Fisher River Cree Nation settles $15M land claim with feds

Fisher River Cree Nation in Manitoba and the federal government have come to an agreement over an outstanding land claim that was filed over 30 years ago.

“After this long history and the co-operative negotiations undertaken by both parties, the Chief and Council of Fisher River Cree Nation is hopeful that this resolution will be part of a long and prosperous relationship between the First Nation and the Government of Canada,” said Chief David Crate in a statement released online.

Fisher River Cree Nation, located roughly 177 km north of Winnipeg, agreed to a $15 million settlement.

Crown-Indigenous relations minister Carolyn Bennett said the settlement is a step towards reconciliation.

“Settling long-standing specific claims through co-operative partnership is a key step toward rebuilding our nation-to nation relationship with indigenous peoples.”

Specific claims stem from historical grievances from First Nations around the mismanagement of trust funds by Ottawa and the loss of lands.

The tribunal was formed in 2008 by former prime minister Stephen Harper who said at the time it was an effort to move claims, which had bogged down at the negotiating table, forward.

It has the authority to award First Nations up to $150 million in compensation.

The tribunal has received 131 claims since 2011, the majority of which are in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Ninety-three remain unresolved according to the tribunal.

Pasqua First Nation in Saskatchewan settled a 6,500 hectare claim for roughly $22,000 per hectare.

Waywayseecappo First Nation in Manitoba settled a claim for about $37,000 a hectare. Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation, south of Winnipeg settled for about $25,000 a hectare.

Fisher River’s average per acre equals out to about $12,000 per hectare.

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