Band votes in favour of $21M settlement

SAKIMAY, Sask. – Members of a Saskatchewan Indian band have voted to accept a $21-million settlement for land that was flooded in the 1940s.

Chief Lynn Acoose of the Sakimay First Nation says 307 of 328 ballots cast in Monday’s referendum were in favour.

A deal was reached earlier this month after years of talks between the Sakimay, the federal government and the province.

The claim was over a water control structure built on Crooked Lake in the Qu’Appelle Valley east of Regina.

The Indian Claims Commission ruled in 1998 that there was no proper authorization to build the structure or to flood reserve land.

The land remains under water to this day.

Acoose says about $2 million of the total settlement will go toward paying each person from the Sakimay First Nation $1,000. There are about 470 band members.

The remaining $19 million is to be invested in a bank-managed trust.

“We’ll be drawing four per cent of our trust annually in revenue,” she explained Tuesday. “It’s going to be used for things such as language retention, recreation, culture and elder use support.”

The settlement also allows some land to be added to the reserve to make up for what was lost.

(CJWW, The Canadian Press)

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