“Onihcikiskowapowin Trust” was the original Trust that was created January 24, 2003. It was created with the understanding that it would allow economic sustainability for the future generations of the SLCN. The Trust held 50% interest in the Western Lakota drilling rig. The Trust was set up to have 5 Trustees (3 appointed members and 2 Councillors). In 2005, a second drilling rig was acquired with 50% interest for the Trust. At that time Western Lakota Enterprises made an offer to Chief and Council to convert ownership in the rig into publicly traded shares of Western Lakota Enterprises. The terms of the Trust were restrictive and did not allow Chief and Council to pursue that opportunity. The restrictions of the Trust affected other opportunities such as acquiring Income Trust Units, and lending to Saddle Lake business entities. Opportunities that were good for the future generations could not be captured under the structure of the Trust. Ultimately the benefit for future generations was at stake as the Trust was set up as a “flow through” entity with all income paid to the nation every year.
The solution was simple; create a new Trust that would allow the nation to reflect its values and to accomplish its goals and objectives. Keeping in mind the off-reserve opportunities it was important to promote economic development opportunities and the protection of traditional values. The trustees would then have the ability to hold a broad range of property for the benefit of the SLCN.
Through many lengthy discussions the new Trust was created in December 2006, “Onihcikiskowapowin Business Trust.”