Curve Lake First Nation band members hold rally over Williams Treaties payout

Around 50 people protested inside of the Curve Lake First Nation government services building on Thursday morning.

The community had voted overwhelmingly to accept 100 per cent of the Williams Treaties Settlement Agreement payout. Council first backed this decision, but then went back on the decision.

“Eight-six per cent of Curve Lake members voted for 100 per cent of the funds,” said Brittany Taylor, Curve Lake resident and organizer of the protest.  “As of two days ago, we were informed we weren’t getting 100 per cent.  They had a private vote amongst themselves. They didn’t agree with the decision.”

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The group says they were notified that 30 per cent of the payout would actually go toward community funding.

In September, a negotiated settlement was reached, totalling $1.11 billion in compensation for the seven Williams Treaties First Nations ($666 million by the federal government, $444 million by the Ontario government).

The deal also gives each First Nation the entitlement to add up to 11,000 acres of land to their reserve. An oral and written statement of apology will also be given to the Williams Treaties First Nations from both levels of government.

As it stands, the first payment, which goes out from the province next week, will be $12,590 per member.

Curve Lake First Nation is getting $155.4 million from the settlement. Of that, $65.8 million will come from the province and $98.6 million will come from the federal government.

Council is expected to hold another meeting on the matter soon. A date was not provided.

A signing ceremony is planned for Nov. 17 at Rama First Nation.

— more to come.

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