La Ronge Band Members Want Say on Tax Rebate

Wednesday, April 21, 2004 at 15:08



A group of Lac La Ronge Indian Band members wants the band’s chief and council to listen to the people when it decides what to do with a multi-million-dollar settlement.


The band was recently awarded 4.2 million dollars in an out-of-court settlement reached with the provincial government over gas and tobacco taxes collected on reserve.


Hilary Cook is a spokesman for the group, which hosted a community meeting in La Ronge this past weekend and will hold another one this Saturday.


Cook says because this money was initially collected by the government from band members, they feel they have the right to decide how it is used.


Cook says there are suggestions that the entire sum of the settlement be divided amongst individual band members, and he says band citizens are worried that the chief and council have already decided to spend it elsewhere.


Cook says the entire band council was invited to this past Saturday’s meeting, but only 2 councillors took part.


He’s hoping more band officials will attend the gathering planned for this Saturday in La Ronge.


Cook also says holding a plebiscite might be the best way to know the wishes of band members.


The band says it will have something to say on this issue after the April 29th chief and council meeting.