By Roman Hayter

The Lac La Ronge Indian Band has released an update on its agricultural benefits claim.

In a statement released Monday, the Agricultural Benefits Committee (ABC) stated that they are continuing to meet with legal counsel, Thompson, Laboucan & Epp LLP, in their efforts to reach a quick and effective settlement of the LLRIB’s claim.

The release mentioned that in-person negotiation meetings were held this past December with Canada and that, at the time, Canada had indicated that they were ready to begin substantive negotiations that would resolve the LLRIB’s outstanding claim. The ABC Committee said they were hoping negotiations would have already begun.

“While the ABC committee was hopeful that these substantive negotiations would have already started, we have been recently informed that Canada is not yet ready to start talks. This could delay negotiations for several weeks, if not months.”

The release also stated that as the 2023 LLRIB elections approach, all council business will be tabled but this will not include the agricultural benefits claim.

“As the 2023 LLRIB Elections are fast approaching, all Council business will be tabled until after the LLRIB Elections. This will not have an impact on LLRIB’s agricultural benefits claim, as we are still waiting for Canada to make its own internal preparations for negotiations.”

The ABC Committee mentioned they are aware of certain misinformation about the claim being shared on social media and noted that no Treaty 6 band or First Nation has settled its claim for agricultural benefits.  Canada is still planning to negotiate a settlement with LLRIB, and that when Canada does make a settlement offer, LLRIB members will get a chance to vote on the settlement.

The legal team involved in this settlement stated that they will continue to update the ABC Committee as well as the Chief and Council as new information becomes available.