Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

In Manitoba, a First ;re Nation is suing the federal government for annual compensation of $5

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The Fisher River Cree Nation criticizes the federal government for having failed in its obligations to increase compensation by $5 regularly since the signing of Treaty 5 in 1875 so that they retain their values. (Archive photo)

Radio-Canada

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The Fisher River Cree Nation is taking legal action against the federal government. Its leaders allege that the $5 annual compensation awarded to First Nations who signed Treaty 5 violated the settlement for the past 148 years because the payments did not take into account inflation.

The Fisher River Cree Nation proposes to represent the interests of all First Nations that signed Treaty 5, as well as their members in this legal action.

According to an application filed in the Manitoba Court of King's Bench on December 12, Stefan Lorne Cochrane will be the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit. The latter is the former chief and band councilor of the Fisher River Cree Nation.

The Fisher River Cree Nation criticizes the federal government for having failed in its obligations to increase compensation by $5 regularly since the signing of Treaty 5 in 1875 so that they retain their values.

To date, none of these allegations have been proven in court and no defense has been submitted.

The thirty-six First Nations that are part of Treaty 5 stretch 260,000 square kilometers across northern and central Manitoba and include parts of Saskatchewan and Ontario.

In 1875, the federal government and the Ojibwe and Moskégon peoples of Lake Winnipeg signed Treaty 5 with the promise of one-time, ongoing funding in exchange for use of their lands and resources.

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One ​​of Canada's major promises was to pay annual compensation to the Nations of Treaty 5 and their members, says the document filed with the Court. This includes annual payments of $5 for members, $25 for leaders, $15 for advisors and $500 for the community.

These annual allowances have a specific monetary value, but represent a level of purchasing power, according to the lawsuit.

It also indicates that during During the negotiations of Treaties 1 to 5, Crown agents promised the First Nations that these annual indemnities would allow them to care for future generations.

The First Nations interpreted this promise as a guarantee that these compensations would help improve their quality of life or even meet their basic needs in the future.

The Fisher River Cree Nation reports that its expenses have continued to increase, but the amount of compensation has remained the same as in 1875.

During the same period, the value of land and resources used by Canada increased astronomically and generated profits worth millions of dollars for the Crown and settlers, the court document says .

CBC/Radio-Canada attempted to reach the Fisher River Cree Nation and Crown-Indigenous Relations, but they did not respond following our interview requests.

With information from Ozten Shebahkeget

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