Siksika Nation has a long, rich, history dating back to the 1890's of irrigating lands for agricultural purposes, generating revenue and providing employment opportunities for Siksika Nation Members. Since then, and into the 1930's, the areas known as North Camp and the Shouldice Block are primarily used for irrigated and dry-land purposes. Today, the Nation has since created the Siksika Irrigation Lands Corporation (SILC) business entity, and has 5 families that continue their own sourced grain farming, and 53 families that continue to ranch, farm, and raised animals.
Siksika Irrigation Lands Corporation
Siksika Irrigation Lands Corporation operates under an Indigenous and Northern Affairs (INAC) Head Lease in accordance to the current SRDL Agri Business Plan 2013-2020, managing a total of 6446.5 acres: 4550 acres in irrigated land and 1050 in dryland corners.
SRDL's investment strategies benefit the Nation by positioning SILC to be market competitive well into the future. Along with potential joint ventures, the opportunities to utilize new bio crop rotations, methods, technology and the educational capacity to fulfill Siksika community developments is huge. /sustainable employment, agri-training, increasing equipment assets, and creating investment ventures are priority activities for SILC. The Nation will likely become increasingly dependent on SILC's long term strategies as an important economic driver to fulfill SRDL and the Nations producers' future goals and objectives
SILC maintains sublease contracts with two producers: Bar-Ag Ltd, which leases 1920 acres, and kodiak Farms (Kodiak-Kikitsimoo) leasing 2030 acres. Canola, wheat, barley,summerfallow, and hay
are typically produced through the Siksika Farms Entity. SRDL Management are currently renegotiation the terms of the new Irrigation and Dry-lands Head Lease with INAC.
Because of the 2013 Flood that impacted Siksika and SRDL core businesses, such as the Siksika Tribal Ranch operation, the expansion of irrigated lands is undergoing a feasibility study to better accommodate the relocation of the Siksika Tribal Ranch.
SIKSIKA TRIBAL FARMS (STF)
The Siksika Tribal Farm was originally under the Siksika Nation Administration from the 1970's as part of the Indian Affairs Agricultural Program. In June 2012, the program was transferred to SRDL and placed under Siksika Irrigation Lands Corporation (SILC).
Siksika Tribal Farms is now a thriving and exciting profitable business entity under the SRDL Agri-Business Plan
Develop and negotiate the new INAC Irrigation and Drylands Head Lease, under SILC
Increase the irrigated crop production land base by 1,000 acres
Work with Siksika Agriculture, and-secondary institutes' Agri-Science departments such as Olds College and the University of Alberta, to develop test sites that will help to optimize revenue source streams from dryland for drought mitigation measures
Develop inventory and maintenance plans for equipment assets
Explore Agri-Business joint venture partnerships
Activities and Targets:
Continued capacity development for increased farming lands, advanced computer/equipment irrigation technology and ensure health and safety codes are followed
Ensure increase employment and training for Siksika Nation members of current and future Agri-Business Progjects
SIKSIKA TRIBAL Ranch (STR)
Continue capacity development for increased forage irrigation lands, advanced computer/equipment irrigation technology and ensure health and safety codes are met
Develop crop rotation alternatives for forage as part of the new INAC Head Lease
Increase herd production by holding back heifers and exchanging for appropriate heifers or bred heifers
Ensure increased employment and training for Siksika Nation members for current and future Agri-Business ranching initiatives
Previously under the Siksika Nation Administration from the 1960's as part of the Indian Affairs agricultural program, the Siksika Tribal Ranch was transferred to SRDL in 2012 and placed to administer under the Siksika Irrigation Lands Corporation (SILC).
Cow and calf ranching operations of the Siksika Tribal Ranch operate in the western region of the South Camp and Crowfoot communities of Siksika. Since the 2013 flood, management has now begun an implementation plan to abandon the South Camp operation and possibly assign 3 new relocation areas in the Bassano/Crowfoot area and the Axe Flats.
Siksika Tribal Ranch currently manages nearly 500 bred cows with 11 bulls and rented spring bulls for breeding.
Activities and Targets:
Continue updating feasibility and implementation strategy for Tribal Ranch relocation
Increase herd numbers
Increase Alfalfa hay crops, decrease hay purchases
provide more employment opportunities for Siksika Nation Members
Sun Roads Farmory
In June 2015, SRDL entered into a Joint Venture Agreement with Ron Doore, owner of Sun Roads Farmory, located in Cut Bank, Montana. The Limited Partnership allows SRDL to participate in the Alternative Feed System industry with a company that has only one Canadian franchise to date.
This system is a self-contained feed growing system that allows livestock owners and zoos to produce consistent, low cost, high in nutrition, and high quality sprout feed grown hydroponically every single day of the year. The feed produced using the Alternative Feed System has proven to save costs by increasing animal health and welfare.
This initiative is designed for revenue streams from SRDL's manufacturing and eventual marketing of the self-contained hydroponic containers, to the eventual production of the Alternative feed sprouts for the Canadian or Overseas animal feed and proposed human consumption market within restaurants and homes.