Blood Tribe members to vote on historic $150M cattle mismanagement settlement from Ottawa


CBC (Canada)

via Yahoo! News - March 11, 2019


Members of the Blood Tribe in southern Alberta will vote Monday on whether to ratify a $150-million settlement with the federal government over concerns the federal government mismanaged the First Nation's burgeoning cattle industry 125 years ago.


The ratification vote will be held from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. with polling locations in Standoff and in Calgary.


All members 21 and up are eligible to vote. Mail-in ballots are also being accepted.


If the majority votes in favour of the settlement, each band member will receive $2,000 and the remainder of the funds will be used on capital projects like a community college, a hockey rink, much needed multi-family housing and a treatment facility. The funds will be put into a trust, and interest will also be distributed to members on a yearly basis.


The settlement would see the Blood Tribe withdraw its lawsuit over the claim, which was filed two years before the claim was submitted.


Cattle starved, sold for less than worth: claim


The claim states that in the 1880s, the federal government promised to provide cattle to the Blood Tribe after buffalo herds were wiped out, but it never did.


Instead, the Tribe sold horses to purchase cattle on its own, eventually amassing 7,500 head but Indian Affairs took over management of the cattle, starving the animals and selling them for less than they were worth, the Tribe said.


"Indian Affairs came in during that time and said, 'we can better manage the cattle for you' and they mismanaged it," said Coun. Dorothy First Rider, in a YouTube video encouraging members to turn out and vote on Monday.


"The Tribe suffered a loss."


The Blood Tribe claims Ottawa mismanaged the herd in numerous ways, including by: