Monday, November 03, 2008

$78M land settlement gives just $1500 to band members

The full Leader-Post report is here.

The Cote, Key and Keeseekoose First Nations, located in east-central Saskatchewan, will together receive a total of $78.2 million for the 12,800 acres known as the Pelly Haylands, which were taken from them in 1899 and 1905.

The settlement, which has been in negotiations since 2000, will see the federal government pay the bands $73.5 million for the land claim and another $4.8 million for its research, negotiation and ratification costs....

The bulk of the settlement will be put toward land purchase and other economic development. On Tuesday, the bands will begin to distribute about $1,500 to each of the bands' on and off-reserve members, a total of about 5,000 people...

The bands and federal government had agreed to the conditions of the settlement a few years ago, but the payout was held up by a lawsuit, which was recently dismissed.

In 1891, the federal government set aside land known as the Pelly Haylands for the use of the three bands. However, in 1899 and again in 1905, the land was taken away.

In Saskatchewan, 40 specific claims from bands are currently "under review." Another 16 have reached the next stage and are being negotiated.

A further 14 claims are in the hands of the Indian Specific Claims Commission, which resolves differences once the two sides reach an impasse.

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