The federal government and the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation have reached a $50 million settlement.
ACFN Chief Allan Adam tells Mix News the money comes from an “agricultural benefit” in Treaty 8 that wasn’t obligated by the government.
He says the Treaty was signed by different First Nations in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia back in 1899.
“It was meant to make our First Nation’s prosper and to gain an economic engine out of it, so the First Nation would create wealth and prosperity.”
Allan notes the government failed to meet the conditions of the Treaty which resulted in the different groups taking the government to court nearly 24-years ago.
Through the courts, they were able to come to the $50 million settlement – money that will be used to help the First Nation people and the community of Fort Chipewyan.
Around 22 per cent will be given to the members of the First Nation – averaging $10,000 for each person.
Around 30 per cent will be put into a trust fund with the remaining funds being used for PDC payments and helping provide better programs and services in Fort Chipewyan.
“We’re satisfied with the money because with smart planning and smart use of that settlement it could go a long way and that’s what we attend to do with it, we want to take the First Nation further from where we’re at right now,” added Adam.
The ACFN has yet to receive the funds as they continue to wait for “Canada to do their part.”
“It’s a good step for both Canada and the First Nation to put one of these treaty commitments to rest, now it’s up to the First Nation to look at the future and our biggest investment will be investing in our people through education and that’s what we’re going to use that money for.”