The Aboriginal Affairs department is under fire after it ran out of money during Treaty Days on the Red Pheasant First Nation.
A resident says he and other members had lined up for their $5 payment when word came down that the government reps had run out of money.
Reg Buglar says a lot of people had driven a long way to take part in the celebration, and it’s disappointing the government couldn’t live up to its end of the treaty promise:
“You know our ancestors were signatories to Treaty number 6 back in 1776 and that’s the only part of the treaty that the government is willing to uphold is that $5 annual payment. Even that…I’ve heard of budget cuts among the federal government but this is going to extreme.”
A spokesman for the Aboriginal Affairs department confirms that about 20 members did not receive their money.
However Rod Desnomie says they can simply fill out forms, and mail them to Ottawa, to receive their payment:
“Now our staff provided these members with Treaty Annuity payment request forms which they can fill out and send in to have their annuity mailed in to them.”
He says the members also have the option of going to another reserve to get their annuity.
However Desnomie says they would have to find out the dates for themselves due to security concerns.
Buglar says it’s not the money that bothers him, it’s the principle of the thing.