursuing these opportunities through their economic development department.