BLOOD RESERVE - The Blood Tribe Chief and Council have announced the successful ratification of a settlement offer from the Canadian government, in an outstanding claim that goes back more than 100-years.
The claim alleged mismanagement of Blood Tribe assets by the Canadian government, which resulted in the loss of the Blood Tribe cattle industry in the late 1800s.
According to the claim, the government promised the Blood Tribe cattle after the buffalo herds were wiped out. However, the promised cattle never materialized. As a result, the Tribe sold horses to purchase cattle on its own and amassed a herd of more than 7,000. However, Indian Affairs took over the herd and mismanaged the assets in the following manner:
-- Failing to feed cattle enough, or at all, which meant they had to be sold to avoid starvation.
-- Butchering for sale a "large number" of two-year-old steers that were starving and could have yielded three times as much money if they were left on the land to grow fat.
-- Refusing to allow band members to skin the carcasses of cattle that died of starvation when hides were in demand.
-- Selling cattle for less than half their normal value and failing to account for the proceeds.
-- Selling cattle belonging to Blood Tribe members without their consent.
Initially filed in 2000, the claim was accepted by the government in 2011 and then was then negotiated between 2013 and 2018. A study was used to determine the value of the losses, which were then translated into a 2019 dollar value.
On Monday, March 11, 2019 Blood Tribe members voted and approved the $150-Million Settlement Agreement with Canada, as compensation for the losses that the Blood Tribe suffered.
3015 eligible voters cast their votes, with 2966 in favour and 49 against. Following a period for any appeals, Council will execute the Settlement Agreement and forward it back to Canada’s representatives to be signed. Once the Agreement has gone through the necessary steps, monies will be forwarded to the Blood Tribe.
It's expected each band member will receive $2,000, with the remainder to be used for capital projects.
The Blood Tribe’s lawsuit over the claim will also be withdrawn.
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