Birdtail Sioux First Nation
Birdtail Sioux First Nation are a Dakota First Nation located approximately 50 km north of Virden, Manitoba. The first nation has a population of approximately 643 people on approximately 7,128 acres (28.85 km2) of land. It is bordered by the Rural Municipality of Miniota and the Rural Municipality of Archie. The main settlement of Birdtail Sioux is located at . The First Nation has a kindergarten to Grade12 school (Chan Kagha Otina Dakota Wayawa Tipi School –Frontier school Division), an Adult Learning Centre (Birdtail Sioux Adult Learning Centre – Frontier School Division), a police detachment (Dakota Sioux Tribal Police) and a health centre.
Under the leadership of Chief Ken Chalmers, Birdtail Sioux's partnership with the Federal government of Canada and corporate partnerships has created some controversy. Birdtail Sioux entered into agreement with companies like Enbridge and Canadian National Railway to help build reserve projects such as the construction of a new health centre, a shopping centre, and a 62 home renovation project. Some of the other Dakota First Nations are concerned that the Birdtail Sioux's attempts for "short term gains" will hurt Dakota claims going back to 1870.
The original Canadian land claim alleges that the Dakota are American refugees and as such their aboriginal rights, land compensation, funding and recognition as Canadian aboriginal people under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Canadian government alleges that the Dakota live in Manitoba on the good graces of the crown. The Dakota intend to use maps and papers that predate confederation in Canada to negotiate a modern treaty. The rest of the Dakota are challenging this where the Birdtail are not.
Chief Chalmers justified his decisions by saying, ""The only way I can get things like the renovations going ... I can only get it by partnering, not fighting."  Chief Frank Brown of the Canupawakpa Dakota First Nation replied that "Divide and conquer is a game Indian Affairs plays all of the time...When you challenge Canada in court or when you challenge your rights, they take one of your people and give them money to convince them otherwise. The job creation is a good thing, but it's not fixing nothing, it's just a little Band-Aid, whereas we're working for the future of our people."
At the end of March 2013, the people of Birdtail Sioux decided to break with Chief Chalmers. He was defeated by former Chief Kelly Bunn.
- "Birdtail Sioux First Nation". Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council. Retrieved 2010-07-03.[dead link]
- "FIRST NATION CONNECTIVITY PROFILE - 2003". Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. 2003. Retrieved 2010-07-03.
- Cosgrove, Colleen (4 March 2010). "Birdtail Sioux progress sparks Dakota concern". Brandon Sun. Retrieved 2010-07-03.