Cash payments are coming to members of Nova Scotia’s Pictou Landing First Nation as a 21-year-old deal with the federal government is set to expire.
The money is compensation for the environmental contamination at Boat Harbour.
It's the final phase of the Boat Harbour Settlement Trust agreement with the federal government, which runs out Saturday.
The original purpose of the trust was to compensate band members for paper mill effluent discharging next to band land.
According to Chief Andrea Paul, the trust now contains roughly $30 million.
Three million of that will be divided among 650 band members living on and off reserve. The payout will be roughly $5,000 for each band member and Paul says it will make a difference.
“I know the distribution is going to help a lot of people," she says. "And people are looking forward to getting something.”
Four million dollars has been allocated to the chief and council and Paul says there will be community discussions about how to spend it.
$22 million relocation fund
“I think right now the biggest thing is economic development. So that we can continue to generate more income for the community," she says.
What will happen with a $22 million relocation fund is still to be determined.
The trust agreement says the band and the Federal Government must agree how to allocate the funds when the trust expires.
Paul says those discussions are still underway.
The Bank of Montreal will mail out the checks to individual band members at the end of next week.