Lucky Man Chief Pleased With ICC Ruling

Monday, April 14, 2008 at 13:48



Despite a recent favourable ruling from the Indian Claims Commission, the chief of the Lucky Man First Nation says she’s not holding her breath waiting for a positive response from the federal government.


After two decades of fighting the government over a land claim, the Lucky Man First Nation got some vindication last week.


The ICC ruled Ottawa owes the band land for two more band members — members that were included in a federal survey in 1887, but missed in a 1989 Treaty Land Entitlement deal.


Chief Pauleen Okemow says the ball is now in the government’s court, but adds the government “never jumps” and never says “you won” when a ruling is in favour of a First Nation.


She predicts another frustrating and slow process as the government deliberates over how to proceed with the ICC decision.


According to Okemow, “You want to give up, but you can’t give up.”


Still, Okemow says she is “excited” by the ruling — and believes it should give band members hope for services that might be provided down the road.


She says her people are scattered from B.C. to Nova Scotia, and the government’s anticipated delay will also give her time to assess what to do next.