Primrose Lake Elder Payments Almost Complete

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 15:19



A board that has been overseeing a $19.5-million fund for four Metis communities in northwest Saskatchewan will soon be moving into a new phase of its mandate.


The Primrose Lake Economic Development Corporation was formed in 2007 to disperse funds provided by the federal and provincial governments.


The money was set aside for communities affected by the creation of the Primrose Lake Air Weapons Range in 1953 — which saw trappers and other traditional land users displaced from their land.


The communities included in the agreement are Ile-a-la-Crosse, Beauval, Jans Bay and Cole Bay.


A total of 192 elders or their families have received $10,000 payments under the Elders’ Initiative — including 14 recently-approved applications.


Another 12 applications have been turned down.


The provincial government’s representative on the board, Anita Jones, says it hasn’t been an easy task for the board sorting out who qualifies and who doesn’t.


She says several board members have received threatening and harassing phone calls throughout the process.


Jones notes that once the Elders’ Initiative wraps up in June, the board will be able to focus on economic development initiatives in the communities.