Alberta First Nation votes to accept $150M settlement over mismanaged cattle

Ottawa accepted the claim in 2011, negotiations began in 2013 and an agreement was reached last year

Members of a southern Alberta First Nation have voted to accept a $150-million settlement from the federal government.

The Blood Tribe filed a claim nearly two decades ago alleging that Canada had mismanaged their once lucrative cattle business in the early 1900s.

Ottawa accepted the claim in 2011, negotiations began in 2013 and an agreement was reached late last year.

Blood members needed to ratify the deal, and a news release says it has been approved by more than 98 per cent of those who voted this week.

Each of the Blood Tribe’s more than 12,000 members are to receive $2,000.

Settlement funds are also to go to capital projects such as a hotel and events centre, treatment centre, hockey rink and housing.

“There’s something there to go towards everybody’s interests on the reserve,” council member Dorothy First Rider said in a YouTube video posted to the Blood Tribe’s website ahead of Monday’s vote.

She recounted how the Blood Tribe purchased a cattle herd more than a century ago that eventually grew to 5,000 head.

But Indian Affairs told the First Nation ”we can better manage the cattle for you. We will take over the management of your cattle,” she said.

First Rider said land was leased to non-Blood-Tribe members, there was overgrazing and many animals died over several bad winters.

“Indian Affairs were not taking care of them properly.”

First Rider said $150 million is the maximum amount a First Nation can receive from a specific claim.

For the deal to pass, there had to be at least a 25 per cent turnout with a simple majority in favour. The Blood Tribe’s chief and council said late Tuesday that 40 per cent of eligible voters turned out and only 49 of 3,015 people voted against the deal.

Voting was held on the reserve, more than 200 kilometres southeast of Calgary, and in the city. Transportation was provided for members in nearby Lethbridge as well.

By Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

New app could address Wetaskiwin crime issues

‘Block Talk’ available now for Wetaskiwin residents

UPDATED Leduc RCMP seek older suspect in alleged assault

UPDATED Leduc RCMP seek public assistance in identifying assault suspect

Potato and cheese with Ecuadorian flavour

Soup recipe from south of the equator this week

County of Wetaskiwin ‘open for business’

Updated Hwy #2 development policy approved by council

Wetaskiwin offers good value for taxes: mayor

Tyler Gandam speaks to chamber of commerce about 2019 budget May 14

VIDEO: Canadian breaks women’s world record for longest plank

Dana Glowacka, of Montreal, held a plank for four hours and 20 minutes

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

Alberta NDP cries foul as Speaker Cooper names new legislature clerk

Shannon Dean will replace Merwan Saher as the clerk of the assembly effective immediately

‘Her life mattered:’ New trial ordered in death of Indigenous woman Cindy Gladue

In a 4-3 decision, Supreme Court said evidence about Cindy Gladue’s sexual history was mishandled

Emergency funds for High Level evacuees to start flowing by Monday

About 5,000 people in High Level and surrounding communities have been out of their homes for a week

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

No-vote option: Alberta legislature changing rules to allow MLAs to abstain

The changes are expected to pass, given that Kenney’s party has a majority of seats

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Most Read