Saskatchewan

First Nations members eligible for $20,000 each in land claim deal

Members of the Cote First Nation, near Kamsack, Sask., are eligible to receive $20,000 each as part of a comprehensive land claim settlement valued at $130 million.

Members of the Cote First Nation, near Kamsack, Sask., are eligible to receive $20,000 each as part of a comprehensive land claim settlement valued at $130 million.

The settlement was reached between the First Nation and the federal government last fall and has been ratified by band members.

The money is to make up for land that should have been provided to the First Nation more than 100 years ago.

According to a notice provided to band members, a portion of the settlement money will go into a trust fund to ensure there is an ongoing source of revenue for the band.

Each band member between the age of 18 and 65 will also receive their choice of an annual payment, for 16 years, of $1,500 or a one-time lump-sum payment of $20,000.

Elders — band members over the age of 65 — will have the option of receiving $1,500 per year for 20 years, or a one-time lump-sum payment of $25,000.

Children under the age of 18 will be eligible for a lump-sum payment of $20,000 when they turn 18, or they can choose to receive an annual payment that is adjusted depending on their current age, once they turn 18.

There are about 3,500 members of the band, with about three-quarters living off-reserve.

The settlement money will be paid out over the course of several years.

However, in case members choose a lump-sum payment, the band will be able to borrow money to meet the one-time payments.

The Cote First Nation is about 225 kilometres northeast of Regina.

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