The History of Ring Road Negotiations

On the day of a vote by the Tsuu T’ina Nation on a potential deal to sell and trade land for the Southwest Calgary Ring Road, it’s worth looking at the history of the negotiations for this road.

Many commentators have made statements to the effect that the City of Calgary or the Province of Alberta have been negotiating with the Nation over land for the ring road for upwards of 60 years. While it’s true that designs for the road, even from the very beginning, have shown the road on reserve land, it cannot be said that true negotiations have been underway since that time. Though conversations have certainly taken place for decades, the current negotiations can be traced back to about 2004, with modern negotiations starting in 1998, and prior to 1984 the Nation were largely opposed to the entire notion of running a major freeway through their land.

1956
The earliest ring road plans are revealed to the public. Mayor Don Mackay states that a small portion of the road, particularly the interchange with what would become 90th avenue, would cross the Tsuu T’ina reserve. Mayor Mackay said “Think of the possibilities for a great tourist attraction this would provide for the Indians… They could line the road, as it crosses their territory, with teepees and provide a wonderful sight.”

1956_a

Soon the proposed road would be altered from these early plans, and the officially approved route in 1959 was not noted to require land from the reserve. No formal discussions are known to have taken place with the Nation regarding the purchase of land at this time.

(For more on the early road, click here) Continue reading “The History of Ring Road Negotiations”

Advertisements

The Glenmore Land Claims

On June 6 2013 the Canadian government ratified a settlement agreement with the Tsuu T’ina Nation that was reached this past April regarding three specific land claims. These claims, known collectively as the Glenmore Reservoir land claims, were the result of actions taken in the 1930s regarding land in the Weaselhead area.

weaselhead_2

The $20.8 million settlement has now concluded claim negotiations that had been ongoing since 1996. With the potential for the largest ever sale of Tsuu T’ina land for the still under negotiations for the ring road, it is important to understand the context of historic land deals, and the problems and sensitivities that arose from them. Continue reading “The Glenmore Land Claims”

1959, 1963 and 1967 Transportation Plans

In 1959, Calgary produced it’s first ever transportation plan, called the Calgary Metropolitan Area Transportation Study. This was the first time the City produced a comprehensive, forward-looking plan that laid out the basic road network for a growing city.

Part of this document, plus the revision in 1963 and the Calgary Transportation Study (CALTS) in 1967, showed for the first time (*see edit below) a plan for a major north-south road connecting Glenmore Trail to the areas south of the reservoir, called the ‘West By-Pass’. The City planned this section of the road to be a continuation of what would eventually be called Sarcee Trail, from Glenmore Trail, heading south through the Harvey Barracks (Sarcee Camp), through the Weaselhead area, and then south along the 37th street SW corridor from about 90th avenue SW. Because the Harvey Barracks was at that time owned by the Canadian Military, and both it and the Weaselhead area were within Calgary city limits, this original routing was contained entirely within the City of Calgary, and required no land from the adjoining Tsuu T’ina reserve.

Continue reading “1959, 1963 and 1967 Transportation Plans”