Metis Communities Told To Reduce Beneficiary List

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 at 15:28



Government officials say too many northerners are claiming historical ties to the Primrose Lake Air Weapons Range in an attempt to qualify for federal funding.


Earlier this year, Ottawa and the province committed to provide $19.5 million in economic development funding over the next five years to four Metis communities in northwest Saskatchewan.


Elders from those communities were forced from the weapons range in 1953.


Both levels of government have insisted the funding is not compensation for the displacement. However, a $10,000 honorarium is being provided to elders or their survivors that either lived there or used the area for traditional purposes.


Metis negotiating committee spokesman Alex Maurice says the communities will be reviewing and revising their lists, and will hopefully reach a consensus at a meeting in September that will satisfy the government.


Maurice says they will be relying heavily on oral testimony from surviving elders.