The judge’s decision on the Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation claim against the government may take as long as six months.
A Specific Claim Tribunal hearing took place in Wanuskewin this week over the suspension of treaty annuities by the government against several First Nation bands following the Riel Rebellion of 1885.
During the hearing, the Crown argued that due to the rebellion the treaty agreements had been temporarily suspended.
Legal counsel for Beardy’s and Okemasis argued that no violent act stemmed from the First Nation to result in the suspension of the treaty.
Band lawyer Ron Maurice says he hopes they can debunk the myth that First Nations were disloyal during the rebellion.
“So I think that is the most important thing that can come from this — and if there is a recognition of that with compensation for withholding those annuities, then I think that can go a long way.”
Maurice also said it is not unusual for a judge to take a long time to make a decision in a case like this.
“We were basically putting the Riel Rebellion on trial this week, so now he has to go back and write a judgment now on what I hope is the new and sanctioned history of that time. So it’s going to take a while.”
The judge plans to have a 15-page brief on the tribunal to be released on October 20.