Metis Seeking Compensation Over Weapons Range

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 14:08



A Metis leader who helped negotiate an economic development package for four communities in northwest Saskatchewan says the push for compensation continues.


Former Metis Nation of Saskatchewan president Jim Durocher is hoping his sentiments are taken to heart by Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice, who was in Beauval yesterday to announce a $15-million package for Ile-a-la-Crosse, Beauval, Jans Bay and Cole Bay.


Elders from those four communities lost their traditional livelihood in the 1950s when they were forced off their land to make way for the Primrose Lake Air Weapons Range.


Prentice says the package is not intended for individual compensation, but rather, infrastructure investment and economic development.


However, Durocher says they’re not giving up the fight for compensation.


Durocher says while the economic development money is welcome, the elders directly impacted by the creation of the weapons range likely won’t be around to enjoy the benefits of those funds.


He hopes the Metis can convince the federal government to sit at a negotiating table to talk about compensation, as well.