BLOOD RESERVE, AB – A settlement between the federal government and the Blood Tribe, worth $150-million that’s been going on for nearly 25 years, could come to an end by next month.
In 1997, the Tribe filed a Statement of Claim with the Federal Court of Canada saying that cattle promised in the Blackfoot Treaty of 1877 were never provided by the government, resulting in significant economic damages. The Blood Tribe says it wasn’t able to establish an alternative economy once the local buffalo population was gone.
Canada admitted in 2018 that it breached the treaty, and finally agreed to a $150-million settlement in March 2021.
Members of the Blood Tribe are set to vote either electronically on Sept. 14 and 15, or in-person on Sept. 16, on whether or not to accept the terms of the agreement. Officials say 25-percent of voting members have to vote, with the majority voting “yes”, in order to receive the funds.
Big plans are already in place for the money, including $3,000 for each eligible member, as well as multiple large-scale capital and infrastructure projects. Some of the largest projects include paying off the remainder of the Kainai Marketplace mortgage, new multi-family housing units, new homeless shelters for Moses Lake and Stand Off and an urgent care centre.
An information session is being hosted online on Wednesday (Aug. 18) for eligible voters to learn more about the agreement before casting their vote next month.